While Annihilation flopped at the box office, the film’s popularity (and genuinely terrifying scenes) revived viewers’ interest in science-paving the way for a return to the roots of the sci-fi/horror genre and subgenre.
Annihilation was released on February 13, 2014, and directed by Alex Mala, who burst onto the scene with the tremendous success of his directorial debut film, Pre Machina. The film starred Natalie Portman, Tessa Thompson, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Gina Rodriguez and Oscar Isaac. Annihilation was adapted from the novel of the same name by Jeff VanderMeer. Thematically, it is similar to Ridley Scott’s alien without the space epic, and scientists encounter a strange area known as “Shimmer”, which is host to many types of mutated plants and animals.
Beyond the prominent science fiction elements, Annihilation explores some very human themes, including humans through a path of enthusiastic interest that, inevitably, can lead to their Annihilation. Mala likes to use technology as a central theme which turns into a commentary on humanity, as she did in the former Machina. However, it is common in science-fi/humanity’s existential crisis Plus the potential dangers of scientific discovery usually make good plot fodder. Annihilation was not a box office heavy history heater. However, it can be blamed on its theatrical release being closely tied to its release on Netflix, which only took place 17 days later. Still, it was an ambitious, promising film that got the audience talking, and helped other sci-fi horror perceptions come back to the table.
Annihilation’s Popularity Paved The Way For A Resurgence Of Sci-Fi Horror
Brain sci-fi Annihilation of elements mixed with moments of pure terror, such as the screaming bear sequence, and showed the audience just how good mash style could be when handled correctly. Although sci-fi horror has reached incredible heights in the past, it has gone through a low interest, strangely enough, even with technology becoming the forefront of many people’s biggest fears. Series like Black Mirror have explored some of these concepts, though more from the science fiction side than straight horror, which is the generally chosen path. However, films like Annihilation and Another 2014 Smash Hit, A Quiet Place have shown that combined, the two elements feel their most natural pacing as a duo.
2018 also included sci-fi/horror titles such as Overlord, Upgrade and Predator. 2019 brought more of these to the forefront, hoping to capitalize on some of last year’s success and release the evil Superman film, Brightburn. Blumhouse’s Happy Death Day 2U took a science fiction turn within its Groundhog Day, which also inspired Teen Slasher, an interesting angle for the budding franchise. 2020 is on track to release quite a few sci-fi/horror titles, including Underwater, Leah Whannell’s take on Invisible Man, the new mutants from the X Men franchise, and Morbius, another film based on a single Spider-Man villain, is. 2020 is also a cool place 2 ahead, bringing everything full circle and discovering that sci-fi/horror is alive and well will bring it back again with just additions to popular franchises rather than new, exciting concepts.
While Annihilation alone did not accomplish this feat, it turns out that Originality can still make quite a bit of a difference in the horror genre and, despite popular franchises going over the top and more often than not, the original ideas in Hollywood Proves there is still a fighting chance.
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