The most beautiful moments from the 'Annihilation' teaser
Director Alex Garland's upcoming sci-fi epic brings to life a mysterious world unlike any we've ever seen before.
Nearly three years after British filmmaker Alex Garland announced his intentions to direct the science fiction thriller "Annihilation," eager fans finally have their first look behind the curtain.
The film, an adaptation of American author Jeff VanderMeer's celebrated first book in the "Southern Reach Trilogy," revolves around an all-woman team of researchers sent to investigate an environmental disaster zone on Earth known as Area X. As shown in the new teaser released, what they encounter is both beautiful, otherworldly and downright deadly.
The team of researchers includes a psychologist played by American actress Jennifer Jason Leigh, an anthropologist played by "Jane the Virgin" star Gina Rodriguez, a surveyor played by American actress Tessa Thompson (who also co-starred with Israeli actress Alona Tal on "Veronica Mars"), a linguist played by Swedish actress Tuva Novotny, and a biologist played by Israeli-American actress Natalie Portman.
While the film follows these women as they explore Area X, the focus as presented by the teaser trailer is squarely on Portman's character and what she experiences within the disaster area. Using the same acting talents that brought her critical acclaim for "Jackie" and an Academy Award for "Black Swan," the Harvard grad is the perfect fit for conveying the enigmatic horrors of VanderMeer's story.
Much like his previous work with the 2014 artificial intelligence thriller "Ex Machina," Garland is being extremely careful about not giving too much away with this teaser. From what we can tell, those entering Area X appear to become infected somehow with something that slowly turns them into plants. As seen in the image below, the infection appears to start slowly under the skin.
Unfortunately for those infected, later scenes appear to show the outlines of humans who succumbed to the alien life form, leaving behind only floral outlines.
The way "Annihilation's" alien virus takes hold (as shown in the shot of the deer below) is reminiscent of the fungal infection that's at the center of the award-winning video game "The Last of Us." In that 2013 thriller, conceived by Israeli-American creative director Neil Druckmann, infected humans are eventually transformed into giant fungal plants.
Based on the way the situation degrades over the course of the teaser, as well as what appear to be flashbacks to Portman's character after the expedition, we're pretty certain that a fair number of the team members do not return from Area X. As seen below, large portions of it also seem to beautifully combust.
While those who have read VanderMeer's trilogy are in the know as to what's going on here, the rest of us will have to wait to unravel this beautiful puzzle of horrors until Feb. 23, 2018. You can check out the full teaser below.
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