Nic Mathieu’s Spectral

Today I watched Nic Mathieu’s Spectral (2016)


Dr. Mark Clyne is a DARPA researcher and developer who had previously invented a new, high spectrum night vision system for the American military.  This system is being used as the army is deployed in a Moldovan civil war, but soon soldiers are reporting strange, spectral anomalies.  While it may at first have seemed like a technical glitch, soon one of these specters touches, and kills a Delta Force soldier.  Now Clyne is called into the warzone to run analysis on this problem, unfortunately the specters are becoming more and more prevalent in the area and no one has a way to stop them.

There is something decidedly old school about having a sci-fi movie that actually has a scientist protagonist.  There was a time when such heroes, people who could puzzle out problems and solve them with their minds, were all the rage in sci-fi, but that could not be further from the case today.  Perhaps because of the class warfare perpetuated by our governments, we the common folk are no longer educated enough to identify with these intellectual characters.  It’s a damn shame because, as this film shows, these characters can be really awesome when presented well.

And boy does this film have good presentation.  First off the acting is quite top notch, especially from the lead James Badge Dale.  He has to bring the humanity out of a guy whose mind is always on the operation at hand, a mechanically driven and logically minded person, and I think he succeeds with flying colours.  From there the film also has a very solid look to it, there is definitely some showing off here from the first time director, and good for him, give me the style thank you.  So definitly check this one out, this masterful blend of military sci-fi and suspense has not been this good since Aliens.  5/5


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