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  • Writer's pictureKaveh Jalinous

Annihilation (2018): Film Review

If you asked me to assign a genre to Alex Garland's (Director, Ex Machina) newest film, titled Annihilation, I wouldn't be able to give you a straight answer. On the one hand, it is a science-fiction film; bordering on the lines of action, thriller, and horror. But, there is so much more involved than that. Rather than forging into stereotypes presented by its main genre (the film is classified as a science-fiction film), Annihilation extends its status into a thought-provoking film with hidden messages applied about the nature of humans in the 21st century. The film can easily be compared to 2017's standout sci-fi hit Blade Runner 2049. Both films have mastered something very little science fiction movies can accomplish: the ability to resonate in the viewers minds for long after the end credits role. The main difference between the two is that: Annihilation takes a lot less time to watch, and a lot less time to completely understand! The film tells a story of a biologist named Lena (Natalie Portman), who decides to go into a unknown area, referred to as "Area X", after her husband (Oscar Isaac) returns in a comatose state. Together with four other scientists, Lena must uncover the mystery of how this area appeared, and must stop the area from expanding before time is too late. Annihilation is horrifying, but not in the normal pop-out way. Instead, the film gets its wicked ideas into your mind, and truly shows you just how evil humans can be. Throughout the films mid-action and final sequence, it's hard to process everything that is actually going on, as there is just so much action throwing itself at the viewer in rapid force. The acting is nothing special, but each actor shows that they are all in to the movie, and each actor portrays their character with such acuteness and accuracy. Although the film does have its slow moments, the action-scenes prove that they are worth the wait; and every moment in the film is necessary for the "extremely odd" climax. So many things happen in the film that I don't understand, and probably never will; mostly involving the ending. And, don't even get me started on the visuals. The 55 million dollar budget was put to great use, because every single visual is striking; and the backdrop for the film is just amazing. But, strip this film down to its core and here is what you get. This is a film that horrifies and inspires at the same time, panned out with gorgeous shots, and deep themes and messages that affect human nature and every day life in the world we live in. Annihilation is a rare gem in a genre that needs saving. And I think that's all I need to say.



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