It's no secret that Netflix has changed the world of TV production. And with streaming services now commonplace, Netflix has been turning its attention to movies. It recently struck a massive deal by scoring the international distribution rights to Alex Garland's sci-fi thriller Annihilation. But before that happens, it'll be released domestically by Paramount in just a few days' time. Anticipation for the film has been at a high, even in the midst of a whitewashing controversy. That scandal may end up in the film's rear view, as the critical response for Annihilation is unanimously high.
This includes us here at CinemaBlend. Our own Eric Eisenberg gave Annihilation a perfect 5-star rating, praising director Alex Garland's sophomore work. While the film has some truly terrifying visuals, it's one that ill be great on the rewatch.
Indeed, many of the reviews are focused on what Alex Garland managed to do following his triumphant debut in Ex Machina.Annihilation's moments of horror and intense visuals are also being equated to Darren Aronofsky's mother! But unlike that film, it appears that Annihilation managed to do those moments of terror true justice. Take it from USA Today's Brian Truitt:
That being said, there are some aspects of Annihilation that critics have taken umbrage with. The film uses non-linear storytelling, but that also means that audiences will know who lives and dies by the film's conclusion. IGN's Jim Vejvoda had this to say:
Just a week or so ago, Annihilation was involved in another one of Hollywood's whitewashing controversies. In the original novel's sequel, Natalie Portman's character Lena turned out to be an Asian woman. This led to a conversation about whether director Alex Garland should have given the role to another actress. But Variety's Peter Debruge actually thinks that even comparing the novel and film is counterproductive.
_Annihilation'_s visuals and scares definitely seem to be a highlight for critics. While CinemaBlend's own Eric Eisenberg nearly hyperventilated during one sequence, The Guardian's Benjamin Lee praised how the scary moments were balanced with calm and character driven storylines.
You can judge for yourself when Annihilation arrives in theaters on February 23, 2018. In the meantime, check out our 2018 release list to plan your next trip to the movies.
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Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Graduated with degrees theater and literature from Ramapo College of New Jersey. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his favorite actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid. He's particularly proud of covering horror franchises like Scream and Halloween, as well as movie musicals like West Side Story. Favorite interviews include Steven Spielberg, Spike Lee, Jamie Lee Curtis, and more.