Natalie Portman Dives Into the Surreal in the First Trailer for Annihilation

I’ve been a fan of Alex Garland’s writing since 28 Days Later, and his jump into directing with Ex Machina proved his ability to tell engaging stories with visual flair.  As such, I’ve been anxious to see more about his next film, Annihilation, based off the novel of the same name (which you can purchase here).  Today we get our first trailer and what it lacks in story details, it makes up for with sheer atmosphere: 

Having not read the book it’s based on, I can’t begin to tell you what the hell is going on in this trailer…but I honestly don’t care at this point either.  The tease is intriguing, promising a trippy sci-fi adventure, with some deep character moments.  This trailer is all about setting the tone and it does so incredibly well with stunning cinematography.  Here’s the plot description from the book: 

Area X has been cut off from the rest of the continent for decades. Nature has reclaimed the last vestiges of human civilization. The first expedition returned with reports of a pristine, Edenic landscape; the second expedition ended in mass suicide; the third expedition in a hail of gunfire as its members turned on one another. The members of the eleventh expedition returned as shadows of their former selves, and within weeks, all had died of cancer. In Annihilation, the first volume of Jeff VanderMeer’s Southern Reach trilogy, we join the twelfth expedition.

The group is made up of four women: an anthropologist; a surveyor; a psychologist, the de facto leader; and our narrator, a biologist. Their mission is to map the terrain, record all observations of their surroundings and of one another, and, above all, avoid being contaminated by Area X itself.

They arrive expecting the unexpected, and Area X delivers―they discover a massive topographic anomaly and life forms that surpass understanding―but it’s the surprises that came across the border with them and the secrets the expedition members are keeping from one another that change everything.

All in all, I’m definitely eager to see more.  What about you? 

Annihilation hits theaters on February 23, 2018