Patrick McEvoy-Halston shared a link.
Richard Brody dismissed "Annihilation" as a movie that got graded on a curve, and that it is really one where plot dictates, and characters get narrowed: a stupid master -- plot, that is -- has his way, and the potentially interesting constituents -- characterization -- suffer for it. To like the film, critics would have to be those who find way to praise a picture that is absolutely unimaginative. To empathize with the characters, female critics would have to be those who are ready to project their own situations into pretty much anyone who could be forced to serve, even those who are constructed feebly, thinly, and flimsily.
Then you flip to some of the reviews themselves, examples like this, https://theoutline.com/…/annihilation-review-body-horror-mo…, and this, http://www.vulture.com/2018/02/annihilation-review.html, and you find for example someone "left [...] breathless with its unforgiving depiction of the relentless weight of depression; the impulse to self-destruct," and another who argues that the Shimmer immediately releases possibilities; that it stimulated the characters to develop.
So what do we think? Are New Yorker critics become obtuse to the experiential reality of a new generation, unable to recognize worth in matter, realized self-reflection in matter, than a younger generation will respond to instantly and gestate on to produce their own art in the future? Are the young more traumatized, and are triggered to respond to horror more automatically, even if lacking in presentational quality, leaving their interesting delineations of their responses unreliable as a measure to grade the actual quality of the matter they responded to? Are they just desperate to enthuse OVER ANY film that registers their "existential plights"?
Are the young being furthered abandoned by reviews like this one, where they might not be able to find themselves at all, in a review which presents itself as registering a very authoritative, complete sussing out of the very complicated matrix that is any film? You don't laugh out aloud at this one -- as everyone surely has to find their most truly honest response to the film to be -- and you don't exist.
The sci-fi thriller allows women to explore life without giving literal birth to it.