First 'Annihilation' Trailer Shows Natalie Portman Embarking on a Surreal Journey

Wednesday, 27 September 2017 - 7:22PM
Wednesday, 27 September 2017 - 7:22PM
First 'Annihilation' Trailer Shows Natalie Portman Embarking on a Surreal Journey
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With Annihilation, director Alex Garland has a challenge. Having proven his sci-fi storytelling mettle with Ex Machina, Garland now needs to prove that his successful, emotionally powerful high-concept robot movie wasn't a fluke, and that he can deliver a similarly impressive directorial vision on future movies.

Not that his grim sci-fi storytelling resume doesn't speak for itself. Ex Machina may have been Garland's directorial debut, but as the scriptwriter for 28 Days Later, Dredd (the recent reboot, not the terrible original), and Sunshine, it's worth assuming that this guy knows his stuff.

Either way, Annihilation looks satisfyingly different from Ex Machina, while still presenting a visceral sci-fi treat, which is a nice sign. What's more, this movie looks absolutely insane. Check out the trailer below:

The movie looks cool, right? It's a shame that it's hard to tell what's actually going on.

Annihilation is based on a novel by Jeff Vandermeer, and is billed as the story of a biologist's quest to find out what happened to her dead husband when he volunteered for a dangerous suicide mission to investigate a place known as "Area X". There are a lot of vague elements to the story, left deliberately obscure so that audiences can fill in the blanks for themselves, and it seems that Garland is steering directly into surrealist town in interpreting the book for the big screen.

Vandermeer has described the movie as being "mind-blowing," and admits that in some places it might have veered a little too far off into surrealist storytelling. If you've heard the recent debate surrounding the meaning of Darren Aronofsky's mother!, then assume that this film will be similar - nameless characters who are possibly allegorical, in a world of unreliable narrators and mis-remembered dream sequences.

This is a grown-up, scary-looking Alice in Wonderland that's filled with mind-control, hallucinations, mysterious deaths, and some other, even crazier stuff later in the story that will definitely leave an impact on the viewer - and that's just the book, before Garland cranks things up to eleven for his adaptation.

To a certain extent, this is a smart move for Alex Garland's second movie. If this thing gets panned by critics, he can blame its failure on the ridiculousness of the source material. If the movie works well, he can claim the glory for turning a bizarre novel into an even more bizarre feature.

Either way, it's impressive just how many big name stars have signed on to go through with a depressing drug trip of a premise. If you loved Ex Machina but thought it played things a little too safe with its sci-fi scenario, you haven't seen anything yet.
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