I wrote a review of “Annihilation” way back in the beginning of the year (which you can check out here) when it came out, so I’ll make this one a bit short. I loved it. It’s a jaw dropping sci-fi masterpiece that ends with maybe the most talked about scene of the year.
This movie is so impressive because it’s working on two different levels. The surface of the movie is a group of scientists enter a quarantined zone to investigate a mysterious “shimmer” of energy that is emanating from a lighthouse and slowly absorbing the surrounding swamp area. Inside they find all the flora and fauna are changing on molecular levels. The deeper level is the observation of self-destruction and acceptance. Throughout the film we are given brief glimpses into Lena’s (Natalie Portman) home life. It’s clear that her and her husband, Kane (Oscar Issac), both have things they are ashamed of or not proud of. “Annihilation” uses mind blowing visuals and sci-fi themes to explore the ways we destroy our own lives and have to accept those choices.
Lena is accompanied by Ventress (Jennifer Jason Leigh), Josie (Tessa Thompson), Anya (Gina Rodriguez), and Cass (Tuva Novontny). All five of these women have traumas or problems in their personal lives. Each of them, except Lena, die in a unique and mysterious way that reflects their own self-destructive behaviors.
The movie ends with a scene that is so mind bending and strange… who am I kidding, this scene is fucking bonkers. There is a soft tone to “Annihilation” that changes the moment we enter the lighthouse. The soundtrack changes from quiet and folksy guitars to a throbbing synth bass. It’s a nightmarish sequence that really displays the entire movies themes in just a few minutes. It would take me writing a novel to explain the lighthouse sequence so just go watch the damn movie now. It’s stunning.