I’ve wanted to see this movie for a long time, I actually wanted to see this in the movie theater, but when I finally got the chance to go the movie was gone. This made me think that maybe this movie wasn’t as great as it was supposed to be then. Even though I still wanted to see the movie, this made me go in with some lower expectations. Was this movie any good? Did it meet my low expectations or did it go above and beyond? Keep reading to find out.
Annihilation is about Lena, played by Natalie Portman, who’s military husband Kane, played by Oscar Isaac, has been MIA for 12 months now. Presumed dead by the people around her, Lena still holds out hope that Kane will return to her one day. When he finally does she’s surprised and startled because this isn’t the man that left her 12 months ago. This is someone else, someone she doesn’t know. While being rushed to the hospital, the ambulance will be intercepted by the CIA in order to take Kane back into custody. It turns out there there’s this shimmer in the woods that Kane and his crew of men were investigating. Kane was the only one to come back and now needs to be saved. The shimmer also has to be investigated because it’s about to take over even more land than it already has. Being ex military herself, Lena signs up to go into the shimmer with three other women in order to save her husband knowing that she may never come out herself.
The whole movie is basically told in a flashback as Lena does get out of the shimmer but the rest of her team does not. This is not a spoiler by the way, so I don’t want to hear that I spoiled the movie. Anyway, throughout the movie, Lena tells her story of what it was like before her husband went into the shimmer himself, before she went into the shimmer, and what happened to her and her team while they were in the shimmer. This is one of those rare sci-fi horror movies that keeps you interested from start to finish because it’s just that captivating. There are a bunch of different twists and turns and as you watch the movie, you try to play detective as the movie goes back and forth to when Lena was in the shimmer and when she gets out and is being interrogated by the CIA. Throughout the movie, you’ll learn a lot about the people going into the shimmer with Lena and the actual purpose of the shimmer as well as what happens to everyone who goes into the shimmer. Not to mention that it has an ending that could be open to a bunch of different explanations and debates. While I wouldn’t really call this a horror movie, it does have some horror aspects and some cheap jump scares, but all of that can be over looked as it truly is a proper sci-fi movie.
It’s easy to see that Natalie Portman steals the show for this movie. Her performance is one of her better performances in a career that has been more hits than misses and the rest of the cast kind of fades into the background as the movie centers on her. It’s clear that she’s the star of this movie and the rest of the cast is just there to be there. I think that Natalie Portman was perfect for this role and played each part, the grieving assumed widow, the escapee from the shimmer, and the soldier going into the shimmer perfectly. The rest of the cast does a great job of supporting Natalie but are otherwise forgettable.
Overall I give this movie a 4.5 out of 5.
This is a great movie that tries to play a little bit on the horror side, but should have just stuck to the sci-fi side and did less of the jump scares. Those are cheap tactics and this movie took advantage of some of them which made me think a little less of this movie, but overall didn’t ruin my whole experience. The performance given by Natalie Portman will draw you in and keep you interested in the movie and it’s a great movie to play detective in to see if you can figure out what went on. I would say that this is a great movie to watch and I really have no idea why it did so badly in the movie theater while movies like A Quiet Place, which you can read my review of here, did so much better, but I guess timing is everything. I would say that if you love sci-fi movies with a bit of a horror element to them and don’t mind the occasional cheap jump scare then this is the movie for you. If you aren’t into sci-fi movies that revolve around some weird ass shit, then skip this one because inside that shimmer there is some weird ass shit going on.