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Review Annihilation (2018): A Color Out of Space done wrong!

genre: adventure, drama, horror

Yesterday I had the pleasure to watch Color Out of Space (2019) with Nicolas Cage. While watching this films I saw a lot of similarities with Annihilation until I was convinced that Annihilation is an adaptation of H.P. Lovecraft's Color Out of Space as well. But one that did it wrong. Let me explain.

For the most part I enjoyed Annihilation. I really did. However when it ended I felt nothing. It basically ended without giving you something. Nic Cage's film might be far from perfect but it does deliver on what is promised. Annihilation just fizzles out. The worst the film could do is to remove that one aspect that made it special in the first place. I am not going to spoil it but Lovecraft aficionado's will know what I am referring to. Now, director Alex Garland easily could have given a spin to the story that would play out different. Unfortunately he and the producers decided to go another route. Mainly to have this film spout SJW propaganda. 

To be clear I had very little problems with the mostly female cast. However due to lack of substance and real thrills I noticed the feminist element quite a lot. It went to an extent that it became distracting at times. Instead of giving us fleshed out characters we are given empty archetypes. None of the characters really connect with each other or bring out compelling dynamics. Except in once scene which was mostly plot based. But call me nostalgic I like the banter between team members who are put together on a mission. And yes the marines in Aliens for example also were archetypes. Still they were more than that. Mostly it was bravado to hide their true nature and resolve. There is nothing wrong with that. In Annihilation there is no humour whatsoever. Am I supposed to believe that women don't joke among themselves when on a mission? Lena and the other team members barely respond to what they are seeing and experiencing. And when they finally do respond it's so exaggerated and unprofessional it's unbelievable. None of them actually talk to each other. Again, these are women we are talking about. Wasn't there even one of them who loved talking? Come on! 

If the film had delivered on it's promise I would have forgiven the flat characters and political agenda. What is truly unforgivable that the film didn't even try to bring on the true dread and terror that Lovecraftian horror is famous for. A wasted opportunity if you ask me!

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