Netflix's latest horror is getting some excellent reviews

WATCH: Oscar Isaac and Alex Garland on filming Annihilation, practical effects and more

WATCH: Oscar Isaac and Alex Garland on filming Annihilation, practical effects and more

However, Paramount Pictures nabbed the film rights nearly immediately, and director Alex Garland was soon attached. They are unable to contact the outside world, so they struggle to press forward to the lighthouse, noticing unusual genetic variations in the plant and animal life, such as vast plant systems that seem to flower into a variety of different species. Lena's mission takes her on a journey that shatters her very notion of reality as she discovers a freakish fusion of biological material across the area. The freaky landscape they must navigate - trying to reach the point where The Shimmer originated, and thus unlock some answers - is fraught with peril, creating an odd sense of tension, leavened by occasional moments of dark humor thanks to the sheer absurdity of the obstacles they encounter. No one has returned from inside The Shimmer, except Portman's husband (Isaac), who seems not himself and is now in a government lab.

When Lena, who met Kane during her own time in the Army, learns that the woman supplying her with this information, psychologist Dr. Ventress (Jennifer Jason Leigh), will be leading another team into the Shimmer, she insists on joining.

It's possible that Lena, and all others, became Shimmer as soon as they entered.

In Annihilation, Natalie Portman stars as a biologist, Lena, whose husband went missing in a mysterious quarantined bubble known as "the Shimmer", which is filled with mutated plant and animal life.

Garland's script for Annihilation draws on the dreamy, surreal qualities of VanderMeer's novel by telling the story in a not-completely-linear manner, jumping between two points in time to keep audiences just as disoriented as the characters within the film.

What's unique about Annihilation though is that it's not getting a cinematic release in the United Kingdom and Ireland. Another potential addition to the 2018 hit movie list is Annihilation, the Natalie Portman starrer by Paramount Pictures and Netflix.

Whether Garland likes it or not, you'll be able to stream Annihilation on Netflix UK on Monday 12 March. Also of note is the eerie score by Ben Salisbury and Geoff Barrow, evoking that of György Ligeti for Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey. She joins the latest mission hoping to search for whatever might have changed him, for the traces of him he left behind. Portman's Lena is not flawless, as the film showcases, though the character is all the more fascinating for this depth.


"We did [visit the set], in another, like, 'Aren't I a cool mom?' move", Portman laughingly shared. Thompson, Gonzalez, and Novotny round out the main cast with strong performances in turn, with each given their moments to shine. Okay, that was more than one question (and a lot of Shimmer). However, without learning much about the supporting characters and knowing they aren't going to make it, it's hard to feel much for them outside of the basic connection between viewer and talented performer. With a cast diluted down to the bare necessities, but packed with acting chops any director worth their monogrammed chair would envy, Annihilation works on almost every level, delivering a mysterious and riveting experience that should shake you at least once, if not again.

The movie is a sci-fi tale mixed with some legit horror elements. It raises so many fascinating questions with so few answers that instantly, a kinship is developed between the audience and the characters. (And can we tiptoe past the recent Internet squabble over the movie's alleged whitewashing, which seems, given the statements from Garland, and the diversity of his casting, genuinely inadvertent).

Which is all to say that Annihilation is sublimely unusual. But Annihilation is more than mere visuals and it will shock, fascinate and haunt whatever screen it's watched on.

"This is an awkward problem for me, because I think whitewashing is a serious and real issue, and I fully support the groups drawing attention to it", Garland said of the backlash.

Annihilation is now playing in theaters everywhere. It runs 115 minutes and is rated R for violence, bloody images, language and some sexuality.

So much of what we are as people is based on trying to make a mark on the Universe, with our culture existing at least in part as a way of planting a flag that says to anyone or anything that comes after us, "We were here, and we thought and we dreamed and we laughed and we loved and we fought and we were good and we were bad and more than anything, goddammit, we tried".

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