Review on Annihilation


Kate Lychik, Staff

Fantasy-thriller film “Annihilation,” would never have crossed my mind nor would I have thought to watch it if my brother had not dragged me to a theater unexpectedly. I usually try to avoid overly frightening movies. However after sitting curled up in my theater seat and clutching my coat around myself, I realized that I had in fact enjoyed the movie.

The story takes place in a part of Florida, an area that has been enshrouded in a “shimmer” that is slowly growing and covering more and more of the land. Many have tried to explore past the mist but none have returned…except for one man.

Kane, portrayed by actor Oscar Isaac, is the lone survivor but for unknown reasons, his health takes a drastic turn for the worse. His wife, Lena, played by the talented Natalie Portman, is determined to explore past the shimmer to find out what happened to him.

As a whole, I did like “Annihilation.” The movie was creative and at times, very pretty. It had an interesting blend of science and fantasy with the overarching theme of genetic alteration. I enjoyed looking at the beautiful creations the crew came up with and all the strange mutations. Of course, not everything was stunning; there were some pretty frightening creatures. Beware of the bear…

I mentioned this being a frightening movie and it was, sort of. Not so much scary as eerie and strange in a manner to make the viewer unnerved. There were some pretty chilling parts (the bear) but overall, unnerving is the correct descriptive word for this film. That is a plus in my opinion: I cannot handle scary that well. Eerie, I can.

There was something that dragged down my opinion of the movie: the ending. I understand what they were trying to do with it but it seemed very forced. Spoiler alert, they were trying to push the feeling of confusion and ambiguity, like ending a rather straightforward statement with ellipses and a question mark. Well, it did not work. I feel that what they did took away from an otherwise good conclusion.

As a short warning, the movie is for the most part mild with a few exceptions. It is R-rated, after all. There were some graphic and disturbing moments but they were resolved relatively quickly.

 This was a rather imaginative film and all-in-all, enjoyable. I would recommend it to most people, thriller lovers or not. If nothing else, it is at the very least entertaining, so go give it a try.