Sputnik is a 2020 Russian science fiction horror film about the lone survivor of a space mission disaster who returns with a creature inside his body.
Directed by Egor Abramenko from a screenplay written by Oleg Malovichko and Andrei Zolotarev, the movie stars Oksana Akinshina, Fedor Bondarchuk, Pyotr Fyodorov and Anna Nazarova.
Sputnik premiered in Russia on 23 April 2020. The movie will receive a limited release by IFC Midnight in the US on August 14th.
“The only real missteps were it’s “been there, done that” script and forced love angle. But what this lacks in originality, it makes up with style. Sputnik is a gory, nail-biting good time that showed me that the Russians are a force to be reckoned with when it comes to cinema. Sputnik won’t change the game, but its quality and passion cannot be denied.” Arrow in the Head
“The film doesn’t feel highly original, but its setting and the dubious morality of its era do create a narrative that doesn’t drag. It has a premise that’s been explored many times before, but still remains interesting, and contains a message that may never not be true: men can be as monstrous as the monsters themselves.” Daily Dead
“Russian director Egor Abramenko makes his feature debut with this mostly gripping movie, a supremely confident 1980s-set sci-fi refrigerated with elements of a Soviet-era thriller and scares straight out of Alien. Its female hero has the mental toughness of Ripley, too.” The Guardian
“Sputnik is just the kind of thing that fans of Stranger Things (especially in regards to the era and parasite subject matter) will doubtless dig on; it’s suspenseful, filled with alien menace, and navigated by characters you give a damn about!” Horror Fuel
” …comparing every great sci-fi horror movie to Alien is never going to do you any favors, and it honestly doesn’t make much sense. Sputnik is its own entity, with a sympathetic monster. In addition, these critics often fail to recognize the deeper themes and how effectively this film reflects on the hidden horror of a tyrannical government.” Morbidly Beautiful
“On a surface level, it’s as technically lustrous as any big-budget Hollywood blockbuster, with Oleg Karpachev’s dramatic score adding a significant extra layer of production value. But much like the alien living inside Konstantin, Sputnik struggles to break free from its sci-fi influences to stand on its own feet.” The Movie Waffler
“Abramenko succeeds in pacing out the build-up of paranoia and secrecy that plays out onscreen. Coupled with well thought out writing from Malovichko and Zolotarev and the performances delivered by the cast, the end result is positively impactful.” Nightmarish Conjurings
“The CGI Sputnik is imaginatively icky, something we haven’t seen before. Abramenko also elicits some creep factor from a child, Lyosha, in his third act. His direction, encompassing quiet conversational, horror and action scenes, is taut throughout and while the screenwriters bring us to an expected destination, the route they take isn’t a well worn one.” Reeling Reviews
“I thought the film, while certainly trope-y, was very well shot with the intended mood of claustrophobia and shady government dealings prominent in practically every scene […] The acting is fine all around as are the creature effects. Too bad that the design of the alien creature is nowhere near menacing enough to really scare anyone but the youngest of viewers.” Roman K
” …Sputnik is rightly drawing comparisons to Ridley Scott’s Alien. It has a great balance of mystery and discovery that gradually builds into excellent horror that should captivate audiences of sci-fi horror. This will be looked back on as one of the sci-fi horror genre’s great contemporary offerings.” Screen Anarchy
“Sputnik’s third act is a rush of formulaic action meant, perhaps, to compensate for the interminably repetitive and impersonal second act, which is mostly concerned with reinforcing a set of foregone conclusions. Incredibly, the central notion of the film […] is relegated to an inciting incident. Sputnik is an egregious missed opportunity that bites off more formulas than it can chew.” Slant
“Unfortunately, almost the first hour and a half of Sputnik’s two-hour length is spent on dialogue scenes. Mixed in are some effective scares. The cosmonauts hearing something on the outside of their capsule. The first look at the creature. When we see it feed for the first time. But way too much time is spent in arguments over methods of therapy.” Voices from the Balcony
Cast and characters:
Oksana Akinshina … Tatyana Klimova
Fedor Bondarchuk … Semiradov
Pyotr Fyodorov … Konstantin Veshnyakov
Anna Nazarova … Nurse
Vasiliy Zotov … Biologist