JakeBaker’s review published on Letterboxd:
Going into Annihilation my expectations were through the roof. When I first saw the trailer I didn’t know how to feel about it but every viewing of the trailer after that made me more and more excited for the night of February 22nd. As the credits rolled saying my mind was blown is an understatement. Despite my expectations being so high, Annihilation blew them out of the water. With that being said, Annihilation is a modern day sci-fi horror masterpiece. I mean that.
From watching the trailer then going into the theater you think you have a grasp of the story already. Then the first 30 minuets go by and it’s something totally 180 of what you think it’s going to be. No spoilers of course but Annihilation plays out that way through the entire film. You think you can predict what’s going to happen from the trailers but Annihilation continues to throw more and more twists and turns at you until the final credits. The spectacular and heart racing third act alone is like a roller coaster you don’t have a chance of looking over before you ride it. The story here is so unique, fresh, beautiful, and frightening that the only way I can describe it is sublime.
The other aspect of Annihilation that caught me by surprise was the performances. Holy cow I didn’t expect them to be this great to be honest. Every single performance given in this movie is spectacular. Annihilation provides acting at its finest. Natalie Portman arguably gives the best performance of her career. She was born for this role. Benedict Wong gives a great performance as Lomax, sadly he’s not on screen as much as I expected but in the scenes that he is, he’s truly excellent. Oscar Isaac is phenomenal in the scenes that he’s in. The supporting roles by Jennifer Jason Leigh, Gina Rodriguez, Tuva Novotny, and Tessa Thompson is a set of performances by supporting characters that’ll be hard to compare in terms of greatness. They happened to fit together exceptionally here. Their chemistry throughout is unquestionably solid.
From the trailer you could expect that this film was going to have amazing and beautiful visuals, and so it did. The vibrant colors of the shimmer were always noticeable and delightful. The colors complimented the gorgeous cinematography very well. The shots in the third act compared to the rest of the film are outstanding. I was throughly convinced that I had several eyegasms during Annihilation.
Overall, Annihilation is undoubtedly a modern day sci-fi horror masterpiece. The performances, the beautiful yet sublime visuals, and the unique and frightening story is what makes Annihilation that masterpiece film. Alex Garland, bravo.