It might be easier to explain Annihilation by telling you what the movie isn’t. It isn’t a comedy, that’s for sure. Nor is it a period-accurate costume drama. Beyond that, though? Annihilation could squeeze into just about any label you give it: a horror film; a science-fiction flick that toys with the possibility of extraterrestrial life; a wilderness adventure; a romantically yearning character study; a chilling, painfully suspenseful mystery; a “message” film about either the environment or male toxicity, depending on where you feel like directing your anger; an abstract, allegorical art piece with long stretches of dialogue-free visuals. However you classify it, Annihilation is the best kind of cinematic experience—one that floods the senses without battering them into submission, and one that moves the mind and heart without manipulating them.
by Ned Lannamann
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