A genre-bending horror movie that left me in awe

I don’t write about movies, this one is an exception I could not help sharing. Last night I stumbled upon ‘Annihilation‘ on Netflix, a rare genre-bending horror flick. Frankly, I had never heard of this movie. Much to my amusement, it turned out to be a gem.

Annihilation is not your regular sci-fi affair. It sneaks around the stables of psychological thriller to fantasy to body horror. I mean like any other sci-fi movie, it does push the boundaries and steps into the realm of imagination, but unlike others, it does so in an inostensible fashion. The plot unravels at a mild pace yet manages to keep you on the tenterhooks. There are parts where the plot crescendoes leaving the viewer in a delightful awe.

Patience reaps rewards

If you are a Transformers fan, chances are high you would not sit through this movie. Because it won’t give you what you want – instant gratification, that is.

‘Annihilation’ makes you wait and rewards you for your patience with well-executed setpieces – one in the first half and the other before the climax and then, tops it off with the climactic revelation itself.

Natalie Portman’s portrayal of the lead character ‘Lena’ – a biologist with a military background – is top notch but it’s not her, not her character, it’s the surreality of the movie you find yourself immersed in. It is one of those movies where the characters are just the pawns in the game and dispensable.

It does give you an impression of another Predator rip-off. There is a scene where the team of five women cross over into the rainbowish realm called ‘Shimmer’. For a passing moment, I thought to myself, “Predator starring an all-female cast?” Boy, was I wrong!

Stepping into the Shimmer (pic courtesy: https://io9.gizmodo.com)

The only bummer for me was the background score. It lacks the eerieness of ‘The Thing‘ and it was incongruous with the entire spectacle.

I read somewhere that Paramount studio bosses were perplexed when they saw the movie and didn’t know what to do about it. Subsequently, Paramount handed it over to Netflix. Though they did release it in theatres in the US and China market. I think Paramount has passed up a great movie here!

Conclusion

I was in two minds whether to write about my movie experience on what is a primarily a book blog. This remains a book blog. I am not pivoting nor turning this into a movie-reviews blog. But if you are not writing or reading or doing something you usually do over this weekend, then, I highly recommend you watch this movie.


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