Hello, Secondbaseknight here!
It’s time for me to give you my review on Netflix’s Annihilation. So, before we start this post please leave a like and follow Feather Charm on all our social media, to support what we do, anyway on with the review.
More Questions Than Answers?
Annihilation. From the writer and director of Ex Machina, Alex Garland brings to us a new Sci-Fi that is filled with body horror monsters and some trippy LSD moments, to bring us this unique and compelling story. This film had one effect on me that most movies don’t really do nowadays, and that’s force you to think about what you have just watched, and what the meaning of the film is.
When I finished watching this film, I began talking to myself about all these theories that the film was trying to show, such as if it is a journey to hell, and our protagonists are going further into it, or if it is a giant metaphor for the involvement of humans changing our planet. Were we are able to create a wonderful environment for ourselves, we risk changing the nature of our animals and plants, causing us to face the monsters, or maybe we just fear anything that is bigger and stronger than us, showing how basic we all are. That’s why this film to me was great because it left me with this haunting impression of the unknown.
Annihilation Or Salvation?
When this movie was first announced, I was honestly a bit disappointed, this is due to the story looking a bit plan and random, with people saying “I don’t know” but they were reasons for me to also feel excited. The biggest reason that got me watching, was Alex Garland. This is his follow-up to his hugely acclaimed breakout Ex Machina, only this time he has a budget of $55 million. The story is an adaptation of the award-winning novel by Jeff Vandermeers, which is packed with visual horror and unusual storytelling.
Like any fan base, this book has some hard-core followers and some of these followers even stated that this film was “unfilmable” leading to multiple issues at Paramount due to test screenings, which was shocking and confusing to audiences. Some even found it to hard to follow and “complicated”, although the film finished production almost year and a half ago. Paramount wanted to avoid the risk and ended up selling all the rights to Netflix. I remember one of my filmmakers friends being furious, because he wanted to see it in the cinema. However, It worked out for both parties in the end, since the film had quite good feedback on streaming services, and nearly everyone I know, who’s watched it, has talked about it. The last movie that Netflix released that had my friends and family fired up, and almost demanding me to watch, was Veronica which was a good horror film.
Entering The Unknown
We follow Lena, played by Natalie Portman, a biologist, simply moving along with her life, almost struggling to focus on herself, because her husband, played by Oscar Isaac, went missing. But with his sudden return, Lena’s hope is destroyed when he begins to start acting strangely. Now, she is offered another chance to help her husband, thanks to a psychologist, played by Jennifer Jason Leigh, who gives her the opportunity to enter the “shimmer”, the same place her husband went into, maybe the only place to discover what happened to husband, and how fix him.
I have not read the book, but from what people have suggested online, it is not 100% true to the source material, and it seems to take big and dramatic routes to the story. However, in most films, you can’t always follow the story to the core or it becomes very hard to film, not to mention it removes some creative input from the director. A perfect example is Game Of Thrones, we all love it, although it is very different to the books, especially with character designs. Similarly in Annihilation Alex Garland was able to create a structurally unsettling mood and environment.
Even with the formula of experts/soldiers being picked off by a force of nature, Alex Garland created an unnerving and unpredictable sci-fi horror film. To me this film is different and uncommon; this is due to the film itself having some characters reacting intelligently to strange events. The team itself is made of strong women who can deal with problems, which is different to the main horror genre, where most people end up doing the most stupidest things. This film makes you think, making it an intelligent film, but done in the right way, compared to the film Mother!
While this film’s narrative throws you into this strange environment, which can be confusing, it is understandable why Paramount would worry for its box office. Annihilation will remind you of other Sci-Fi, horror films, such as The Thing and Alien but it is not those films. The ending will create a 50/50 community with people who will love it or hate it. Finally, my verdict is this: the film itself is more than it’s pretty visuals. It is about life, how slowly we are changing it, and how it can change us. Do we as humans, think we are gods, or is it that we are simply waiting for a god-like being to awaken, and put us in our place. This film will haunt its audiences, but make them want to learn more. Out of 5 stars, I give it a 3 and a half. It is a film you should watch and interpret for yourselves.
What do you think of Annihilation; will you be watching it on Netflix this month? I hope you enjoy the post.
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