Annihilation is more than mere visuals and it will shock, fascinate and haunt whatever screen it’s watched on.
What are people saying?
What are critics saying?
New York Magazine (Vulture) by Emily Yoshida
To mistake Garland’s succession of haunted-house-like spectacles as Acid: The Place would be missing out on so much emotional work that he’s doing. (Although, the squeamish should be warned those spectacles range from mildly disturbing to gory and disgusting to absolutely terrifying.)
At once a gripping jungle survival thriller and an alluring sci-fi puzzle, Garland’s heady gambit confirms he’s one of the genre’s best working filmmakers.
Annihilation isn’t always as consistently well-executed or involving as it might have been, and it’s told in a manner that robs the story of some much needed life-or-death suspense, but overall it’s a bold undertaking that doesn’t play it safe and features some strong performances.
A shimmering example of what Hollywood sci-fi can achieve when the aim is high, Annihilation is a gripping, mystifying adventure and proof that a transportive experience is more rewarding than a story with clean-cut resolutions.
It is tough, bleak, brutally intense, and genuinely scary - not in the cutesy cathartic way of most horror films, but in a way that makes you ponder the nature of existence and leaves you with a pit in your stomach.
For those willing to put in the effort, Annihilation achieves that rare feat of great genre cinema, where we are not merely thrilled (the film is both intensely scary and unexpectedly beautiful in parts) but also feel as if our minds have been expanded along the way.
A psychological mystery laced with environmental disaster and alien-scary juju, Alex Garland’s elegantly unsettling Annihilation is here to shake up your night at the movies in the most mind-bendy way possible, but without foregoing the pleasures of an ambitious sci-fi entertainment.
Screen International by Tim Grierson
Able to generate dread and awe with equal skill, Annihilation is an absorbing amalgam of genres and influences, all coming together to produce a dazzling creation as vivid as the hybrid life forms our heroes encounter on their perilous journey.
The Hollywood Reporter by Todd McCarthy
To be sure, the climax delivers copious amounts of blood and guts and tension and look-away temptations. But there are enough interesting surprises, in addition to the narrative promise, to provide for the presumed, and now quite desired, sequels.
This film is obviously an artistic achievement and very thought-provoking, but it leaves me with a sense of frustration that I find with a lot of Alex Garland's work. He seems to ask interesting questions and then leaves them unanswered - not in a way that I find particularly meaningful. For example, this film asks questions about identity, change, and grief, and seems content to leave things open in a way that doesn't necessarily change the terms of his questions or offer any greater insight into them than at the start of the film.
A gorgeous, thought provoking film that doesn't seem to know the answers to any of the questions it raises. Much less satisfying than ex machina. However, the bear scene is some of the most terrifying cinema I've ever witnessed. I was also very interested in the parallels, both visual and thematic, between this film and the classic Lovecraft story "The Colour Out of Space." I know this was based on a separate short story, but the allusions were so obvious they had to be intentional, right?
A sci-fi horror film with an ample amount of well-made and well-acted scenes that stick with you, even when you’d rather they didn’t, and not always for their graphic content. I would watch an ANNIHILATION sequel in a heartbeat, but tragically, Alex Garland is determined to avoid the franchise track. A thrilling, if frustrating, mind-bender.