Netflix’s Spectral borrows elements from Final Fantasy


Netflix’s newest original film is called Spectral, and its trailer just dropped online recently. Based on what was shown, the story deals with specters (spirits) as its prime “antagonists” so to speak. Just seeing the trailer once, it felt like this premise was used around 15 years ago. Way back in 2001, esteemed Final Fantasy creator, Hironobu Sakaguchi, banked on Final Fantasy’s fame and released a film through Square Pictures, Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within. The film was poorly received in the box office but was highly praised for its advancement in CGI, a technological marvel at that time.

But it’s one of the major elements of The Spirits Within that Spectral heavily borrows from: Phantoms. Reviewing both the trailer, the following can be pointed out.

Exhibit A:
– A specter dropping soldiers the moment it passes through them

– Ryan (Vhing Rhames) dies the moment a Phantom passes through him

Exhibit B: 

– Specters can only be spotted with special optics

– Phantoms can only be spotted by those blue-eyed helms (and bio-etheric flares)

Exhibit C:

– Specters can only be harmed by specially-made guns, as seen in the latter part of the trailer. Normal bullets don’t affect these ghosts.

– Taking down Phantoms in The Spirits Within require weapons that use bio-etheric energy.

Exhibit D:

– These ghosts are waaaaay too many to handle



The similarities are glaring, especially coming from someone who’s seen Spirits Within countless times (a feat I am particularly proud of). It’s definitely exciting to see how the specter/ghost mechanic plays out in this new film, and hopefully it shapes up better than what the Final Fantasy film did (alien Noah’s ark? Really?) This is not to say that Netflix’s Spectral copies The Spirits Within. It’s just that these specters look and feel like something we’ve already seen in that Final Fantasy movie. And besides, all you’ve seen here barely scratch the surface of what Spectral will be. It’s a non-exhaustive list, and is in no way preemptively critiquing the full film.

Spectral will be available on Netflix starting December 9, 2016.