Brow Beat

The Oscars Have Snubbed the Weird Annihilation Noise

Two women in a leafy jungle look distressed.
Tessa Thompson and Gina Rodriguez in Annihilation. Paramount Pictures

The 2019 Oscar nominations are here at last, and with them, the usual snubs and slights. This year, academy members ignored Won’t You Be My Neighbor? for Best Documentary Feature, Bradley Cooper (and every woman) for Best Directing, and Crazy Rich Asians for Best Picture. But there is one omission so egregious, so singularly heartbreaking, that it deserves a moment of recognition all its own: The cool sound from Annihilation has not—I repeat, it has not—been nominated for an Oscar.


I know, I’m as disappointed as you are. But despite making the Oscars shortlist, Annihilation was ultimately passed over for Best Original Score in favor of Black Panther, BlacKkKlansman, If Beale Street Could Talk, Isle of Dogs, and Mary Poppins Returns. For some unknown reason, voters chose to honor those movies and their music instead of Ben Salisbury and Geoff Barrow’s score and its magnificently spooky centerpiece, “The Alien,” home to a cluster of hypnotic notes that Slate has dubbed the weird Annihilation noise. (Listen at the 2:40 mark below.)

Annihilation received zero Oscar nominations in total, not even Best Visual Effects or Best Screaming Bear. A sad day indeed for the industry and ASMR lovers everywhere.

Subscribe to Slate’s Culture newsletter for the best of movies, TV, books, music, and more, delivered twice a week.