Teaser Trailer for ANNIHILATION Starring Natalie Portman

Writer/director Alex Garland made one of my favorite films of 2015 in Ex Machina, an original film about a young programmer who is selected to participate in a ground-breaking experiment in A.I. created by the reclusive CEO of the company he works for. The film was a story of ideas that was executed with purpose-something that is deceptively difficult to pull off. So, to say I'm excited for Garland's follow-up is something of an understatement. Based on a novel by Jeff VanderMeer, Annihilation is actually the first in a trilogy of books knows as the "Southern Reach Trilogy" that takes its name from the secret agency that is central to the plot. Specifically, Annihilation covers the story of a biologist (Natalie Portman) who signs up for a dangerous, secret expedition where the laws of nature don't apply. Though I haven't read the source material I'm somewhat cautious as to whether or not I should immediately dive into doing so or if I should wait and go into the film as cold as possible. Given this doesn't drop in theaters until next year I may try to take down the whole of the book series before then, but as Garland's work tends to be rather cryptic and expertly crafted in terms of teasing out ideas and plot in a fashion we don't much see anymore I'm hesitant to spoil anything about what this film might contain before its release date. Either way, I'm more than intrigued by what this trailer has to offer as the tone and visuals very much hit that ethereal sci-fi vibe I'm a sucker for with much of the content and conversation seemingly dealing in psychological and rather haunting ideas. Not to mention, Garland has rounded up quite the cast to bring this thing to life as noted below, but it will be nice to once again see Portman stretch her wings in a bigger, more fantastical world than we have in quite some time while not seeming to sacrifice the depth she likes to bring to each of her projects. Annihilation also stars Jennifer Jason Leigh, Tessa Thompson, Gina Rodriguez, Tuva Novotny, Oscar Isaac, and opens on February 23rd, 2018.

Synopsis: A team of four women (a biologist, an anthropologist, a psychologist, and a surveyor) set out into an area known as Area X. The area is abandoned and cut off from the rest of civilization. They are the 12th expedition. The other expeditions have been fraught with disappearances, suicides, aggressive cancers, and mental trauma.

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