The First Teaser For Alex Garland’s Annihilation Is Alluring And Hypnotic


Writer-director Alex Garland has been a favourite of genre fans going all the way back to the publication of his debut novel, The Beach, over two decades ago. However, science fiction junkies are now paying extra-special attention, thanks to Garland’s exceptional directorial debut, 2015’s Ex Machina.

Since that film’s release, Garland has been hard at work writing and directing an adaptation of Annihilation, the first novel in Jeff VanderMeer’s Southern Reach Trilogy, and evidence of that adaptation has finally arrived—in the form of the first teaser trailer.

Tonally, the trailer has undeniable echoes of Arrival, but Garland traces this tone—and his interest in the source material—to the cult novels of fellow Brit, J.G. Ballard. “It made me feel something like what I used to feel reading The Drowned World or The Crystal World,” he told The Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy podcast. “Ballard novels that took a strange central conceit and then just kind of exist within them, like the world is turning to crystal. There’s a sort of dream-state aspect to that that I found incredibly alluring and hypnotic, and it’s that that’s pulled me in to Annihilation.”

As the novel’s official synopsis explains, Annihilation deals with the twelfth expedition to an “Edenic landscape” known as Area X—that comes on the heels of 11 shockingly tragic missions: “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.”

Annihilation arrives in theatres on February 23, 2018.