Mon. Jun 21st, 2021

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Reed Alexander’s Horror Review of ‘Sputnik’ (2020)

5 min read
I was told this would have elements of The Thing (1982) and even Life (2017), in the good old-fashioned tradition of Russian Knockoff films. What I got instead, was an intelligent, interesting, and even complex, standalone film that holds itself upon its own merits.

Not another Alien knockoff.

You know what I found to be particularly disappointing about this movie? It wasn’t an Alien (1979) ripoff like I was promised. I was told this would have elements of The Thing (1982) and even Life (2017), in the good old-fashioned tradition of Russian Knockoff films. What I got instead, was an intelligent, interesting, and even complex, standalone film that holds itself upon its own merits. I was expecting Xtro 2 (1990) at worst, and Leviathain (1989) at best. I wasn’t expecting this to actually be GOOD.

But yeah, if you can’t tell, I actually recommend this movie. I feel like I could spoil the whole damn thing since they just jump right into it when the plot kicks off. Not even twenty minutes in and they introduce you to the alien parasite living in the cosmonaut. Really, the only thing I could spoil is the measures in which they deal with it.

This whole movie is essentially a scientific investigation into the symbiotic relationship between the parasite and its host. I do love the fact that this takes place during 1970’s Soviet Russia. It gives the whole thing an extra level of downright brutal Russian grimness to it. That’s something I really appreciate about Russians. They know dark and grim.

Now, you will have to read this movie, as it doesn’t have an English dub as of yet (03/16/2021) but this doesn’t affect how good the fucking acting is. Everyone in this movie is a stellar actor, the tension between the female lead and the cosmonaut is especially impressive. It’s downright sexual.

I can actually consider this movie a “Must Watch.” It’s that good. While I might have been hoping for an Alien knockoff, I’m glad I got something unique instead. This should even be good for general adult audiences.

SPOILERS!!!

I think what makes this film is the backdrop of the Soviet agenda. They go PRETTY fucking quickly into the fact that you’re not allowed to speak out against the state. The fact that something happened to a Cosmonaut, a national hero, is something they have to keep under wraps. It’s presented as a case of PTSD at first, which is not something Russians at the time are even willing to admit exists. Remember, soldiers that ran from the battlefront in WWII were fucking shot. It’s that kind of a feeling.

The sinister and secret motivations of Colonel Semiradov are everything about the plot. Already, he comes off as a guy who is willing to hide things from the state so long as it earns him results for the state. Once you find out about the parasite, which happens pretty early on, the rest of the movie is basically trying to figure out what the Colonel’s motivations really are. In fact, as much as this is a movie about understanding the relationship between the host and parasite, it’s also about discovering what the Colonel wants it for.

So yes, this movie is completely worth it and I think deserves its spot on my “Must Watch” list. It’s fucking GRIM. I mean really fucking grim, and that at least earns it my blessing.

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