2015 saw the release of Ex Machina, the directorial debut of acclaimed writer Alex Garland (28 Days Later, Sunshine, Dredd). Thanks to that movie’s critical acclaim and Oscar-winning visual effects, Garland’s directorial career is on the way up.
Garland’s follow-up is Annihilation, an adaptation of Jeff VanderMeer’s 2014 novel of the same name. The film follows a biologist (Natalie Portman) and her team venturing into an unknown forest preserve inhabited by strange organisms. Portman enters the preserve after her husband (Oscar Isaac) returns from said preserve comatose. When she enters, Portman and her team (Jennifer Jason Leigh, Tessa Thompson, Gina Rodriguez) encounter a life form that could be more sinister than anything ever seen.
While the trailer is merely a teaser and sparse with details, it’s a gorgeous sneak peek. The film’s muted yet lush colors are provided by cinematographer Rob Hardy, who also worked on Ex Machina. Garland’s success seems to have given him good graces with Paramount Pictures as he looks to have been given a bigger budget and the vast location of England’s North Norfolk woods.
Annihilation seems right up Garland’s ally with it’s atmospheric sci-fi and hints of tension-laden violence. While it might be a downgrade in subtext compared to Ex Machina‘s looming themes of creation and the God complex, it should provide some great thrills for those disappointed by the likes of sci-fi duds like Life and Alien: Covenant.
Annihilation hits theaters on February 23, 2018. What do you think of the movie from it’s first look? Let us know in the comments below and be sure to stick with The Young Folks for the latest movie news.