As 2018 continues, creative films have been an ongoing occurrence in the box office. “Annihilation” directed by Alex Garland, who is known for horror film, “28 days Later,” creates a sci-fi thriller that makes you put the pieces together.
Based on the book trilogy by Jeff Vandermeer, the film speaks of unknown realities brought to earth and includes a psychological twist that brings you to halt half way through.
Most thrillers have you guessing throughout the film, this one still left us with questions unanswered.
Starring Natalie Portman as biologist Lena, Portman quietly grieves after her husband Kane, (Oscar Isaac) is listed as dead while on a secret military mission.
Suddenly he returns in the middle of the night — quiet and unlike himself, one year later.
While Lena is questioning him and his whereabouts, he collapses, spitting up blood, and is soon unconscious.
On their way to the hospital, a government agent stops the couple and takes Lena and Kane to a compound nearby, a shadowy location known as ‘The Shimmer.” The Shimmer is described as an unexplained environmental phenomenon that began when an otherworldly force struck a lighthouse and has gradually spread over a swampy, grog-like area.
Since the last group studying The Shimmer failed to discover more about the area, Lena takes over the mission her husband couldn’t complete with the help of three other women.
Scientists, psychologists, military and physicists Jennifer Jason Leigh, Gina Rodriguez, Tuva Novotny and Tessa Thompson question the world they enter with a goal to discover the unknown. They reach the lighthouse where The Shimmer started.
While the group wanders through the forest, they learn that their compasses have stopped, and time begins to flip.
The Shimmer has created a mixup of DNA, creating mutants for animals, like massive white alligators with multiple layers of teeth and a large deformed bear that learns to mimic its prey.
It is an altered reality.
The film had deeper meaning than expected. Each of the women saw this place differently.
Jennifer Jason Leigh, one of the more serious characters witnesses the girls’ insecurities rise, and defines them rather than suicide it’s a force of self destruction. The Shimmer alters their mind which ties in with what Lena (Portman) is discovering about this place on a biological level; defining an example of cancer as a way of our bodies going to war against ourselves.
The physicists, Josie Radek, defines The Shimmer as “a systemic prism that distorts everything within it, from radio waves to DNA.”
Were they losing their minds? Were they like Lena’s husband?
The film had an incredible visual value and a perspective of the universe that I think a lot of us push to the side. The actors played a role you wouldn’t expect. The approach of the film was giving women a chance to save the world, versus being saved.
While the film brings great question to our own reality, it still leaves you feeling like there should have been more — perhaps a sequel is in the works.
Overall the film was captivating, visually pleasing, and unsettling in the fact that there so much happening that we cannot see.