GENRE: Adventure, Drama, Horror
REVIEW BY: Gianna DeMalteris
The first thing that comes to mind when thinking about alien movies is big spaceships, explosive battles, and heroic deaths. The psychological and original movie Annihilation (2018) has been proven to leave viewers questioning every second of the two-hour film. Sitting with an 87% on Rotten Tomatoes, this sci-fi thriller pulls you through the story of alien invasion much more subtle than other movies have shown to be. The surreal story brings all sorts of questions to mind with every thought-provoking scene. With disturbing, yet alluring, imagery littered throughout every take, it’s sure to leave you slightly unsettled when the credits begin to roll.
With the slow start and vague dialogue at the beginning of the movie, you might feel a slight bit of confusion, however, when the story begins to pick up inside the Shimmer, you will forget that the exposition had you snoring. As you follow Lena (Natalie Portman), Anya Thorensen (Gina Rodriguez), Josie Radek (Tessa Thompson), Dr. Ventress (Jennifer Janson Leigh), and Cass Sheppard (Tuva Novotny) in their trek through the Shimmer to find the cause of its alien-like dome and the reason of its expansion, it’s no doubt that you will be on the edge of your seat in anticipation for the next jump scare or event to happen. The beautiful-yet unnerving-scenery is sure to leave you amazed with the directors’ choice of an awe-inspiring world, with the underlying feeling of something more maleficent. As the group makes their way deeper, the horror factor definitely sets in, as the group is attacked multiple times and some of the members begin to lose their sanity or give up to the evolving effects of the Shimmer. It is quite evident that this film shouldn’t be for those of young ages because of the few gory scenes that left even adults grimacing.
The only few issues I had with this movie (and no doubt others had) was its long pauses before a big event. However, the buildup of suspenseful dialogue helped the story move along a little bit better. Of course, the beginning, as mentioned before was very slow to get to the rising action, which might cause viewers to become bored and/or lose track of the movie. And yet throughout the beginning of the film, Natalie Portman did her best at keeping viewers even slightly interested by showing amazing character connections and emotion about her thought to be late husband. The film is one to watch with an open mind and a pillow to hug for surprise scares. This movie is definitely for Friday night movies with friends.