War of the Worlds: Annihilation is the latest “Tubi Original.” It came out on December 23 without any hype, promotion, or even an IMDB page. The Asylum made this for them, just like their first original movie, Swim, which should make their fans happy. Their movies have been hit or miss for me, but mostly miss, and the fact that this one was quietly released in the middle of the holiday season didn’t give me much hope for what I was about to watch.
A huge number of meteorites, which the characters keep calling asteroids for some reason, fall from the sky all over the world and give off a strange, poisonous smoke. General Skuller (William Baldwin, Minutes to Midnight, Backdraft), who is in charge of the military, thinks it’s an alien attack and wants to fight. Cyber ops specialist Ashlaya Wellish (Arie Thompson, Doctor Death, 4 Horsemen: Apocalypse) sees several problems with that theory, but she is, of course, ignored.
While this is going on, her husband Jutta (Michael Marcel, Atlantic Rim: Resurrection, Alien Convergence) is being sent out on patrol, and their son Lucas (Kennedy Porter) is currently locked down at school, where he is attempting to keep the building secure from whatever this material may be.
The basic plot of War of the Worlds: Annihilation is set up by writer Conor Dowling and director Maximilian Elfeldt (Dracula: The Original Living Vampire, Apocalypse of Ice). They then throw everything they can think of at us. Quickly, things like giant tentacles, robots, and looters come into play. Throw in a prepper named Tiago (Noel G, 7 Deadly Sins, Dragged Across Concrete) and a doctor named Patlin (Rashod Freelove, Women of Heart Baptist Church) who barely made it through the attack on his hospital, and you have a lot going on, even if the plot isn’t very strong.
Unlike most of The Asylum’s movies, War of the Worlds: Annihilation runs for a long time, exactly 1 hour and 53 minutes. This means that it won’t have enough money to have effects all the time, so it will need as much plot as it can get to keep people interested. What we end up with is a series of events in which our main characters stay alive while everyone else they meet dies. Ashlaya and the others end up back with Skuller and what’s left of his command, while Patlin saves an alien woman named Gwen (Emree Franklin, Last Seen in Idaho). This turns the story into something that looks like Independence Day crossed with Beyond Skyline and the Occupation movies.
As I said, we don’t get many effects in War of the Worlds: Annihilation, but the ones we do get are pretty good for an Asylum movie. Most of the alien ships and big robots that look like mechas are made with CGI that looks real. Fire and explosions, which don’t work, are used as little as possible. I guess you could say the same thing about the plot: it’s patchy and similar to other stories, but it sticks to what works. It also doesn’t have the winks and nods that other Asylum movies like Meteor Moon and The Devil’s Triangle have.
Even though it’s a bit long, War of the Worlds: Annihilation is a fun movie, and it’s even better that it’s free. I don’t understand why it was just thrown away like that. I didn’t hear anything about it in the news, and they didn’t even make a trailer or an IMDB page. But if you can see it, you should. It’s a great change of pace from all the sad Christmas movies.
Tubi provides access to the movie “War of the Worlds: Annihilation.” I have no doubt that it will appear on other services in the future in locations where Tubi is not yet available.