Annihilation (a review)

I checked out this movie on Netflix the other day. Apparently this is one of those movies that everyone says we need more of (and they’re right! It was a really cool movie!), but somehow there was no market for it and the studio panicked and dumped the whole thing on Netflix instead of making it an actual thing in theatres.

Annihilation was a funky mixture of 2001‘s psychedelia, Contact‘s way of dealing with the alienness of extraterrestrials, and The Thing‘s psychological and physical horror. It didn’t oversimplify, over-explain, or dumb it down. The characters were subtle and interesting and well-performed (and interestingly, I didn’t even notice the main characters were all women until reviewers pointed it out, because it didn’t matter – as indeed it shouldn’t). It was challenging and confusing and that didn’t matter, because its beauty and its handling was spot-on. You weren’t supposed to understand everything that was happening, because that was the point.

And oh boy, creepy. Creeeeepy.

I can’t really say much more than what Red Letter Media already did, so I’ll go with that.

Well worth watching (the movie, as well as the review). These are the sorts of movies we all seem to agree that they should be making. But they won’t, as long as we keep buying ticket after ticket to Disney / Marvel movies.

Which, you know, we are going to do. But we should see these ones too. I am happy to award this movie a John Saw, John Hammer, John 500-Piece Nail Set, John Power Sander, John Flawlessly Executed Dovetail Join, and John Functional Alcoholism out of a possible John Carpenter.

– Posted from my Huawei mobile phone while on the bus.

About Hatboy

I’m not often driven to introspection or reflection, but the question does come up sometimes. The big question. So big, there’s just no containing it within the puny boundaries of a single set of punctuationary bookends. Who are these mysterious and unsung heroes of obscurity and shadow? What is their origin story? Do they have a prequel trilogy? What are their secret identities? What are their public identities, for that matter? What are their powers? Their abilities? Their haunted pasts and troubled futures? Their modus operandi? Where do they live anyway, and when? What do they do for a living? Do they really have these fantastical adventures, or is it a dazzlingly intellectual and overwrought metaphor? Or is it perhaps a smug and post-modern sort of metaphor? Is it a plain stupid metaphor, hedged around with thick wads of plausible deniability, a soap bubble of illusory plot dependent upon readers who don’t dare question it for fear of looking foolish? A flight of fancy, having dozed off in front of the television during an episode of something suitably spaceship-oriented? Do they have a quest, a handler, a mission statement, a department-level development objective in five stages? I am Hatboy.
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2 Responses to Annihilation (a review)

  1. aaronthepatriot says:

    Oh I really enjoyed this movie, though I had my problems with it. Had to really think about the end, and then the movie as a whole to really get it. But…what’s that bit about not promoting it in the theaters? It was hugely promoted here. The wife and I saw it on a date. Had to stop eating at a couple of places, like colon snakes (well, she did…I apparently can eat through anything), but still it was a fun date. Was it not in your theaters?

    I thought it had a pretty normal run state-side.

    Where’s the Ant-Man and Wasp blog? Just saw it. Got things to say. My main issue: The Wasp and her lack of agency, if ya ken. It’s the problem with both movies actually, but was somehow even more in my face this time.


    Answered my own question? Holy shit did they only release this in China?

    That’s so weird. Of late, especially, I’ve been thinking studios rely on the international box office to boost movies that may not do as well in the US, etc. I guess mostly I’m thinking of the action movies and other series that are becoming commercialized and polarized, but in general I thought the international tended to save the domestic’s bacon in many cases.

    Strange they wouldn’t release this one wider.

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