- 1 hr 54 min
Set in Russia during the 1980s, Sputnik is a sci-fi horror movie directed by Egor Abramenko. The film follows the story of a cosmonaut named Konstantin Veshnyakov (Pyotr Fyodorov) who returns to Earth with an unusual passenger named Sputnik. Veshnyakov and Sputnik crash-land on Earth after a space mission, and it soon becomes apparent that the alien parasite is not just hitching a ride.
Following the crash, Veshnyakov is taken to a military research facility, where he is extensively interrogated, and it is discovered that Sputnik has become attached to his body. However, while Veshnyakov survives, Sputnik seems to be controlling him, and the doctors can't understand why. Colonel Semiradov (Fedor Bondarchuk), the head of the research facility, enlists the help of a neurophysiologist, Tatiana Klimova (Oksana Akinshina) to examine the cosmonaut and the parasite and study the connections between the two.
Tatiana is initially skeptical about the military's intentions and approach but hopes to use the research as an opportunity to advance her career. The doctors discover that the parasite is an extraterrestrial being that attaches itself to a host, controlling and nourishing itself at the host's expense. The creature gains its strength by feeding off the host's emotions and memories, which leads to a deeper exploration of the psychological implications of Sputnik's attachment to Veshnyakov.
As the scientists continue to investigate, tensions rise within the facility as Colonel Semiradov's approach becomes increasingly ruthless. Tatiana, unsettled by the Colonel's methods, turns her focus to helping Veshnyakov rather than the Colonel's goals, which creates tension between her and her fellow scientists.
The acting in the movie is top-notch, and the character development is well-done, especially between Tatiana and Veshnyakov. The relationship between the two is intriguing, as they begin to understand each other, and Tatiana's desire to help Veshnyakov ultimately leads to a surprising twist in the story.
Sputnik is notable for its sharp focus on atmosphere and tension, as opposed to gory horror. The cinematography is excellent, and the alien creature design is both terrifying and unique, making for an unforgettable and tense viewing experience.
The film's score also deserves a special mention, as it effectively ratchets up the suspense, amplifying the already palpable tension that Abramenko has cultivated through his directorial style. The sound design is also noteworthy, as the eerie and otherworldly sounds effectively draw viewers in, enhancing the already immersive experience.
Overall, Sputnik is a well-crafted, intense sci-fi horror film that offers a refreshing take on the genre. The film's slower pace may not be to everyone's liking, but the emphasis on character development and tension-building successfully creates a claustrophobic and suspenseful atmosphere.
The movie offers an intriguing twist on the classic sci-fi horror trope of an alien parasite taking over a host, making for an unpredictable and engaging storyline. Sputnik might be one of the gems of Russian film, succeeding not only as a stand-alone movie but also adding a fresh take on a well-established genre.
Sputnik is a 2020 fantasy movie with a runtime of 1 hour and 54 minutes. It has received moderate reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.4 and a MetaScore of 61.