By ARIA SALESSI
Who knew something so beautiful and mysterious could be so deadly. Five scientists discover the reality of this statement as they venture on an expedition of great enigmatic character. From Alex Garland, writer of Ex Machina and 28 Days Later, comes Annihilation, a science fiction movie starring Natalie Portman as Lena, Gina Rodriguez as Anya, Jennifer Jason Leigh as Dr. Ventress, and Tessa Thompson as Josie.
Annihilation follows a group of scientists who venture into Area X (also termed the Shimmer), the area within a beautiful and mystic barrier that is filled with mysteries. Many expedition teams have passed through this barrier in order to discover what is within it and why it keeps moving forward, but unfortunately, none of these teams have returned. Portman and her squad decide to enter the barrier to see what it causing all the expeditions to never return. The moment they step through the Shimmer, they unearth that the laws of nature do not apply, and the once seemingly beautiful Shimmer is truly terrifying.
Once the characters go in the Shimmer, the audience realizes how beautiful this mysterious forest is. The movie’s special effects were quite visually appealing, as the use of color through mutant flowers were visually beautifully.
Not only was the movie alluring, but it also contained intense scenes. A scene where Josie was pulled into a cabin by an enormous crocodile, or when a giant bear-like creature bit into Cass’s shoulder, were just two scenes that brought me to the edge of my seat. One scene that stood out to me as very disturbing was when the skull-faced creature ripped half of Anya’s face off.
The ending of the film definitely kept my friends and I wondering. Annihilation is a different type of movie, unlike anything I have previously seen, in the way in which the viewer never really understands what’s going on. Molly Freeman, a professional critic, said “Director Alex Garland blends high concept sci-fi with stunning visuals and a dash of horror for an exciting female-led film in Annihilation.” I couldn’t agree more and, therefore, recommend this film for people who enjoy intense and action driven scenes.