Annihilation teaser Natalie PortmanI’m about halfway into the final book of Jeff VanderMeer’s Southern Reach Trilogy, and I gotta say, it’s beautiful, totally unsettling and one of the purest forms of sci-fi I’ve encountered in a good while. The first book, Annihilation, has been adapted into film form, and by none other than Ex Machina’s Alex Garland. You better believe there’s cause to be excited.

Aside from what appears to be some structural changes, this first teaser seems to have nailed VanderMeer’s tone, one that mines natural wonder and turns it into something alien and grotesque. As you can see, the ensemble could be worth a viewing alone, but the visuals also offer up a lot to be amazed by.

In the book, an all-female team is sent into what’s only known as Area X, a reality-bending area of wilderness that’s been overtaken by an inexplicable barrier. Challenged by the unnatural occurrences beyond the wall, each women is forced to confront inner demons and each other in the face of some Lovecraftian madness. There are some creature mysteries, a hypnotic pace, and an ending that doesn’t quite go where you’d expect.

If there’s anyone to adapt VanderMeer’s seemingly unfilmable prose, its Garland, and now, we’ve got 2018’s first must-see film on the radar.

SG