Top 11 Best Movies like Annihilation

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A brilliant, thought provoking film, though performed mediocre in box office, critics raved about the film’s intellectual storyline, far away from giant aliens and gore that we commonly see in sci-fi films.

A breath of freshness, simply focusing on human and it’s underlying problems, loneliness, mental instability and it’s obsession towards self destruction. Annihilation, loosely based on the sci-fi horror novel of the same name by Jeff VenderMeer follows a group of female researchers entering a quarantined zone named “The Shimmer” that has appeared after a meteor crash. What follows next, is a head trip that will leave you scratching your head. The film is full of stunning visual effects, like the rhythmic dance moves done by Natalie Portman and her clone.. to the beautiful transparent trees. However there are slight presence of disturbing scenes like the intestines of the soldier moving inside his stomach like worms to the albino bear imitating the voice of it’s last victim.

A truly one of a kind film, impressive acting with puzzling ending, it has become the greatest movie of 2018.

Didn’t get enough of Annihilation ? Are you ready to lose some of your brain cells thinking “How, What, Why” then you have come to the right place. In this list I have curated some of the greatest sci-fi horror films similar to Annihilation that will blow your mind away. Enjoy!

11 Best Movies you must watch, if you enjoyed Annihilation

#11. The Abyss (1989)

Director: James Cameron

Cast: Ed Harris, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, Michael Biehn

James Cameron directed this Academy Award Winner film about aliens living beneath our oceans. The film shares many elements with Annihilation in the presence of extraterrestrial beings and their intentions of what they want to achieve on Earth. The only difference is that The Abyss takes place in deep ocean.

Like Annihilation, in The Abyss, a crew working on a submarine encounters an unidentified object and sinks. A small crew of scientists and military are sent to investigate, and what they find is beyond the understanding of human. Ed Harris, leads the team, as their curiosity deepens they realize they have encountered extraterrestrial creatures.

#10. Upstream Color (2013)

Director: Shane Carruth

Cast: Amy Seimetz, Shane Carruth, Andrew Sensenig, Thiago Martins

This sci-fi film doesn’t goes in depth like Annihilation but has an impressive storyline. The film follows two strangers, a man and a woman who have suffered the same inexplicable incident and might have a lot more in common than just being fellow humans. Years later they come to know about the experiments they were a part of, where they were infected by an unknown parasite resulting in their strange behavior and a deep connection shared with pigs.

It’s scary enough to feel you were a part of an experiment. Though it has a little resemblance to the plot of Annihilation, it shows similarities in the same horrible events like mutations and diseases in human which the protagonists in the film has no valid explanation for the occurrences.

#9. Under the Skin (2013)

Director: Jonathan Glazer

Cast: Scarlett Johansson

One of the most popular film which left the leaving audiences in bewilderment is the sci-fi, Under the Skin which is loosely based on the novel by Michel Faber. Under the Skin, stars Scarlett Johansson as an alien being in a human form, who drives around Scotland in a van and picks up men, favoring to have sex with them, only to be drugged and succumb to a strange black void where they are killed and harvested to meet her alien needs.

Though, Under the Skin is an alien film since the start it shares many elements with Annihilation. Like the terrifying scene where the victims are seen moving towards her mindlessly which is also seen in Annihilation where Kane comes back to Lena but doesn’t show any human behavior or remember anything.

Also the cave scene of Annihilation is similar to Under the Skin, where the clone of Lena rises from the core of the Shimmer, as similar event occur in Under the Skin where Scarlett finally reveals her true form which is strikingly similar to the clone in Annihilation.

“Under the Skin,” just like “Annihilation,” is one of the greatest science fiction films with outstanding performances from both the lead actresses. Both films are dark and brutal with great trippy effects and eerie music, which does a great job in releasing horror in the peak of the film.

#8. The Quiet Earth

Director: Geoff Murphy

Cast: Bruno Lawrence, Alison Routledge, Peter Smith

The film loosely is based on the 1981 science fiction novel of the same name by Craig Harrison. The film opens with Zac Hobson (Bruno Lawrence) a scientist waking up to a world where he discovers that he might be the last person on Earth. He blames his project for this mass disappearance which happened on the day his project got completed.

