Annihilation Movie Explained: The Ending, Plot, Spoilers

The release of the sci-fi thriller “Annihilation” bypassed the big audience and after 17 days after the premiere the film became available on Netflix, where we recommend watching it. This decision was due to the fact that during the first test views, most of the audience considered the picture “too smart”, which was the last highlight in the hope of box office.

Despite this, the film was warmly received by the audience and critics, and instead of the expected ton of misunderstanding, they began to actively discuss the plot and meaning. Thanks to this, “Annihilation” did not disappear as a film project and became one of the best science fiction films of 2018.

Below we will talk about the hidden meaning of “Annihilation”, try to explain the plot and the ending. It is important to understand that our vision is not the ultimate truth, and the text below is crowded with a large number of spoilers. Go.

frames from the movie
frames from the movie “Annihilation”

Briefly about the plot of “Annihilation”

A group of young women scientists, including biologist Lena (Natalie Portman), psychologist, physicist, paramedic and geomorphologist go to “District X”, – a place where an unknown meteorite crashes somewhere on the US coast. The entire “District X” covers the “the Shimmer” – a mysterious phenomenon that looks like a big soap bubble.

frames from the movie
frames from the movie “Annihilation”

In the “the Shimmer” zone, satellite communications do not catch, and time flows in a completely special way. The girls have to go through the entire zone in order to get to the epicenter of the crash in the form of an old lighthouse.

frames from the movie “Annihilation”

Is “annihilation” a treatise on cancer?

Definitely yes. In the first minutes of the action, “Annihilation” creates an excellent allusion to existing films of a similar genre. For example, – “Roadside Picnic” of the Strugatsky brothers. The same unknown zone, similar heroes, a difficult mission and a sense of danger at every turn.

By the way, “Annihilation” is primarily a book, on which the film itself was shot. And if we talk about the book, it’s hard to say what this is really about. But if it comes to the film, then for almost two hours, the director now and then draws an analogy with cancer. In some places it’s beautiful, in some places it’s very strange and even scary, in general – brilliant. But let’s get it in order.

frames from the movie
frames from the movie “Annihilation”

At least three times in the entire film, we see references to cancer as a disease. The first time in a lecture where the main character talks about tumor cells. At this time, on the screen we see the natural process of cell division, the frames of which will continue to accompany us. For example, while studying samples in a zone or creating a double of Lena. Only they, by analogy with “the Shimmer” , will be rainbow. The trouble is that these cells, although harmless, tend to rapidly multiply and clone. This is what happens in the “the Shimmer” zone, allowing it to expand unhindered.

frames from the movie
frames from the movie “Annihilation”

The second in the conversation between Lena and Cass, where Cass talks about his daughter’s illness. The third during the interrogation of Lina, when it turns out that Dr. Ventress had cancer, and therefore was not afraid to die in the zone.

frames from the movie
frames from the movie “Annihilation”

Such references, like simple tips, allow you to more and more immerse yourself in the atmosphere of the film, looking for similarities and obvious allusions.

In the course of the plot, we understand that “the Shimmer” is a prism that refracts the DNA of animals, people, and plants. Allows him to split, double, mutate, and mimic something or anyone. Just like cancer cells.

frames from the movie
frames from the movie “Annihilation”

For this reason, all living things in the film tend to mutate and / or imitate parts of other creatures. Example: people mutated into plants, copying their composition and appearance, while remaining in the shape of a person. The crocodile built shark teeth, and the bear mimics the voice of its victims using extracted vocal cords. There are, of course, more innocuous examples, such as deer with flowers, or a tattoo on Lena’s arm, but the general message is clear.

frames from the movie
frames from the movie “Annihilation”

Is the expedition of girls a cure?

Similar to the fact that the “the Shimmer” zone is cancer or cancer cells, the expeditions sent there are immune cells that, however, cannot cope with the progressive disease. As a result, they become part of the tumor. Until a certain point. At the end of the film, Lena hands the clone a phosphate grenade that destroys the zone. Simply put, she is conducting a chemotherapy session that her husband had previously tried.

frames from the movie “Annihilation”

What made Lina go to the zone

Despite the fact that the main character, the main one, to save everyone around and the planet at the same time, Leina has a clear motivation, which is key, but not as obvious as a simple “desire to save”. She fulfills the “duty to her husband”, trying to atone for the treason.
During their stay in the Lena zone, a couple of times they visit flashbacks of sex with their robot colleague. The second time, the scene expands and we learn that this happens before all the events begin. Lena says that her husband knows everything, and this is true. Leaving in the “the Shimmer” zone, he tells her that he really loves her. But we understand that his desire to leave is due to the fact that he cannot be with her because of treason.

frames from the movie
frames from the movie “Annihilation”

Explanation of the ending of the movie “Annihilation”

What did the ending of annihilation mean?

Despite the fact that most viewers thought the ending was more than obvious: Lina died, and a clone came in her place. We believe that this is not so, and there are several reasons for this:
1. Strange gleams in Lena’s eyes are almost the main reason to consider her a clone. But most likely, this is the residual effect of the anomaly, which was transferred to Lina in the same way as the tattoo in the form of an inverted eight. A sign of infinity or self-destruction, haunting the heroine throughout the film.
2. The water in the glass is clean. Another clear clue wandering from scene to scene is water in a glass. The main characters drink it only when the effect of the anomalous zone is traced in the frame. This technique is a direct reference to flicker, because water reflects and refracts, just like a prism. The only time when the picture is not water, but juice, is the scene where the husband is only going to leave for the zone. That is, before the start of the main action. But back to the examples. Lina’s husband drinks water, immediately after returning from the zone, Lina herself drinks water during interrogation. And, it would seem, everything is logical. Both there and there water. So they are both clones. But unlike a clean glass of Lena, after a sip of her husband, blood is in the glass. The hint, as it seems to us, turned out to be more than obvious.

frames from the movie
frames from the movie “Annihilation”

Craving for self-destruction – the key idea of ​​the film

Few people are capable of suicide, but almost all are capable of self-destruction. This thought, no matter how loud it sounds, is the key. All people have cancer cells, but not all have it. The disease manifests itself selectively, but most often due to poor lifestyle. A similar thesis can explain the cause of the crash of an unknown meteorite precisely on Earth, because now our planet is not in its best condition.

frames from the movie “Annihilation”

Lena’s craving for self-destruction is manifested not only in treason, but also in how she wants to redeem her. In the end, it was the bomb from the hands of the main character that worked the way it should. Indeed, along with the bomb, the desire for self-destruction was also transmitted.

Did the real Lena die in annihilation?

As a result, Lina still survived. But does it matter on the scale of the film itself? More likely no than yes. Having blown up the center of “the Shimmer”, for a while, the disease is gone. But she didn’t completely leave the planet, because Lina’s man or double, in her, as in her husband’s clone, there was still a part of the anomaly that would make itself felt.

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