Review of 'Annihilation'

Lena (Natalie Portman) is an ex-army biologist who is startled when her husband Kane (Oscar Isaac) returns unexpected after twelve months from a mission for the army but has no memory of anything that happened. When Kane shows signs of sickness the military takes him from Lena. She wakes to find herself in a military compound a short distance from a mysterious “shimmer” - An area that no one has entered and lived (other than her amnesiac husband), where communication cannot penetrate, with the disturbance centered around a lighthouse that was hit by a mysterious flash from outer space. Without giving too much of the story away it is fairly obvious that she joins a team to enter the shimmer to discover just what is going on…

Another “mysterious goings on” film where things just get weirder and weirder by the moment…with the climax being the weirdest of it all. Taking it's ques from other similar movies such as Carpenter's “The Thing” there is plenty of brutal, violent blood shed to accompany the beauty of the “shimmer” itself with the effect it has on the flora and fauna. Certainly this is to be appreciated, the effects here are surreal and eerie with their presence alone keeping us on the edge of our seats…just what the heck is going on?

No one smiles here except for the occasional ironic smirk. This gives you an idea that this is not an “up” film by any stretch and I think it is fairly safe to say that not everyone makes it out in one piece. Most of the cast spend their time screaming, running or, er, dying so there is not a lot of scope or time for any real “acting”. But, this is not about that, this is a thriller in the truest sense - We, and they, are just trying to figure out what is going on. But, on that subject: Don't think you will know by the end either. To be fair, all of these are pluses to me as they make the film intriguing and interesting as not everything is spelled out on the screen letting the imagination take hold as we try to figure it out for ourselves.

Weird, violent and more than a little confusing. Looks great and keeps you guessing…Not surprising coming from the author of “The Beach”.

Rating: “Nearly perfect, but not quite”

Review Date: 2018-07-15

Directed by: Alex Garland

Studio: DNA Films

Year: 2018

Length: 115 minutes

Genre: Science Fiction

Other reviewed films by Alex Garland: