Annihilation (movie) -- anyone see it?

Saw it this weekend and liked it a lot. I’ll save the spoilers for later posts, but the concept and visuals were very interesting, and the performances were solid. A very good sci-fi movie, if not a particularly happy one.

No, but isn’t this coming to Netflix in like two weeks? In the USA, I mean. I think it is on Netflix around the world already.

In Australia, it starts on March 12 on Netflix. I’m a bit disappointed it won’t go to theaters here.

Yes, please post all the spoilers. I read the whole trilogy in one sitting and really enjoyed the creeping unexplained dread feeling and the overall mystery and the underlying conceptthat got parceled out.

So when I learned the director hadn’t even read the other two books when he wrote the screenplay, and that he changed a lot of the themes and essentially created his own explanation and climactic scene for the movie ending, and that even the author didn’t think it was anything like the book (he seemed to very much like it, but he strongly emphasized the differences) and when it seemed like it was moving more towards gross out horror and jump scares rather than psychological tension, I decided I probably better not try.

Please someone who sees it and who has also read it come in and spoil the shit out of it so I can know whether I should give the movie a chance at all.

On a non personal level, it sounds very well made and well acted and it’s really nice to see a female-ensemble sf cast movie. I’m just pretty sure it’s not my speed, unfortunately for me, and damnit cause I liked the books sooo much.

I really enjoyed the film, but I’m still processing all that I saw. I need to let it sink in for a bit. That said, if you really want spoilers, the plot summary on Wikipedia should do the job well for you.

The wife and I just watched it tonight. Really good.

One thing that jumps out at me, being in Hawaii, is Lena’s husband’s name, Kane. This may be pure coincidence, but while Kane is not an uncommon surname, Kane, pronounced “ka-nay,” is Hawaiian for “man.” I wonder if this is a clever little play.

Not so far as I can tell. Looks like it’s going to be on Netflix in most countries in March, but US, Canada and China (which got theatrical release) don’t have a scheduled Netflix date…

I saw it and really liked it. I’m also still processing. One review I read described it as a mix of Aliens and Arrival and that is a pretty spot on description.

I don’t think it’s coming to Netflix in the US soon, I think that’s everywhere else, but even if it was I’m glad I saw it in theaters, because it’s gorgeous. The visuals were stunning. The music was also interesting, with recurring Helplessly Hoping by Crosby, Stills, and Nash recurring, along with some other acoustic guitars used for the score.

I also liked that it was a mostly female cast, and they were all great.

I haven’t read the books, I bought the first one immediately after seeing the movie. I’m glad I hadn’t read the book first, I could just enjoy the movie as it happened with no expectations. I’m not sure what someone who has read the books would think of the movie.

Paramount was nervous about the movie’s prospects, so they sold the movie everywhere but the US, Canada and China to Netflix, where it will premiere seventeen days after the US release. (This article from The Hollywood Reporter goes into the details, if you’re curious.)

I saw the movie yesterday, and enjoyed it thoroughly. I understand that this is based on the first book in a trilogy of novels. Anyone know if they’re going to make movies of the rest? I hope not, because this seemed a nicely self-contained story.

By the way, I have a question about the ending, which I’ll stick in a spoiler box.

[SPOILER]We know that Kane was being treated by the Southern Reach agency and I assume Lena also had a full medical exam when she emerged. So were they unmutated aside from the eye shimmer we saw in the last scene?

Because the one guy who Kane cut open had really obvious mutations (the eel-like thing where his intestines should be). And while in the Shimmer, Lena found in her blood really obvious signs that she was being mutated. Plus the video she saw in the lighthouse suggested that the version of Kane who returned to her was the duplicate created by the Shimmer, while the real Kane blew himself up.[/SPOILER]

I was also somewhat confused by the ending.

It sounded like the Kane on the video had a kinda heavy Southern accent,
and the one behind the camera who then came around sounded like normal Kane.
So I didn’t know if I was hearing things, or if that was a clue that I was missing,
or what.

I saw it yesterday and thought it was terrible. There were several interesting ideas in the film, but they were so conflated and confused that the movie became a mishmash of pseudoscientific BS.

If you have any background in the biological sciences, avoid this movie. The misunderstanding of really basic ideas in biology will drive you crazy.

