HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Come True
Kagemusha
Justine
Poly Styrene: I Am a Cliché
Madchen in Uniform
Fire Will Come
Suspect
Jailbreak Pact
News of the World
Dementer
Beyond Clueless
Stylist, The
Sky is On Fire, The
Wrong Turn
In a Year with 13 Moons
Blush
Strange Affair of Uncle Harry, The
Sinners, The
Tammy and the T-Rex
Archenemy
Zappa
Mindwarp
State Secret
Mogul Mowgli
Owners, The
Twentieth Century, The
Story of Gilbert and Sullivan, The
What Lies Below
Greenland
Broil
Dead Pigs
Willy's Wonderland
It's in the Air
School's Out Forever
Breeder
Stump the Guesser
Sator
Last Warning, The
PVT CHAT
Ascent, The
   
 
Newest Articles
British Body Snatchers: They Came from Beyond Space on Blu-ray
Bzzzt: Pulse on Blu-ray
The Tombs Will Be Their Cities: Demons and Demons 2 on Arrow
Somebody Killed Her Husband: Charade on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Maroc 7 and Invasion
Network Double Bills: The Best of Benny Hill and The Likely Lads
Network Double Bills: Some Girls Do and Deadlier Than the Male
Absolutely Bananas: Link on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Hawk the Slayer and The Medusa Touch
The Price of Plague: The Masque of the Red Death on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Seance on a Wet Afternoon and Ring of Spies
Chaney Chillers: Inner Sanctum Mysteries - The Complete Film Series on Blu-ray
Adelphi Extras: Stars in Your Eyes on Blu-ray
Toons for the Heads: Fantastic Planet and Adult Animation
Nature Girl: The New World on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Perfect Friday and Robbery
Network Double Bills: The House in Nightmare Park and The Man Who Haunted Himself
Newley Minted: The Strange World of Gurney Slade on Blu-ray
Bad Love: The Night Porter on Blu-ray
Brevity is the Soul of Weird: Short Sharp Shocks on Blu-ray
Get Your Ass to Mars: Total Recall on Blu-ray
Call the Professionals: Le Cercle Rouge on Blu-ray
When There's No More Room in Hell: Dawn of the Dead on Blu-ray
The Butterfly Effect: Mothra on Blu-ray
Living Room Theatre: Play for Today Volume 1 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 2631 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
Graeme Clark
  Chris Garbutt
  Sdfadf Rtfgsdf
Darren Jones
Andrew Pragasam
Stately Wayne Manor
Enoch Sneed
  Geraint Morgan
   

 

Last Updated: