Annihilation ★★★★

The overly-nostalgic of us born in the '70s are always chasing the new ALIEN or BLADE RUNNER or THE THING, and this is it. However, it's not the new STALKER, regardless of any similarities in story or attempted tone. Candidly, the qualitative difference between Garland's atheism and Tarkovsky's Christianity goes a long way toward explaining why the scope is narrower in terms of the actual danger presented to the people who enter the "zone" in each film. We're still primarily engaged in ANNIHILATION at the level of fear of what will happen to the characters' lives and their bodies. STALKER's aimed at the characters' souls.

That doesn't mean that Garland's film isn't a great one, but it just isn't designed to bring about the same sort of contemplative mood as STALKER. To the point, I doubt anybody will describe ANNIHILATION as boring.

Still, it's a well-constructed sci-fi thriller. I'm looking forward to repeat viewings to see further how the characters become refracted and combined post-Shimmer. For example, Lena's acquired Anya's Ouroborus tattoo, and am I crazy to think that by the last interrogation scene her face seemed a bit broader, too, a little more like JJL's?