SPECTRAL (2016) Reviews and overview



Spectral is a 2016 action science-fiction horror film directed by Nic Mathieu, making his feature debut, from a screenplay by Ian Fried, John Gatins (Kong: Skull Island storyline), Jamie Moss (Ghost in the Shell), and George Nolfi for Legendary Pictures.

Netflix released the film globally on December 9, 2016.

Main cast:

James Badge Dale, Max Martini, Emily Mortimer (Shutter Island), Bruce Greenwood, Clayne Crawford, Ryan Robbins, Ursula Parker, Cory Hardrict, Jimmy Akingbola, Gonzalo Menendez, Louis Ozawa Changchien.


A brilliant DARPA scientist embarks on a deadly mission with a Special Ops team of Delta Force soldiers into a battle-scarred, war-torn city, where mysterious phantom aggressors code-named Spectral have been causing inexplicable civilian deaths…


“At no point does Spectral attempt to complicate matters and instead keeps its story simple for audiences to indulge in the dramatics. The cast do well to keep the story moving but certainly won’t get any standout recognition here but that is what Spectral is all about. No need for in depth discovery, this is popcorn cinema with a supernatural twist, and it’s done well.” Martyn Wakefield, BloodGuts UK Horror

“The filmmaking debut of commercial director Nic Mathieu, Spectral is a sci-fi action/thriller in the vein of District 9, Aliens and Hollow Man. Unfortunately, it’ll earn more comparisons to Skyline, because for as nice as it looks in the visual department, there’s very little weight holding it all together. The writing feels empty and flat at every turn, and the same can be said for a majority of the performances.” Will Ashton, We Got This Covered

Spectral is far heavier on the action elements than the horror/sci-fi, but happily all of it works well to create an entertaining hybrid fueled by charismatic actors (typically relegated to supporting status), strong CG work, and some solidly exciting combat sequences.” Rob Hunter, Film School Rejects

Spectral is very well-made, and with location shooting in Hungary, Slovakia, and Israel, it definitely looks like a “bigger” movie than one usually associates with “Netflix Original.” It also boasts some impressive visual effects and refreshingly coherent combat sequences, and with its stark, ominous Eastern European setting (most of this was shot in Bucharest) and some lighting and cinematography techniques, it would appear that Spectral owes a stylistic debt to Michael Mann’s 1983 cult classic The Keep.” Mark Tinta, Good Efficient Butchery

Filming locations:

Budapest and Etyek, Hungary
Komarno, Slovakia

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