Set in the early 80s, two men in a Soviet spacecraft are in space on a mission. But the mission turns for the worst when something mysterious occurs. The spacecraft crash lands back on Earth, leaving the ship’s commander alive and the other crewmember dead. The commander is locked within a secret facility due to his mental state and the mystery surrounding what happened.
A psychologist named Tatyana (Oksana Akinshina) is approached to join the investigation and is encouraged to evaluate the commander’s mental state of mind. Soon we discover something terrible has happened to the commander. While he is the sole survivor, he didn’t come back alone. Inside his body lies a very nasty and dangerous little alien creature which threatens all life on Earth.
The film’s setup is terrific, and I enjoyed the introduction to our leading character Tatyana. I also loved Tatyana as a character as she is a strong-willed woman who carries a high level of confidence and has no problems to express her firm opinions. The look and style of the alien creature was also great to see, and at times the alien can be quite disturbing.
For those who are not aware this is a directional debut by Egor Abramenko. As a directional debut this is quite an impressive film. On paper the plot sounds like just another familiar alien film, but I assure you there are lots of new elements in this movie which I can’t reveal due to spoilers. All of these elements make this film feel rather refreshing when it comes to the genre of both horror and sci-fi.
Sputnik is also a Russian film with English subtitles. The pacing of the dialogue and attached subtitles were fine as I found myself being able to follow everything without missing information or wording.
I adored the film’s sound effects. There is lots of detail regarding the surround sound department, which is very pleasing. The film’s soundtrack at first felt an odd choice, but I enjoyed it a lot more once I reminded myself this film is set in the ’80s. For the most part the audio assists the film’s tone pretty nicely. The film’s visuals are also optimistic considering this film for the most part is generally dark, but still the visuals are enjoyable.
Overall, as a directional debut, this is an excellent film. Those seeking a sci-fi and horror film should look no further. Sure, the plot outline has similar concepts to something we have seen before, but thankfully there are many elements which are new and unique to see on screen. Leading performance from actress Oksana Akinshina is fantastic, and I loved many aspects of her character, such as the strength she brought on screen. The visuals, effects, and sound design (including the film’s soundtrack) are also top-notch. I gained plenty of enjoyment from this new and exciting cinema release and have no issues recommending it to many.
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Review Written by Peter Walkden