Annihilation Featurette Explains How 'The Shimmer' Is Changing the World

Image: Paramount via YouTube
Image: Paramount via YouTube

For those who haven’t read the books, Annihilation’s trailers have been shrouded in mystery. What is “The Shimmer,” what is it doing, and perhaps most importantly, how big of a threat does it pose? A new featurette from Paramount dives a bit more into what this strange anomaly is and the effect it’s having on our world.


In the featurette, actors Natalie Portman, Gina Rodriguez, Tessa Thompson, and others dive into what The Shimmer is. Apparently, it’s a phenomenon that’s causing strange mutations to people, creatures, and locations on Earth, meaning it’s not transporting people to an alternate world or dimension. It’s growing fast, it’s gaining strength, and there’s no way to conventionally stop it.

As someone who hasn’t read the book, and is waiting to until after I’ve seen the movie (to keep things a surprise), this is really intriguing. Stranger Things deals with an alternate dimension that exists in parallel to our own, but it looks like this is simply something that’s fundamentally changing our own world... meaning there’s no escape.


Annihilation, written and directed by Ex Machina’s Alex Garland, comes out February 23.

Video Editor and Staff Writer at io9. My doppelganger is that rebelling greeting card from Futurama.

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IIRC, the “shimmer” is not in the book at all, the barrier between Area X and the rest of the world is invisible, and you have to be put under hypnosis before crossing it to avoid permanent psychological damage. from the trailers it looks like they just stroll through it.