It feels like a boring film aimlessly moving on in the first half, but shows the general nature of human. Zac starts losing his mind when he is unable to talk to anyone and begins talking to cardboard cutouts of famous people like Hitler, the queen of England and even the Pope. He even sought to vandalism by destroying a church. His condition becomes normal when he discovers other people who have survived the event. Fearing the event will occur again, Zac decides to destroy the project.

The ending is very confusing and mysterious like most of the films in this list which doesn’t provide any explanations for the events that occurred in the film. This has led to many speculations to where did Zac end up when the second Effect occurred. Is he still on Earth or he is transported to another planet? You have to watch it and decide for yourself.

#7. Ex Machina (2015)

Director: Alex Garland

Cast: Alicia Vikander, Oscar Issac, Domhnall Gleeson

Before Annihilation, it was Ex Machina for Alex Garland. In his directorial debut Garland directed the most popular sci-fi film about artificial intelligence and explored the possibility of humanity in them.

The film follows a robot, Ava created by the famous inventor Nathan who invites a computer programmer Caleb to his isolated home to examine Ava, to tests her capacity of human emotion like attachment and attraction. The tests do yields positive results with Caleb slowly falling for Ava. Caleb soon learns that Nathan has kept Ava as prisoner and both plan to escape from Nathan’s clutches. Caleb blindly follows Ava’s plan not knowing Ava is planning a sinister move on her own.

Ex Machina doesn’t have a complex storyline like Annihilation but it’s very smart. The chilling ending of this film resonates with that of Annihilation. And it’s Garland’s first film so give it a go.

#6. The Matrix (1999)

Director: The Wachowski Brothers

Cast: Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss

The Matrix is one of the most intelligent and thought provoking classic sci-fi action films of all time. The film is set in a dystopia future, where a computer programmer Neo, is drawn in a battle against the Machines who have been using human population for years as their energy source. Neo becomes The One, the rebellion group has been searching for years and starts an all war against the Machines in dreams of freeing people from the dream world.

Matrix is remembered more for it’s action, guns, amazing fight sequences and iconic slow-mo scenes. But it shares a very important element with Annihilation, in that it has an awesome brain teasing plot, where everyone is living in a simulated reality (dream world), the so called ‘Matrix’ while their energies are harvested and used by the Machines. The film was a huge success and spawned two sequels but the ‘Matrix’ remains the one closest to Annihilation in giving us the head trip on the course of discovery of what the Matrix was which still stun us and will forever.

#5. Edge of Tomorrow (2014)

Director: Doug Liman

Cast: Tom Cruise, Emily Blunt

This action packed sci-fi horror film is has been the most successful sci-fi film of all the time. Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt starrer, the film is set in future where Earth has been under constant attack of highly intelligent aliens who threatens to takeover Earth. Tom Cruise finds himself battling against the alien with no previous training of combat. Tom is killed during the battle but experience a time loop. He is stuck and the same day repeats again and again. Enter Emily Blunt, who too was once caught in a time loop takes him under her wings and train him to improve his fighting skills as he is the only one left who can defeat the alien.

If you love battlefields and high tech armories this film is just for you.

#4. Arrival (2016)

Director: Denis Villeneuve

Cast: Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner, Forest Whitaker

The film is based on a 1998 short story, ‘ Story of Your Life’ by Ted Chiang. The film follows a linguist who must wage a way to contact the aliens following the appearance of many alien space crafts at various places around the world before it leads to war that will threaten the survival of human.

The story of Arrival is very different from that of Annihilation but shares the mood of Annihilation. Both the films are lead by a female lead who has suffered personal loss and is in attempt to distract herself by going into their respective missions.

This intelligent film doesn’t share the dark storyline of Annihilation but it explores the healthy connections between the aliens who have come to Earth to offer help.

