Annihilation viral campaign leaves Twitter breadcrumbs for decode-able secrets

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Feb 1, 2018, 9:50 PM EST (Updated)

With the release of the bio-horror themed Annihilation less than a month away, studio hype for the Alex Garland-directed thriller has taken a mysterious turn toward the viral. We’ve stalked Twitter to land at the film’s mysterious new interactive site, and we’ve unlocked a couple of the more obvious secrets it conceals.

A pair of tweets containing cryptically-fonted messages — the kind that could’ve come straight from Trent Reznor’s own industrial ransom-note-spitting Smith Corona — are now up at the official Annihilation Twitter page. Clicking on either leads you to a trippy, cursor-tracking viral site with an input field where, if the message you type is the right one, a secret or two (or maybe even more) await.

The site's luminescent bubbly background, by the way, mimics the boundary that defines the movie’s “shimmer” zone, a place in the deep jungle where the rules of nature seem to have gone dangerously — and perhaps even supernaturally — awry.

To unlock some of the viral site’s secrets, you’ll need to follow the link from this tweet…

When you land there, copy and paste the black text from the tweet (but not the hashtag) into the “input transmission” type box. Then, just hit “decode message” — and watch and wait.

The same thing works for this tweet as well:

In addition, you can also make your own message (or, as the site puts it, “create your transmission”). To do that, type something in the text box, hit “create your transmission,” and then fill out the fields that appear for both the visible text you want others to see, as well as the hidden text that’s revealed when they go through the site’s copy/paste/decode steps.

As with all things viral, we’re left wondering just how many more secrets the Annihilation site is hiding that aren’t as obvious as the breadcrumb trail that leads directly from these tweets. If you uncover any, don’t leave us in the dark! Let us know in the comments.

Annihilation stars Natalie Portman as Lena, a biologist who marches into the heart of the “shimmer” to get to the bottom of the mysterious events that had earlier left her husband in a coma, making him the only person ever to escape the zone with his life.

The film is slated for a Feb. 23 release in the U.S., with Netflix set to debut the film in March everywhere else, thanks to an international streaming agreement.