Having long since established itself as a major player in the realm of original TV series, streaming giant Netflix recently embarked on a push to become a big name in the area of exclusive original feature films. Netflix’s journey into original movies is still in its beginning stages, but early signs point to this being an avenue that subscribers to the service are very much open to seeing continue to evolve.
Soon to join the growing line-up of Netflix original films is Spectral. Sometimes described as a supernatural action film, Spectral is more specifically an interesting hybrid of the action, sci-fi, and horror genres, all viewed through the lens of a war movie. The feature directing debut of commercial helmer Nic Mathieu, Spectral stars James Badge Dale (World War Z), Max Martini (Pacific Rim), Emily Mortimer (Shutter Island), and screen veteran Bruce Greenwood (Star Trek, dozens of other high-profile projects) as members of a special forces team sent in to wrest control of a European city away from a dangerous army of ghost-like beings.
Instead of a months-long period of hype and anticipation, Netflix has instead opted to take a lean and mean approach with promoting Spectral, releasing the first trailer for the film just one short week before it becomes available for subscribers to stream. The trailer in question can be seen above, and presents an otherworldly scenario not even the best spec ops soldiers would ever think to train for. The deadly apparitions Badge Dale and company must face appear to both be impervious to conventional weaponry and invisible to the naked eye. As the trailer says, how does one stop an enemy that they can’t even see coming?
One aspect of Spectral that the trailer leaves ambiguous is just what exactly the creatures who have taken over this city are. They definitely look like ghosts, but most ghosts don’t team up to commit mass murder. It’s also unclear what exactly these violent spirits do to their victims. For instance, do they straight up kill their prey, or instead convert them into whatever they are? At this point, the possibilities on that front are quite intriguing.
While military-flavored horror and sci-fi is hardly a new sub-genre, this particular flavor is fairly original, as usually when members of the armed forces encounter ghosts it’s in more of a serious horror setting. Bruce Greenwood himself even starred in such a film, the 2002 haunted submarine flick Below. The idea of badass soldiers engaging in a blast-em-up battle with malevolent spooks is a fairly new animal, and one with lots of potential for both frights and thrills. Thankfully, Netflix users won’t have to wait long to find out whether Spectral was a worthy acquisition.
Spectral arrives on Netflix on December 9, 2016.