Annihilation trailer pits Natalie Portman against biological horrors

Lloyd Doyle
December 15, 2017

Annihilation is one of the smartest and creepiest science fiction books I've ever read. Just watch Ex Machina and Dredd to understand what I mean. It was written and directed by Alex Garland (Ex Machina, 28 Days Later). Although it might not be enough action if recent news about Annihilation's distribution is to suggest. A trick of the marketing or a sign of an adaptation that wasn't precious about the book it's adapting? The biologist is joined by an anthropologist, a psychologist and a surveyor. The rules of the natural world don't apply within its borders. The "things aren't what they seem" unease is there in the trailer.

Biological mutations of ordinary creatures are the unseen enemies that Natalie Portman will have to fight against in Annihilation.

Based on Jeff VanderMeer's novel of the same name, the first book from his Southern Reach trilogy, Annihilation also stars Jennifer Jason Leigh, Gina Rodriguez, Tessa Thompson and Tuva Novotny. Natalie Portman plays Lena, a biologist, whose husband (Oscar Isaac) returns from an expedition to Area X, an "environmental disaster zone" surrounded by something the movie is calling "the shimmer". However, the idea that a film like this would make most of its theatrical take in the USA, not internationally, makes a deal with Netflix very appealing. It's absolutely gorgeous, make no mistake, but there's a lot more propulsive horror and scary monsters running around. If anyone is hoping for an Annihilation film trilogy, they may be out of luck, because Garland reiterates that he is "more interested in contained stories". This trailer feels very much like the result of the behind-the-scenes conflicts on the film, where producers are butting heads over whether the film is "too intellectual" for audiences.

And it opens in theatres on February 23, 2018.

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