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I thought it was decent, but there was definitely a better movie lurking inside that never fully made it out.

[spoiler]For a movie about an alien force that is mutating everything it comes into contact with – from DNA and cellular reproduction, to space and time, and all the way to how humans experience the world – it was pretty disappointing that two out of five of the main characters die because they’re killed by a bear.

There were some very philosophical Ship-of-Theseus-type of problems about what it means to be a living, breathing human that could have been better explored if film had committed to it. Instead, it fell into some decent, but otherwise unoriginal genre trappings. Alex Garland had the same misstep with Sunshine, which went from being a beautiful movie about people reckoning with the notion the humanity was probably coming to an end to a generic slasher film set in space.[/spoiler]

Perhaps because I have no background in the biological sciences, I wasn’t bothered by the science in the movie. Similarly, I’m not bothered by the use of faster-than-light-speed travel in the Star Wars, Star Trek and other SF films even though I know that violates our understanding of the physics involved.

Regarding Kane’s accent at the end, I took it to be something he got from one of the guys on his squad. I could swear there was a guy with such an accent in earlier scenes.

There were several things that got mixed and matched between characters by the shimmer. The most notable example was…

[spoiler]the Ouroboros tattoo was seen first on Anya’s arm at the compound. Later, it was on the arm of the soldier who ‘grew’ into the pool wall. At the end, the bruise that Lena had on her arm turned into that tattoo. Physical characteristics beyond genetics just freely morph around under the influence of the shimmer.

The house that Kane’s team and later Lena’s team stayed in in the area was also a copy of Lena’s house in the ‘real’ world. I missed this, but apparently one of the framed artworks was the same between both houses too.[/spoiler]

…so I would guess a trait like an accent could easily be passed around.

Yeahhh…not too impressed.

This movie followed a similar pattern (although less extreme) as another Alex Garland-written film, “Sunshine”. That one started out as one of the best sci-fi movies I have ever seen, and then degenerated into a completely ridiculous pile of nonsense.

This one started out as fairly interesting although never great, and then tailed off into being pretty blah at the end. It also suffered from very uneven effects. Some of them were pretty cool and either beautiful or unnerving. Others looked really cheap and cheesy. I give it a C- overall, just short of being an actual bad movie.
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Saw it yesterday and really liked it. I had red the Vandermeer trilogy and was failry “meh” about it. More style over substance. The movie took some of the better ideas in the book and ran with them, while leaving some of the more confounding ones out. I can honestly say this is one of the few times the movie is better than the book(s), since I assume from the ending that there will be more.

I read the novel, and as far as I’m concerned, you’d be forced to stray a long way from the book to have any hope of making a decent movie.

I’ll probably watch it though, right around the time the DVD is available at my local public library.

I haven’t read the book.

I was shocked that while one of my favorite critics, Andy Greenwald, expressed very mixed feelings about the film, he thought the “last fifteen minutes” was the best part! Strenuously disagree.
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I enjoyed the movie; it was really a loose adaptation of the book, which I had no problem with. I confess to having a soft spot for media that incorporates the real unknowable rather than having a clear answer for everything, though. It’s fun to try to puzzle things out, but also fun to feel like you’re brushing up against the real ineffable. In that vein, I really liked Primer, authors like Gene Wolfe and China Mieville, and even the ending of Battlestar Galactica.

About the ending of Annihilation -

[spoiler] ISTM that the Lena that was being interviewed was the duplicate, and an unreliable narrator. Kane’s duplicate was a less faithful copy, since Kane had been subject to the ‘refraction’ of the Area for longer than Lena had been at the time they were each copied; he did say that his mind had been cut loose. Per the Psychologist’s discussion, Kane may have been self-destructive, but Lena was the suicidal one due to her guilt over her affair. It seems more likely to me that she killed herself/destroyed the source of the Area as an attempt to atone, rather than passing the grenade off to her copy. It was already clear to her that her ‘real’ husband was dead, ultimately perhaps because of her betrayal.

Certainly at the end, she doesn’t claim to be the original Lena - whether because of the blending of her body/mind with the others (tattoo), or because she was a copy of Lena, or some other reason. The destruction of the alien source stops the continual flux of the copies, and they end up stable at the end, albeit not baseline Humans.[/spoiler]