Isaac’s Movie Reviews: Annihilation (R)

Isaac Ross, Co-Editor-in-Chief

Annihilation, Paramount Picture’s brand new film starring universally-adored Natalie Portman, manages to be a rare example of a film which can accomplish and span a vast multitude of genres, be socially pertinent, and be actually good at the same time. Annihilation is a sci-fi, horror, psychological thriller, feminist, action, military, fantasy, drama, adventure movie all at the same time, and it does each of these things better than many films which attempt to accomplish them individually.


Annihilation sits in the perfect sweet spot as a pseudo-horror film where it accomplishes the horror goal of unsettling the viewer without ruining their chances of sleeping when they get home. It’s location on the horror is extremely near to Steven Spielberg’s 2011 psychological thriller Super 8, in that the viewer is left guessing what the true “monster” until the end, with a key difference being that Annihilation’s “monster” is far more unnerving.


The best thing about Annihilation is how it manages to do what the recent all-female reboot of Ghostbusters tried to do last year: it is a well-done and nearly entirely female movie which portrays women as badass and powerful. The Ghostbusters problem was that it tried to convey women as action heros in spite of being women, Annihilation, shows women as fully capable because they are women. Additionally, in Annihilation, the gender of the lead actresses is not a gag, and because of this nearly every aspect of the film is made better by their gender.


As a unique and refreshing new movie, Annihilation is one of the better films to come out so far this year, and despite a relatively weak box-office showing, is a must watch. Even if horror is not your forte, Annihilation is fully manageable and enjoyable, and a fantastic way to start and broaden your horizons into a scarier and more mysterious world.