SPUTNIK is a new IFC Sci-Fi Horror movie that works extremely well. The story takes place during the 1980’s USSR which makes for a perfect backdrop to the plot. It’s a slow-burner at first but the ending is crazy – in the best way! Read our full Sputnik review here and definitely check it out as soon as you can!
SPUTNIK is a new Sci-Fi Horror movie from Russia. That might not sound like something you’d check out, but then I would highly urge you to reconsider. IFC is releasing the movie in the US which should be enough reason to give it a shot.
I feel like I should warn you that this is a slow-burner but I’m not sure how much you’ll think of this while watching it. The story is constantly evolving and the production quality is gorgeous. You should find yourself getting lost in the universe of Sputnik. And I do mean this in the best of ways. The plot is elegant and the acting is stellar.
Continue reading our full Sputnik review below.
Perfect portrayal of the cold war
The fact that this dark storyline plays out in USSR in the 1980s is perfect for illustrating the extreme side effects of the cold war. Everything was a race to be (or stay) ahead. Especially in terms of space travel and weapons. Also, no one was safe and everyone could always be accused of being a spy or working against the state. Just think of the brilliant HBO mini-series Chernobyl which also showed this in a very scary and elegant way.
The fact that Sputnik is a Russian production does not mean that it’s any less critical of the USSR and the way every citizen was violated in their most basic human rights.
To me, this sci-fi horror movie can easily be compared to both Alien and the more recent Life. The latter is especially relevant in terms of how the alien works, while the former refers perfectly to the badass woman tasked with dealing with the situation. Also, the really crazy element in Sputnik is the fact that it plays out on Earth. The astronaut has already returned to Earth so this time the horror plays out right here. Not in space!
And everyone can hear you scream on Earth… even when the USSR tries to keep the situation a secret.
Oksana Akinshina is brilliant
Oksana Akinshina plays the main protagonist Tatyana Klimova. She’s meant to talk to the returned astronaut to figure out what happened. Now, you might not know Oksana Akinshina by name, but you might still recognize her face. I know I did and I was very surprised to realize where I recognized her from.
In 2004, she was in The Bourne Supremacy, but this isn’t the movie I know her from.
No, she gave the mind-blowing portrayal of the young Lilja in Lilja 4-ever (2002) by Lukas Moodyson. The movie is about a young girl being trafficked to Sweden where she’s forced into prostitution. It’s a very brutal movie that everyone should watch to understand what’s going on. Especially since things probably haven’t gotten better in the almost 20 years that have passed since the movie was made.
Watching her in Sputnik is a real treat in many ways. This character seems perfect for her. On one hand, she knows that there are many boundaries and obstacles ahead of her. On the other hand, she isn’t afraid to push boundaries and attempt to bend the rules. Not an easy way to live for a woman in the USSR, I’m sure, but one that makes you want to persevere.
Do not miss out on Sputnik
The director of Sputnik is Egor Abramenko and this is his feature film debut (according to IMDb, anyway). I can’t really say much bad about Sputnik at all. The effects are absolutely perfect for the storyline and the overall style and vibe is simply perfect. Yes, perfect!
I don’t think any changes should be made. At all. This also means that while a US remake could be good (and the story fairly easy to adapt), I don’t think it should be made unless Egor Abramenko directs it. For the story to work, it’s paramount that this vibe remains. Otherwise, it could easily be another semi-decent movie.
Also, I have to give much credit to the screenplay writers Oleg Malovichko and Andrei Zolotarev. Both for the plot and pacing of the storyline, but mostly for writing these interesting characters with heart and guts. The actors were awesome at bringing them to life, but I’m sure the characters were already brilliant on paper as well.
If you like sci-fi horror movies, then please don’t miss out on this one. Sputnik is a true gem for this genre!
SPUTNIK will open in select theaters, digital platforms, and cable VOD on August 14, 2020.
Directed by: Egor Abramenko
Written by: Oleg Malovichko and Andrei Zolotarev
Starring: Oksana Akinshina, Pyotr Fyodorov, Fedor Bondarchuk, and Anton Vasilev
Due to her controversial methods, young doctor Tatiana Yurievna (Oksana Akinshina, Lilya 4-Ever) is on the precipice of losing her medical license. Her career may not be over, though. After she’s recruited by the military, Tatiana is brought to a secure science research facility to assess a very special case, that of Konstantin Sergeyevich (Pyotr Fyodorov, The Darkest Hour), a cosmonaut who survived a mysterious space accident and has returned to Earth with a unique condition: there’s something living inside of him that only shows itself late at night. The military has nefarious plans for it. Tatiana wants to stop it from killing Konstantin. And the creature itself thrives on destruction.