Movie Details

Director-Alex Garland
Cast-Natalie Portman,Jennifer Jason ,LeighTessa Thompson
Movie type- Scifi/Horror
Producer-Scott Rudin
Release date- 23 th February 2018
IMDB Rating-6.8
Languages- English
Duration-1 Hour 55 Minutes



Already in his first script, Garland imagines an epidemic of a deadly frenzy virus that will decimate the population of Great Britain and strip the survivors of the remnants of humanity.

Towards the Sun presents humanity on the verge of extinction, focusing on the weakness of the individual in the face of severe stress and long-term isolation. Garland ‘s unofficial directorial debut (it’s still unclear who directed what), Dredd , presents a bleak picture of a future full of lawlessness and violence fought by a handful of righteous people. In the work of the director of Ex Machina, man is a flawed creature, susceptible to demoralization and fraud. The protagonist of the above-mentioned film turns out to be a slave to his own feelings and naivety that drowns out the voice of reason. His above-average intellect is not enough to resist manipulation by artificial intelligence locked in the body of a beautiful woman. In the film Annihilation , Garland goes a step further, making the theme of striving for self-destruction the leitmotif of the film. The entire setting of a science fiction thriller turns out to be primarily a tool of cleverly constructed metaphors.

The title annihilation, at a basic level, refers to a mysterious Zone that appeared in an unexplained way and is gradually consuming an increasingly larger area. It is not known what happens to the landscape incorporated into the Zone, but only one man from many organized military expeditions returned. The protagonist’s husband (Oscar Isaac and Natalie Portman ) shows up at home a year after his disappearance and doesn’t seem to fully recognize where he is. The man cannot provide any useful information, and after a while he starts spitting blood. After calling for help, the pair of heroes ends up in a facility built not far from Stefa. Another expedition is being organized, this time a scientific one. The critical condition of the patient forces the protagonist (a biologist with military training) to take part in an expedition that may help understand the nature of this strange phenomenon and its impact on humans.

It quickly becomes clear that the desire to explore the Stefa is not solely a result of compulsion – each of the women deciding on this mission has her own emotional baggage, and their meeting can hardly be considered accidental. A dead child, suicide attempts, alcoholism – this dangerous environment mysteriously attracts individuals with self-destructive tendencies. On the other hand, one of the heroines states at one point that everyone, in some way, strives for their own destruction, even by torpedoing their happiness. Garland doesn’t spend much time on exposition, instead outlining the dominant traits of his characters and letting their behaviors resonate. Each of them has a different attitude to life and the Zone, which is reflected in the fate that befalls them.

This one can be genuinely terrifying and reminds us that despite the presence of philosophical themes, Annihilation remains an effective thriller. The director very skillfully builds tension and crowns it with images that stay with the viewer for a long time. This will probably come as no surprise to anyone who has seen 28 Days Later or Into the Sun , but such a creative approach to horror scenes deserves recognition. Garland does not use tired genre clichés and scares people more effectively than many horror films. Viewer involvement is also due to great actresses who create credible and developed characters based on sparsely described roles. The incredibly authentic Natalie Portman perfectly portrays her character’s inner conflict, and the rest of the cast bravely keeps up with her. The personal demons and emotional dilemmas of women risking their lives make us identify with at least some of them, and we watch with concern as the Zone gradually consumes them.

The essence of the mysterious phenomenon is something that the viewer tries to understand in parallel with the characters throughout the film. Where does this strange rainbow glow come from? What is the origin of plant and animal mutations that take on truly bizarre forms? Why does each woman’s mind seem to gradually deteriorate? These are just basic questions that can be answered over time.

Many issues remain without a clear explanation, and although this may leave some people with a feeling of emptiness, others will be delighted with this solution. In a world where we usually get answers on a platter, it’s nice to be motivated to do some research on our own. Especially since, unlike Ridley Scott’s similar approach in Prometheus, Alex Garland seems to know the explanation for his mysteries. This is certainly a film that will benefit from subsequent viewings, during which the meaning of many scenes (e.g. flashbacks involving the protagonist and another lecturer – this is a thread extremely important for the theme of self-destruction) will become more clear.

It is not without reason that the finale of the film Annihilation is sometimes compared to the ending of 2001: A Space Odyssey – this combination of the enigmatic symbolism of events with a hypnotizing audio-visual setting will certainly be remembered in the canon of the genre, just like the final sequence of Kubrick’s masterpiece. Perhaps it was a mistake to leave so much ambiguity unexplained, but this is an extremely subjective matter. For one person, Annihilation will be a great work provoking numerous reflections, and for another, it will be a chaotic film about nothing. However, fans of classic science fiction should feel spoiled by both the presented motifs and the fascinating vision of the Zone. The director created a reality with an intriguing idea and a delightful image – it’s a pity that he didn’t have a larger budget that would have avoided some visual conventionality. However, even despite limited resources, Garland manages to impress with a truly visionary staging. After the premiere of the film Annihilation , it becomes completely clear that we are slowly emerging as a master of the genre who will not let serious sci-fi get lost in the sea of ​​box office blockbusters.

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