Director: Alex Garland
Writer: Alex Garland
Stars: Natalie Portman, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Tessa Thompson
Editors Note: This was originally written in 2018 on Garrett’s Letterboxd account.
“If I don’t make it to that lighthouse soon, the me that started this journey won’t be the me that finishes it, and I want to be the one that finishes it.”
Annihilation is the literal spiritual successor to The Thing I didn’t know I wanted, let alone needed.
I’ve had some great conversations about this movie and the many things it means to different people. It’s that perfect kind of genre movie that reflects your own fears and desires back at you, where whatever you bring to it is what you’ll get out of it.
For me, this meant Annihilation was a movie about enlightenment. Something we desire in an immediate sense, because we’re aware we need it to move forward and be better. But enlightenment, by its nature, requires the bravery to change. It’s not something we can just have that will change us for the better, it requires us to do the changing and annihilate what came before to truly use its lessons moving forward.
Then again, it’s also about cancer. It’s also about depression; about whatever you find in this unique, beautiful journey that will leave you with images you can’t forget, moments that will forever haunt you, and spiritual gifts that I often forget movies have the power to deliver.
Annihilation will end up being in my top ten of 2018 and I really hope more people will give it a chance this week. If you’re a movie nerd, you’ll find lots to love here as its dripping with influences from John Carpenter to Alejandro Jodorowsky. If you’re just a casual moviegoer, this is a trippy movie probably unlike any you’ve seen before, and if you let it wash over you and just sink its rhythms, I think you’ll be rewarded with a truly unique experience. Just leave those expectations at home.