Netflix really love to surprise us with new movies, don’t they? This time they gave us two science fiction films from Paramount Pictures. There’s Annihilation and the one that truly surprised us all, The Cloverfield Paradox!
First, let’s talk about Annihilation.
A biologist signs up for a dangerous, secret expedition into a mysterious zone where the laws of nature don’t apply.
This 2018 psychological science fiction horror film is based on the Southern Reach Trilogy – Annihilation, Authority, and Acceptance which is a series of novels by American author Jeff VanderMeer. Paramount Pictures bought the movie rights hiring Alex Garland as the screenwriter and director.
Sounds familiar? Well, Alex Garland wrote the screenplay for 28 Days Later (2002), Sunshine (2007), Never Let Me Go (2010) and Dredd (2012). He then made his directorial debut in 2015 with Ex Machina which earned him an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Screenplay.
Fast forward to 2018, he’s back with Annihilation.
Okay, I’m going to come clean. I didn’t read the books. Well, it doesn’t matter anyway because according to reports Garland described it as “an adaptation which was a memory of the book.” So I will be reviewing this based on the film itself and not compare it.
Upon seeing Annihilation on Netflix, I honestly didn’t feel the need to refer to the book. Though the film adaptation used a nonlinear narrative which can sometimes be confusing and annoying to some, I think Garland’s approach made the film stand on it’s own.
Gradually jumping back and forth from past to present and here to there adds mystery. As soon as the world beyond the “shimmer” is revealed little by little, the mystery intensifies captivating us even more. I think that is the main goal of the first book/ first installment – to open our eyes and question everything we see.
Speaking of which, some people think that Annihilation is more than sci-fi. It’s also horror or fantasy – I beg to differ! Though it features different themes, the film is able to balance all the elements. I believe that Annihilation is purely and uniquely an intelligent sci-fi film. IMDb 8/10