‘Annihilation’ Is Equal Parts Absorbing, Terrifying, and Discombobulating

Sci-fi Horror Leaves Your Brain Cramped and Exhausted

Sci-fi horror film Annihilation swings through its visual achievements and storytelling failures so fast it’ll leave your brain cramped and exhausted by the end. Equal parts absorbing, terrifying, and discombobulating, the movie — based on Jeff VanderMeer’s best-selling Southern Reach Trilogy and written and directed by Alex Garland (Ex Machina, 28 Days Later) — stars Natalie Portman as a biologist-soldier on a mission to save her husband and the world from the grip of an ever-expanding bubble of DNA mish-mash and death called the “Shimmer.” Despite some oddly campy dialogue among characters we never learn to care about, the fiction of Annihilation’s science is so viscerally arresting and pretty to watch that the other stuff doesn’t matter.

To submit a comment on this article, email or visit our Facebook page. To submit information to a reporter, email

event calendar sponsored by:

Hundreds Protest Trump’s Family Separation Policy

Another demonstration is planned for June 30 in De La Guerra Plaza.

Goleta Mayor and Council Salaries to Go to the Ballot

Voters asked to consider higher salaries to bring greater diversity to city government.

New Libertarian Group Seeks Major Redistricting Shakeup

Reason in Government is seeking to create an independent committee.

S.B. Attorney Gets Convicted Killer Off Death Row

Robert Lewis Jr. was deemed too intellectually disabled.

Public Trashes Hollister Ranch Deal

The California Coastal Conservancy received over 600 angry letters.