Annihilation Movie Review

Claire Lawrence, Opinions Editor

Annihilation is a action and fantasy filled film directed by Alex Garland. It takes sci-fi movies to a whole new level of adventure and drama. The films main setting is at a military and science base camp that is located outside an alien-like dome called the “shimmer”, where the laws of nature and physics don’t apply like they do in the real world. The cast includes the famous Natalie Portman alongside Jennifer Jason Leigh, Tessa Thompson, Oscar Isaac, Gina Rodriguez, and Tuva Novotny.

A biologist, Lena, played by Portman, has her husband return home after over a year at war. Or she thought. She steps forward to take the same exhibition her husband did, wanting answers as to why her husband returned home unnatural, in what’s known as an environmental disaster war zone. The “shimmer”. Four other females take the same journey with her, going as an expedition team. Something is said to be inside the “shimmer” that is causing the dome to expand and scientifically manipulate every living thing inside it. Upon entry, their goal is to get to the heart of this and put an end to it. On the inside they encounter obstacles, many of which don’t follow along with real world science.

When first starting the movie, it seems to give off a slow vibe, as if the plot won’t develop in time before the climax. Because of this, writers included an intense and attention grabbing score to accompany the characters on their expedition. Toward the end of the movie, when the plot is at its peak and the falling action is right around the corner, the score comes out to its fullest potential, shaking both the audience and the theatre walls.

When watching, you will start to notice that the frame of the film tends to be very central. It has a symmetrical shot system, where they focus the attention on either a single person, place or thing, and make the overall appearance on the screen very appealing to the eye. Depending on the scene taking place, the framing and the score work hand in hand to deliver an extraordinary emotion for the audiences to experience. Annihilation received heavy recognition for their accurate depiction of what would happen to the world under a colossal science disaster, receiving 7 stars on IMDB and 87% rotten tomatoes.

I first watched this film in theatres, where the senses were heightened to their extreme, but would still recommend others to see it even outside of the theatre (*cough cough* it’s still showing *cough*). The score was original and captivating, with a diverse plot and cinematography to entice the audience further into storyline. If you have not yet seen this film and are science fiction and alien fantasy fan, I suggest you do so immediately!