The SciFi Projector –‘Annihilation’ Theorizes What Happens When Planet Earth Gets Cancer (VIDEO)



The human body is made up more than a hundred million, million cells. These building blocks of life exist in a state of constant change, with new cells replacing old cells in a steady, continual process. But when that process goes terribly awry, cancer occurs. We are accustomed to cancer happening in the human body, but in the new science fiction thriller Annihilation, cancer is the premise of something far more sinister.

The film is rife with references to cancer. Near the start of the film, Lena (Natalie Portman), a cell and cancer pathology expert at Johns Hopkins University, shows slides of cells dividing and mutating, reports Sarah Sloat for Inverse. These cells, she reveals, belonged to a woman with ovarian cancer. Later, before entering Area X together — the alien-like environment that is their mission to explore — Jennifer Jason Leigh’s Dr. Ventress confides to Lena that she is dying of the disease.


Once they get to Area X, however, cancer appears to affect life beyond humans and animals.



The team of female scientists start seeing strange creatures, like crocodiles with shark teeth and exotic flowering plants with bizarre forms that appear to originate from the same plant. Lena describes the anomalies as “malignant,” a term often used to describe cancerous tumors that can divide uncontrollably and spread cancer to other cells in the body.

When the scientists encounter plants with human-like shapes, we learn that in Area X, the genetic code of living beings becomes distorted on a subcellular level, leading to creatures like the crocodile with shark teeth. Then, when Lena examines her blood under a microscope, she sees that her own cells are dividing in a decidedly abnormal way.

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