HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Beast and the Magic Sword, The
Last Hard Men, The
Found Footage Phenomenon, The
Night Trap
Skinny Tiger, Fatty Dragon
Benediction
Nezha Reborn
Evil Toons
Worst Person in the World, The
Whirlpool
Hunter Will Get You
Superman/Batman: Apocalypse
Revolver
Men, The
Parallel Mothers
Sadness, The
Bloody New Year
Faye
Body Count
Spider-Man: No Way Home
'Round Midnight
Wild Men
Barry & Joan
Wake Up Punk
Twin, The
Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy
One of These Days
Lift to the Scaffold
Savage Dawn
Rest in Pieces
Innocents in Paris
We're All Going to the World's Fair
Beyond the Door 3
Jules et Jim
Love Jones
Saint-Narcisse
Souvenir Part II, The
Knockabout
400 Blows, The
Virus: 32
   
 
Newest Articles
La Violence: Dobermann at 25
Serious Comedy: The Wrong Arm of the Law on Blu-ray
DC Showcase: Constantine - The House of Mystery and More on Blu-ray
Monster Fun: Three Monster Tales of Sci-Fi Terror on Blu-ray
State of the 70s: Play for Today Volume 3 on Blu-ray
The Movie Damned: Cursed Films II on Shudder
The Dead of Night: In Cold Blood on Blu-ray
Suave and Sophisticated: The Persuaders! Take 50 on Blu-ray
Your Rules are Really Beginning to Annoy Me: Escape from L.A. on 4K UHD
A Woman's Viewfinder: The Camera is Ours on DVD
Chaplin's Silent Pursuit: Modern Times on Blu-ray
The Ecstasy of Cosmic Boredom: Dark Star on Arrow
A Frosty Reception: South and The Great White Silence on Blu-ray
You'll Never Guess Which is Sammo: Skinny Tiger and Fatty Dragon on Blu-ray
Two Christopher Miles Shorts: The Six-Sided Triangle/Rhythm 'n' Greens on Blu-ray
Not So Permissive: The Lovers! on Blu-ray
Uncomfortable Truths: Three Shorts by Andrea Arnold on MUBI
The Call of Nostalgia: Ghostbusters Afterlife on Blu-ray
Moon Night - Space 1999: Super Space Theater on Blu-ray
Super Sammo: Warriors Two and The Prodigal Son on Blu-ray
Sex vs Violence: In the Realm of the Senses on Blu-ray
What's So Funny About Brit Horror? Vampira and Bloodbath at the House of Death on Arrow
Keeping the Beatles Alive: Get Back
The Punk Rock Movie: Out of the Blue on Blu-ray
Yeah, Too Quiet: The Great Silence on Blu-ray
   
 
  Annihilation The Thing Made Another World
Year: 2018
Director: Alex Garland
Stars: Natalie Portman, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Oscar Isaac, Gina Rodriguez, Tessa Thompson, Tuva Novotny, Benedict Wong, David Gyasi, Sammy Hayman, Josh Danford, Sonoya Mizuno
Genre: Horror, Drama, Science Fiction, AdventureBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 2 votes)
Review: Lena (Natalie Portman) is a biologist who works as a lecturer, and was married to Kane (Oscar Isaac) until he went missing a year ago, an event that has stopped her life in its tracks, shutting down any social life and now that it seemed there was no hope of her husband ever returning, forcing her to concentrate on her work in lieu of anything else as far as a human connection was concerned. And then one day her husband came back. One night he was there outside their home, and entered to be greeted by a tearful and overwhelmed Lena, but there was something not quite right about him, he seemed distant, and when he started coughing up blood she had to call an ambulance...

The reason Kane is in this discombobulated state is down to what he was doing when he disappeared, which was conducting a military investigation into an anomaly that occurred when a meteorite struck a lighthouse and began to alter everything around it in an ever-expanding diameter. The authorities and scientists are baffled, and whenever anyone ventures into this zone they never re-emerge, making Kane an anomaly in himself. To make sure Portman's character remained at the heart of the action (she was the star, after all), Lena is selected to enter the region pretentiously named The Shimmer along with four other women, all picked for some useful expertise or other.

The comparisons with other "journey into the unknown" movies were obvious, from Stalker to Apocalypse Now, but screenwriter turned director Alex Garland had based the script on a novel by Jeff VanderMeer, and there was a literary flavour to the proceedings that apparently deliberately echoed the global disaster science fiction of J.G. Ballard, especially the books where characters conduct excursions into mysterious landscapes such as The Crystal World, The Drowned World or Hello America. With that in mind, Garland seemed to want that kind of journey where the physical realm is echoed in the psychological trip the characters are taking to be translated to a sci-fi flick.

A noble endeavour, but one that would have been more impressive if that psychological aspect had been better delineated and not so vague to the point of being rather blah. As if in a sop to the fans of action in their science fiction, occasionally violence would erupt, so the team are attacked by a mutant bear for instance, and the grand finale sees Lena resorting to punches and an explosion to get the upper hand on what she finally discovers at the heart of the zone, which undercut the film's higher falutin' ambitions far too savagely. The impression was of a piece that would have liked to have simply featured the characters wandering through an increasingly alien landscape for a couple of hours yet did not have the courage of its convictions and was forced to throw in monsters as in many a fifties genre effort.

This was all the more ironic when behind the scenes, the studio had wanted Garland to make it even more commercial. To his credit, he stuck to his guns so that the end result was the movie he wanted make, but as punishment since his bosses regarded the box office prospects of Annihilation as practically zero it was sold directly to Netflix in every territory but the United States and China to be released straight onto the internet. An ignominious fate for what had been seen as the follow-up to Garland's much-praised Ex Machina, but the fact was the studio were not wrong, and what was straining to be intellectual here was merely closing off an audience who would have preferred a more straightforward adventure yarn. The themes of self-destruction being helped along by the environment we find around us were all very well, but when it led up to the final couple of shots which screamed big twist cliché in every downbeat fantastical tale, it was difficult to see this as much more than a well-intentioned disappointment. Experimental-sounding music by Ben Salisbury and Geoff Barrow.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 3222 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Andrew Pragasam
Graeme Clark
Mary Sibley
  Desbris M
  Sheila Reeves
Darren Jones
Paul Smith
Enoch Sneed
   

 

Last Updated: