Stuart’s review published on Letterboxd:
I did not like this movie.
I LOVED the concepts.
This movie wants SO bad to be Arrival but it's just not. Here's the thing, with the twist at the end (that admittedly is a pretty good twist) it reaches the point of "what the crap is happening" but not in a good way. I had NO idea what the meaning of the ending of Annihilation was supposed to be and couldn't even compile a reasonable theory after talking to my friend who went with me. We gave up and Googled several plot summaries which only made it more confusing and eventually I reached the point of "I was supposed to get THAT from the ending?" I love sci-fi, I love non-sequel and non-franchise work. I want to support Annihilation so bad. But it is SO vague and strange in it's final act that it's too much. It doesn't encourage discussion over meanings and symbolism like Ex Machina or Arrival but just left me confused and feeling like I missed the climax of the movie somewhere.
The music... it's not good. The amount of times the music changes genres and moods is ridiculous and doesn't serve the movie well at all. There are "jumpscares" with no buildup or tension, plot points that are just there and don't serve the overall story, and an ending that makes no sense at all.
On the upside, I felt like I was watching The Last of Us because you could swear several sets were stolen straight from scenes from that game. That's never a bad thing. Overall, Annihilation just falls short in execution and left me wishing for a more coherent tone and story.