The trailer for Annihilation, the newest thriller from director Alex Garland just dropped, and it’s beautifully surreal.

After writing 28 Days Later (2002) and directing 2014’s trippy sci-fi thriller Ex Machina, Garland is bringing us the creepy side of the natural world with Annihilation.With the film, Garland adapts 2014’s hit horror/sci-fi novel by Jeff VanderMeer. Fans of the book will have to wait to see if Garland’s take holds up, but the trailer has a lot going for it. A mysterious tower and unknown terror loom over gorgeous imagery, unique creature design, plants run amok, and teases of body horror.

 

Natalie Portman stars as Lena, a scientist who joins a team of researchers into a mysterious area. “Area X” has seen nothing but tragedy befall previous expeditions. Lena’s husband (Oscar Isaac), was one of “Area X’s” victims, and Lena is looking to uncover the mystery of what happened to him.Jennifer Jason Leigh, Tuva Novotny, Gina Rodriguez, and Tessa Thompson star as the research team — rounding out an impressive cast.

Here’s the official synopsis of the 2014 novel:

Area X has been cut off from the rest of the continent for decades. Nature has reclaimed the last vestiges of human civilization. The first expedition returned with reports of a pristine, Edenic landscape; all the members of the second expedition committed suicide; the third expedition died in a hail of gunfire as its members turned on one another; the members of the eleventh expedition returned as shadows of their former selves, and within months of their return, all had died of aggressive cancer.

This is the twelfth expedition.

Their group is made up of four women: an anthropologist; a surveyor; a psychologist, the de facto leader; and our narrator, a biologist. Their mission is to map the terrain and collect specimens; to record all their observations, scientific and otherwise, of their surroundings and of one another; and, above all, to avoid being contaminated by Area X itself.

They arrive expecting the unexpected, and Area X delivers—they discover a massive topographic anomaly and life forms that surpass understanding—but it’s the surprises that came across the border with them, and the secrets the expedition members are keeping from one another, that change everything.

Annihilation arrives in theaters February 23rd, 2018 from Paramount Pictures.

Are you a fan of the novel? What do you think of the trailer? Let us know in the comments below!

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