From director Alex Garland (Ex Machina, 28 Days Later), Annihilation isn’t exactly a horror movie, but horror fans are eating it up, including this guy right here! (You can tell, but I’ve got my thumbs pointed inwards). The film has a somewhat ambiguous ending, but it definitely strikes a hopeful tone. Things could have gone much differently, however, as Garland recently told /Films.
Related Article: (SPOILERS) “Annihilation” Ending Explained
WARNING: Below There Be Spoilers!
So, when the Annihilation ends, Lena (Natalie Portman) is pretty sure her husband Kane (Oscar Isaac) is a clone. We’re not so sure about Lena herself; though she seems to have killed The Shimmer, the final shot shows her eyes glistening with the tell-tale alien sheen. So, it doesn’t really matter if Lena is the original or the copycat because The Shimmer is now a part of her.
But that’s not how it was originally imagined.
An earlier, un-dated draft of the script, however, has a far-less-ambiguous conclusion. For one thing, Garland flat-out underlines the fact that we can’t be sure which Lena is returning home – the real Lena, or her doppelgänger. After the confrontation that results in one of the Lena’s being destroyed, Garland writes:
“There is no clear indication as to which LENA lived, and which LENA died.”
Things get even stranger from there. After Lena and Kane embrace each other, Garland’s earlier script takes things even further, ending with an alien-invasion style ending that indicates Earth’s problems are far from over. At the start of the film, we see a meteor crashing to earth, setting the chain of events of the film in motion. After Lena and Kane embrace, Garland’s script features a scenario that recalls the opening of the film:
BEHIND HER –
– we can see through the window to the night sky.
And in that sky, we see a SHOOTING STAR.
CUT TO –
INT. LOWER ATMOSPHERE – NIGHT
– the shooting stars as FALLING METEORS.
What do you think horror fans? Would Annihilation have been better with a full out invasion at the end, or is it best left ambiguous? Let’s discuss in the Comments section! If you haven’t see Annihilation for yourself yet, peep the trailer and synopsis below.
Official Synopsis: Based on Jeff VanderMeer’s best-selling Southern Reach Trilogy, Annihilation stars Natalie Portman, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Gina Rodriguez, Tessa Thompson, Tuva Novotny and Oscar Isaac. It was written and directed by Alex Garland (Ex Machina, 28 Days Later).