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We trundled off to the Cineplex this evening to see Annihilation, the new Alex Garland film. You might recall his directorial debut, Ex Machina. Most of the people at the Queensway tonight were there for Black Panther. There were signs saying various showings were sold out. I suspect some of the people at Annihilation had shown up for Black Panther only to discover it was full. Those people were in for a surprise.

Put a group of people together in a strange, intense and scary environment and watch them have an adventure. You know, like Scooby-Doo or Fantastic Voyage. OK, now crank up the weirdness dial to full throttle. Add in some drop-dead gorgeous effects and a storyline about a strange “shimmer”, changing and mixing and mutating everything within it down to the cellular level, including the film’s characters. Stir it up and you’ve got Annihilation.

Annihilation is perhaps closer to an art film than a Hollywood film. It is compelling, disturbing, raw, fascinating, beautiful, weird, ambitious and tremendously imaginative. Some people who came for Black Panther might be disappointed, just because it’s a different kind of thing altogether. Annihilation might not be a huge hit for mass audiences, but it is very, very good.

See this one on the big screen, the biggest screen you can find. Recommended.


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