Alex Garland’s Annihilation is a film that should have ignited the box office. It is exactly the type of original filmmaking that audiences lament theatres need more of. Unfortunately, due to poor marketing and its high concept, which asks more questions than it answers, the film flew under the radar for many people.
Thankfully, there is another chance to experience the film, or revisit it in more depth, as Annihilation arrives on a Blu-ray/DVD/Digital combo pack today courtesy of Paramount Home Media Distribution. Filled with over an hour of extras, there are plenty for both newcomers and fans of the film to dive into. Trust me, you will want to explore the special features immediately after Annihilation is done to see how they pulled off many of the technical achievements in the film.
A challenging film from beginning to end, there is a coldness to the characters and the lush environments that is fascinating to behold. It makes the themes regarding life, reinvention and the destructive nature of mankind resonates in an unsettling way.
Based on Jeff VanderMeer’s novel, the film follows a biologist, Lena (Natalie Portman), as she joins a team of scientists (Jennifer Jason Leigh, Gina Rodriguez, Tessa Thompson and Tuva Novotny) on a dangerous mission into an entity known as The Shimmer. No one knows where the dome style entity came from, but no one who has gone into it has ever come out. That is until Lena’s soldier husband Kane (Oscar Isaac) mysteriously returns after being inside for several years.
Determined to find out what happen to her husband, Lena quickly discovers that The Shimmer may hold the keys to both unlocking the mysteries of life and the power to destroy it all together.
A visually stunning and thought-provoking piece of cinema, Annihilation is an experience unlike any other. Through its exquisite sound design and meditative approach to mankind’s relation to nature and each other, it leaves the audience with plenty to ponder.
While the special features focus heavily on the technical aspects of the film, they are all worth one’s time. Two of the highlights include the “Unfathomable Mind,” which focuses on the significance of the visual effects, and “For Those That Follow,” which finds the cast shedding light on their characters and why they wanted to be part of the film.
One of the year’s best films, Annihilation is a film that demands to be revisited for years to come.
Part 1 – Southern Reach
*For Those That Follow
Part 2 – Area X
*Vanished into Havoc
Part 3 – To the Lighthouse
*The Last Phase