Annihilation trailer pits Natalie Portman against biological horrors

Danny Woods
December 14, 2017

Annihilation is based on the first book in the Southern Reach trilogy, Jeff VanderMeer's mysterious sci-fi thrillers. For one thing, in the book, the characters are never given names: they're the Surveyor, the Psychologist, the Anthropologist, etc.

In an effort to find out what happened to her husband, Portman's character, simply referred to as the biologist, enters an environmental disaster zone where she encounters a number of unusual plants, animals and other life forces that she wasn't prepared for. Portman's character decides to venture into the location after her husband returns from the unusual area with an unknown illness.

Annihilation is directed by Alex Garland, who also directed Ex Machina and has written the script for Annihilation, Sunshine, and 28 Days Later.

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That's just about all you need to know before firing this one up. Natalie Portman stars in the film and leads a group of scientists, played by Jennifer Jason Leigh (The Hateful Eight), Tessa Thompson (Thor: Ragnarok), and Gina Rodriguez (Jane the Virgin), into unknown land to find out what attacked her now-comatose husband (played by Oscar Isaac).

Like Alien or The Descent (a 2005 all-female horror film which still holds the record for most onscreen dialogue said by women to women), Annihilation makes a villain out of mutation and the next stage of life. They would do well to build the hype as the novels do. In the trailer, Portman's character exclaims, "It's not destroying, it's making something new".

Alex Garland, the director behind the 2015's break-out sci-fi film Ex Machina, is behind the feature, which will hit theaters in the US on Feb 23 via Paramount.

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