Sputnik 2020

‘Sputnik’ (2020) – A Russian Retro Sci-Fi Thriller Film Review

Thinking of sci-fi thrillers that include extra terrestrial beings, three come to my mind immediately. Those classic films are: Alien, The Thing, and more recently Pitch Black. All of these films not only explore humans dealing with the extra terrestrial itself; they also explore conflicts between humans, and sometimes the conflicts we have within ourselves. In Egor Abramenko’s directorial debut, he takes his turn at the classic extra terrestrial sci-fi thriller with Sputnik.

What did I think of this thriller? Read on for my spoiler free review!

Sputnik Synopsis:

Russia, 1983 – Cold War tensions at their peak. A terrifying scene is discovered at the landing site of spacecraft Orbit-4. The commander is dead, the flight engineer in coma. The third crew member, Valery Basov, has survived, but he has lost his memory from the horrific experience and cannot shed light on the cause of the accident. In a secluded government facility, under the vigilant watch of armed guards, psychologist Tatiana Klimova  must cure the astronaut’s amnesia and unravel the mystery. In the process, she learns that Orbit-4 may have carried back an alien parasite that threatens to consume them all.

The film stars Oksana Akinshina, Fedor Bondarchuk, Pyotr Fyodorov, and Anton Vasilev.


My Thoughts

I’ll be honest: this film wasn’t on my radar at all. I did read our article about the trailer and I thought it might be good. Here’s the thing though. Subtitled films aren’t really my thing. It has nothing to do with the fact it’s a foreign film. That doesn’t bother me at all. The fact of the matter is, I have a hard time reading and focusing on the film itself. I believe this is causing me to miss out on some solid films though, so I am trying to work on watching more movies with subtitles. First up: Sputnik. I’m happy to say I didn’t have any issues with reading subtitles or following the story. This film genuinely held my interest and kept me watching.

Now I have to be upfront:  if you are looking for a totally original storyline, this film isn’t completely unique. That is not saying it’s a bad thing. It still has some little twists that make it stand out. However, the story itself feels borrowed from The X-Files and John Carpenter’s The Thing. The plot is also somewhat predictable. Again that’s not necessarily a bad thing. I just want you to be aware what’s in store for you when you watch it.

Oleg Malovichko and Andrei Zolotarev wrote Sputnik. Even though plot is somewhat predictable, they did a fantastic job writing interesting dialogue that captures not only spot on human interactions, but the interaction with the extra terrestrial as well.  The characters are fully developed and the back story is well weaved into the story, without taking too much away from the current situation in the film.

Special effects can be hit or miss in these sort of films. Sometimes it just looks “too fake” or you feel like you’ve seen this creature before. Not in Sputnik, I absolutely loved the creature. That’s all I’ll say about that. I don’t want to ruin that for you when you watch. If you want blood, this film definitely has some gore. Not gratuitous. It’s just enough and pertinent to the scenes.   The scenes were shot with some great camera angles and interesting points of view. What also really works is the musical score and the sound effects. The audio added so much dimension to so many scenes.

Sputnik (2020)

Sputnik – Final Thoughts:

Sputnik is definitely worth watching, especially for fans of classic sci-fi thrillers. Even with its somewhat predictable story, it is a solid film that will hold your interest. It definitely held mine!

Sputnik is currently showing at select theaters and on demand. Will you be checking it out? Let us know in the comments. Be sure to stay tuned to PopHorror for news, reviews, interviews and much more!


About JenniferLeigh

I love a good scare. I have a collection of over 500 horror movies and I am an avid reader as well. I'm also a fan of other nerdoms, Star Wars, Star Trek, X-Files, Firefly and Doctor Who to name a few. I live in Illinois with my husband and cats who share my nerdoms.

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