Starring Natalie Portman, Oscar Isaac, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Gina Rodriguez, Tuva Novotny, Tessa Thompson, Benedict Wong
Directed by Alex Garland
2018 / 115 Minutes / Paramount Pictures
Review by Elise
I’m going to start this review with a bit of a rant. It’s really a shame that the international release of Annihilation was dumped to Netflix because this is the kind of movie people need to see in theatres. And because a huge swath of movie goers, especially genre fans, couldn’t see this in theatres, it’s no surprise the movie didn’t make enough money to be considered a success!
Why that’s so annoying is because although it’s 2018, a movie with a predominantly female cast cannot underperform at the box office without being used as an excuse as to why movies ‘like that’ shouldn’t be made. Throw in the fact that this is a cuckoo bananas sci-fi/horror movie and it makes me worry that the theatrical release of a movie like this will probably never happen again. Oh well! At least we’ll get the 7th sequel to Batman vs Superman vs Predator vs John Cougar Mellencamp later this year.
It’s a terrible shame because this movie is SO GOOD. The story follows a team of scientists who are sent into ‘The Shimmer’, a wall resembling an oil slick that has swallowed up a huge piece of land, to determine what it is and how to prevent it from spreading further. If you know my reviews, I’m not a huge fan of spelling out the plot so I won’t do that here. And to be fair, this is the kind of movie you want to know as little as possible about before you see it.
I found myself emotionally affected by what I felt was the main theme of the movie: depression and how it warps our view of the world and ourselves. If you can find a way to relate to this film, I guarantee it will have an impact on you. I was also BLOWN AWAY by some of the special effects here. There’s a scene that is comparative, for me, to the first time I watched 2001: A Space Odyssey. There’s also a scene that was so scary to me, it felt like it triggered my fight or flight response, like the caveman part of my brain was reacting all on its own.
Annihilation was written and directed by Alex Garland who has given us genre classics like Ex Machina and 28 Days Later. After this, I can’t wait to see what he does next. It also has a great cast including Natalie Portman, Jennifer Jason Leigh and Oscar Isaac among others. Please do yourself a favour and check this out!