Annihilation was one of those films I didn’t know what to think of when I first saw the trailer to it, but I knew I had to see it after enjoying director Alex Garland’s Ex Machina that he made before this one. I’m glad I got to experience this in 4K, as the enhanced details and especially the HDR colors make this intense sci-fi thriller an experience for the senses that will keep you on the edge.
The plot follows a biologist and former soldier named Lena (Natalie Portman) who is surprised to see her previously missing husband (Oscar Isaac) arrive home with a deadly illness after going on a secret mission in “The Shimmer”, a mysterious area no one has ever returned from until now. It’s up to Lena to find out exactly what happened and what this secret area contains as she and her team enter the shimmer and learn its deadly secrets that threaten to mutate and destroy all life as we know it.
I don’t want to spoil any of the cool secrets and mysteries of the shimmer, as to make sure any viewer gets the maximum intended effect of entering the world it contains. Needless to say it’s both beautiful and deadly for Lena and her team as they do their best to wade through it and find out what’s at the end. The 4K visuals and HDR make this magical-looking place look even better and serves as a perfect example of what the enhanced details and colors can do to improve a movie. The Dolby Atmos audio is just as amazing, as every sound jumps out just as much as the picture does.
As far as special features go, they’re broken up into three parts that represent the areas in the film, starting with Part One: Southern Reach that contains “Refractions” that shows how director Alex Garland created the look for the various set pieces, and “For Those That Follow” that features the cast’s take on their characters and how the plot pulled them into the film. Part Two: Area X features “Shimmer” that shows how the crew went about bringing the famed area to life, and “Vanished into Havoc” that goes behind the action bits, stunt work, and special effects of the movie. Lastly Part Three: To the Lighthouse contains “Unfathomable Mind” that goes even more into the visual effects and how critical they are to the film, and “The Last Phase” that has both the cast and crew sharing some of their experiences while filming Annihilation.
Annihilation is a dark and thrilling sci-fi piece that anyone will come out liking thanks to amazing visuals, a great cast, and a story that’s sure to pull in any who give it a chance. The inclusion of some nice extras and a beautiful 4K transfer with HDR further seals the deal in making this one a great addition to any move collection.