Netflix Sci-Fi Action Adventure Secret Gem Needs A Sequel

By Charlene Badasie | Published

  • The sci-fi actioner Spectral is streaming on Netflix.
  • Spectral is a Netflix original film released in 2016.
  • Spectral pits its heroes against what initially appear to be ghosts ravaging the European country of Moldova.
  • No sequel has been announced, though the prequel comic Spectral: Ghosts of War was released in 2017.

The 2016 military sci-fi action film Spectral is streaming on Netflix. The movie is directed by Nic Mathieu from a script he co-wrote with Ian Fried and George Nolfi. It features James Badge Dale as research scientist Mark Clyne, alongside Max Martini as Major Sessions, Emily Mortimer as Fran Madison, Clayne Crawford as Sergeant Toll, and Bruce Greenwood as General James Orland.

Who You Gonna Call?


Spectral is set in a war-torn Moldova, where a series of supernatural phenomena are disrupting military operations. The soldiers soon discover that the responsible entities are otherworldly and seemingly indestructible. Researcher Mark Clyne is tasked with investigating the death of Sergeant Davis, whose hyperspectral goggles captured one of these entities.

Joining forces with CIA Case Officer Fran Madison and a team of Delta Force operators led by Major Sessions, Clyne mounts a hyperspectral camera to spot the elusive entities. The group then goes on a mission to locate missing Utah team members; they encounter the impervious entities. With their weapons deemed useless, the team is forced to shelter in an abandoned factory.

Don’t Worry Scooby, They’re Not Really Ghosts


The group eventually discovers that the entities are man-made Bose-Einstein condensate creations. Clyne works overnight to develop makeshift pulse weapons capable of defeating them. The team confronts the source of the entities at the power plant, uncovering a sinister revelation that takes the Spectral to new heights.

Making Spectral


Principal photography for Spectral began in August 2014. Filming commenced a few weeks later in various streets and buildings across Budapest, Hungary. The production heavily relied on practical effects and authentic locations to create a gritty atmosphere. Iconic sites such as Buda Castle, used for the landing zone scene, and Gellert Hill, contributed to the film’s ambiance.

Filming wrapped in August 2015 with Weta Workshop, led by Peter Jackson, who is responsible for crafting futuristic weapons, and Weta Digital handling the visual effects. Spectral was initially set for an August 2016 theatrical release by Universal Pictures. But the studio changed its mind and transferred rights to Netflix. The movie premiered on the streaming platform in December 2016.

Spectral Was Spectraltacular

The reception for Spectral was primarily positive. Most critics praised the film’s special effects and the blend of military and supernatural elements. However, others criticized its predictable plot and lack of character development. The film currently holds a 78 critics rating on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, alongside a more modest audience score of 54 percent.

Spectral offered viewers a unique story with the potential for further exploration in a sequel. While the immediate threat of the spectral entities may have been resolved, the discovery of the condensate machine and the ethical dilemmas associated with its technology present moral quandaries that could be turned into a new movie.

Spectral: Ghosts Of War

Although there have been no official talks of a sequel, Legendary Comics released a prequel comic in 2017 called Spectral: Ghosts of War. Focusing on events before the main plotline, the story follows two intertwining narratives. One involves a group of schoolchildren trying to understand the origin of spectral phantoms attacking their city.

The second follows a team of near-future soldiers conducting a rescue operation while encountering mysterious enemies similar to the ones seen in Spectral on NetflixSpectral: Ghosts of War was penned by Seamus Kevin Fahey and Sean Fahey, with art by Zid.