#3. Solaris (1972)

Director: Andrei Tarkovsky

Cast: Donatas Banionis, Natalya Bondarchuk, Juri Jarvet, Vladislav Dvorzhetsky

Solaris is Russian science fiction film based on Polish sci-fi author, Stanisław Lem’s novel of the same name published in 1961. The film follows a psychologist, Kris Kelvin who travels to the Solaris space station to investigate a troubled situation in the space station. Apparently the crew members of the space station are slowly losing their minds suffering from personal emotional crisis. During investigations, the doctor starts to suffer from the same mysterious phenomenon as the crew members. He is torn apart when his dead wife appears before him only to find out it’s a replica of his wife. As they find a way to destroy these apparitions, tension rises among the crew members. Kris’s wife kills herself with the method which stops the phenomena.

Although the film is nearly three hours long, the mind bending concepts of memory and reality tells an extraordinary story which will linger for a long time.

A wonderful remake of Solaris is made in 2002 by Steven Soderbergh. It’s shorter and is more similar to Annihilation than the original one that focuses more in the strength of human emotion and love, which is pretty much felt in the entire film of Annihilation.

Can’t get enough of Solaris? Read on for another mind bending film of Tarkovsky which is featured in this list.

#2. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

Director: Stanley Kubrick

Cast: Keir Dullea, Arthur Clarke, Gary Lockwood

Can you even imagine a sci-fi movie list and not include this film. The mother of all sci-fi film, 2001: A Space Odyssey is one of the few greatest in the genre and is a force to be reckoned with.

The film was inspired by Arthur Clarke’s short story “The Sentinel”. The film follows a voyage to Jupiter where a mysterious black monolith has appeared which seems to cause affecting human evolution in a new way which human has not acknowledged yet. And what happens next is one spectacular moment after another as we get to stare at some of the most mesmerizing things that appear in front of our eyes. An epic display of the entire history of human evolution which will leave you in awe and your brain might lose a few cells to comprehend it.

There are so many similarities in both the films and one has to be keen to detect it.

The epic showdown of “2001” is very similar to Annihilation where both David and Lena are seen completely mesmerized by the alien entity. Even though the entity in Annihilation is on it’s way to complete it’s mission Lena just can’t stop staring and understanding what’s actually happening. She is completely taken aback and with her we audiences felt the same desperation to understand it. David too in “2001”, all he can do is stare at the universe unfolding it in front of his eyes.

The mission of the alien in both the films differ as in “2001” the entities try to help human in evolving, to become the smartest organism which is not quite shared in Annihilation where the alien clones itself into Lena to create an altogether different creature.

Did you know a novel called ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’, written at the same time of filming, was published soon after the film was released.

#1. Stalker (1979)

Director: Andrei Tarkovsky

Cast: Aleksandr Kajdanovsky, Anatoliy Solonitsyn, Nikolay Grinko

The last and best of sci-fi film in this list has come from Tarkovsky’s. The Stalker is the second sci-fi film of Tarkovsky after the highly acclaimed Solaris and has maintain an aura of supremacy since it’s release.

Do you wish to fulfill your deepest wishes? How about you take on a journey to the mysterious Room in the Zone where all your wishes will be fulfilled. But be careful of what you wish and what your heart ones as the Room is known for fulfilling the innermost desires of oneself. Be very carful.

In “Stalker,” the three main characters takes on a journey to the mysterious territory known as the Zone. The film doesn’t mentioned any names of the three characters and is better known by their profession. A Stalker is the one who leads the other two characters, the Writer and the Professor through a place which is said to have a place called the Room, where any visitor’s wishes is fulfilled.

Just like Annihilation, the characters enters a mysterious zone for a mission. While in Annihilation there is mutation and encounter with dangerous creatures, no such things appear in Stalker.

Both the films are dark and shows loneliness and despair with the characters trying hard to fulfill their wishes.

But will the wishes be granted? What wish will be truly granted? What is the thing we really wish for? To get the answers dive into the world of Stalker.

Hope you like the list of movies you can do watch after Annihilation. Don’t be afraid, dive into the world of mind bending masterpieces that will leave you stunned.

Stay tuned for more movie updates. Happy Watching!

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