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Midnight Movie


Directed by: Egor Abramenko

Russia, 2020, 113m

In Russian with English subtitles

US Premiere

Russia, 1983—Cold War tensions at their peak. A terrifying scene is discovered at the landing site of spacecraft Orbit-4, leaving the commander as its only survivor. But he has lost his memory from the catastrophic trauma and is unable to shed light on the cause of the accident. In a secluded government facility, under the vigilant watch of armed guards, a controversial psychologist Tatiana Klimova (Oksana Akinshina, Lilya 4-Ever, FFF 2003) must cure the astronaut’s amnesia and unravel the mystery behind the doomed mission. In the process she discovers a horrifying secret: a deadly creature may have come back to Earth with him. With shades of HBO’s austere Soviet-era miniseries Chernobyl, Sputnik is an expansion of director Abramenko’s tense short film “The Passenger,” a dark psychological horror film that will draw easy comparisons to Ridley Scott’s Alien. However, it would do a disservice to take this PTSD-informed tale and simply write off the bloodshed as just another space-monster movie. In Sputnik the monsters are human, and the darkness lies within us all. But most importantly, in government-supervised isolation chambers, there are many scientists with notebooks, just watching and waiting to hear you scream.