Annihilation: What Happened To Kane In The Shimmer?


The movie “Annihilation”, that released in February 2018 is a complete sci-fi buzz. Alex Garland (the famous director of “The Machina”) managed to leave the audience baffled through this piece of art.

“Annihilation” blows the audience with complex questions hence leaving the climax open to interpretation. As for what we know, the shimmer is compared with cancer. In the end, we see that the color of Kane and Lena’s eye change as they hug. This indicated that there still was some part of the shimmer living in them. Keep reading for more interesting insights.

Before we unfold the mysteries, if you haven’t watched the movie yet, here’s the trailer for you.


Do you want to know what happened to Kane in the shimmer? Read on to find out.

Plot summary

Kane, a military man, goes on a secret expenditure and disappears. He reappears after a year leaving his wife Lena ambivalent. Lena, played by actress Natalie Portman, questioned him about the time he wasn’t there, but Kane did not answer satisfactorily. It looked like Kane remembered nothing about himself and that he wasn’t the same person. But how did that happen?

Interestingly, Dr Ventress told Lena that Kane went into the ‘Shimmer’. It was an extra-terrestrial atmosphere expanding for 3 years. She wanted to find out what happened to her husband so she went into the shimmer with 4 other companions.

image source: Instagram

As these women enter the shimmer, they found out that their memories had started to alter. They saw that the DNA of every living organism was going through constant mutation. Tessa Thompson who plays a physicist Josie, explains that the shimmer was like a prism. It refracted not only light and radio waves, but also the DNA of everything.

Many events in the movie “annihilation” point towards self-destruction. For instance, the volunteers to walk inside the shimmer were self-destructive. Some sort of tragedies were associated with all these people. Cass’s daughter died of leukaemia, Anya had been an addict, Josie used to cut herself to feel alive. Dr Ventress had cancer. They all died inside the shimmer.

The complexity of emotions had curbed Lena. She cheated on her husband and believed that he volunteered for the expenditure because of her disloyalty. She ends up alone in the lighthouse and finds out a video camera with Kane on it. So what happened to Kane in the shimmer?

Image source: Instagram

Did Kane go insane?

In a previous scene, we could see Kane cutting open a fellow companion’s stomach with a knife to reveal his intestines moving. In the video camera, Lena finds out that Kane killed himself with a grenade and a doppelganger had returned instead of him. The shimmer made Kane suffer a lot because he ended up in a mental state where he could not tolerate to live anymore.

So what about the other Kane?

Lena’s blood falls into the formless energy which came out of Dr Ventress and then, it takes Lena’s form. It starts mirroring Lena’s actions. This scene from annihilation might have been a direct representation of Lena fighting with herself and that sometimes we are our worst enemies. In the end, Lena tricks her doppelganger and kills it with the grenade. With that, the entire shimmer goes down.

Lastly, we see that Lena asks Kane if he were real or not and he denied. But Lena hugged him anyway which indicates that she accepted him. As they hug, the color of Kane and Lena’s eyes change. This indicated that some part of the shimmer was still inside her (while Kane was brand new). This is a metaphor for the fact that even after one overcomes something like cancer, he never really recover. He changes in unimaginable ways and a part of it lives inside him forever.

In conclusion, Annihilation is a movie that will force you to visit the creative corners of your self and keep you wondering for a long time.


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