The 2014 science fiction novel by Jeff VanderMeer, Annihilation, seemed almost impossible to visually adapt, but there’s one thing director Alex Garland seems to have nailed: how creepy it is.
In the movie’s teaser, we see Natalie Portman enter a hallucinogenic world of shimmering light that feels almost sentient, backed up by Gina Rodriguez, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Tuva Novotny, and Tessa Thompson. We also get a glimpse of her husband, played by Oscaar Isaac, who deteriorates before her eyes after stepping foot into the mysterious Area X.
Eventually, the tone shifts from “maybe these woods are haunted” to “murder in Candyland” as people brandish weapons, scratch their skin off, and get sucked into abandoned shacks by unseen forces as an ominous siren blares. We may not find out all the secrets of VanderMeer’s world in this movie (or we may!), but we’ll definitely be immersed in the vibe of imminent danger.