Warning! The following contains MAJOR SPOILERS for both the Annihilation book and movie. You don't want either to be spoiled for you so only read on if you're ready to break down these trippy experiences.

Following his 2014 directorial debut, Ex Machina, Alex Garland is continuing to push unsettling, thought-provoking science fiction in his sophomore film effort. This time, he took on adapting the first chapter of Jeff VanderMeer's Southern Reach Trilogy, titled Annihilation. The eco-horror novel is an eerie, atmospheric experience that requires a healthy imagination and a high tolerance for nightmares. What it is not, is easily adaptable to film. As such, the translation to the big screen requires some major changes and omissions to the source material. The differences between Jeff VanderMeer's book and Alex Garland's Annihilation are many, so feel free to fill in what I missed in the comments, but here are ten of the biggest differences.

The relationship between Lena and Kane is much more loving in the film. In the novel, the biologist and her husband had been drifting apart for some time. There is no mention of an affair, but the two were just going through the motions. Also, in the books, the biologist's husband was recruited and volunteered for the mission, which caused even more strife in their crumbling marriage. When her husband returns from Area X an empty husk, the biologist is actually the one who contacts the authorities to come take him away.

The reason Lena goes into Area X is not the same. In the books the biologist's husband died from cancer after returning from Area X, and before her own expedition. She has always been fascinated with ecosystems and just felt qualified and compelled to go. She even mentions that her husband's participation in the 11th expedition is in many ways irrelevant to why she signed up. Quite frankly, the biologist in the book is not a particularly sympathetic character. She is quite emotionless and light on personality. The film works better in this regard, giving Lena a real driving force behind joining the mission and more emotional weight to her journey. This helps the filmgoing audience to relate to her, and be more invested in her fate.

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