Yet another by-the-numbers supernatural series on Netflix to bolster an overcrowded international library, Spectros does little to stand out in such a competitive field.
This review of Spectros (Netflix) is spoiler-free.
Netflix churns out international supernatural series’ with such frequency that it’s difficult to tell one from the other at the best of times. That goes double for Spectros, another distinctly middle-of-the-road offering that at least has the decency and good sense to end without pathetically begging for a sequel.
That’s probably just as well since you’re unlikely to remember much of the show once it’s over. With its three protagonists, an often ungainly fusion of genres including horror, teenage melodrama and comedy, questionable editing and structuring and distractingly cheap-looking production, Spectros is a mess on multiple levels. It certainly smooths out as things progress and digestible episode runtimes help the show to pass by without much fuss, but also without leaving much of an impression. A typical end-of-the-world plot orchestrated by a mundane villain and preventable only by the charmless heroes offers just enough twists, turns, and mystery to sustain a viewer through every episode, but by the extra-long finale, I was certainly feeling the strain.
Fancy-pants stylistic flourishes only detract from the drama here so it’s nice that the linearity increases as Spectros progresses, but the thin characterization, awkward humor and noticeably skimpy budget threaten to derail the story at every turn. Those with better tolerance for such things than me will likely be able to latch on to some of the show’s ideas, even if they’re frequently mismatched and rarely that good even on their own terms. In such a competitive streaming field, a show really has to do much more than this one in order to stand out.
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Jonathon is the Co-Founder of Ready Steady Cut and has been Senior Editor and Chief Critic of the outlet since 2017.