* * * B
Annihilation tells the story of Lena (Natalie “Padme” Portman). When her husband Kane (Oscar “Poe” Isaac) shows up after going missing while on a secret mission for the army, he is seriously ill. On the way to the hospital, his ambulance is stop by MPs. Lena wakes up in a mysterious military installation, “Area X”, on the edge of “the shimmer”, a zone of energy that is slowly growing. Of everyone who has ever entered the shimmer, only Kane has returned.
Lena, who has served in the army and is a cellular biologist, volunteers to enter the shimmer in hopes of finding a cure for Kane. For some reason, the team she joins are all women. Once inside the shimmer, weirdness ensues. Slowly, the truth about what it is is revealed. After the climactic conclusion is reached at the center of the phenomenon, Lena returns to Area X. I won’t spoil the ending, other than to say it is as disturbing as the rest of the film.
Though this film is science fiction, there are some good scares and some serious body horror. Natalie Portman is excellent, as are Jennifer Jason Leigh, Gina Rodriguez, and Tessa “Valkyrie” Thompson. All in all, it’s a lot of fun.