That crappy space horror movie from 1987? Martin wrote that. His story gets a second life on Syfy.
Nightflyers was an instantly forgettable horror/sci-fi film that oozed bad 80’s hair, under-budgeted effects and sets and featuring a nondescript plot involving a killer computer on a spaceship. The book was based upon a George R.R. Martin novel… and the movie went nowhere. A funny thing happened thirty years later. Martin is now a household name, his Game of Thrones becoming a TV series that became the engine breathing life into HBO. And now, he’s getting another shot.
But can this work? It appears that Martin’s clout now has enabled some pretty impressive sets and effects, looking to be at the level of the other big-budget SyFy shows Battlestar Galactica and The Expanse. The acting seems to be a couple of notches above the movie as well, but that’s not saying much.
The official synopsis is very basic:
“A crew of space explorers embark on a mission to find a mysterious alien ship.”
Not a lot to go on, there, George. Fortunately, the trailer suggests more. Martin states in the trailer that Nightflyers is Psycho in Space, and there does appear to be a lot of bloody chunks laying around the spacecraft, which for horror fans is an encouraging sign. If you are a GoT fan (and really… who isn’t?) you know that Martin is not shy with the blood and gore. Also promising is that SyFy was able to hugely improve on the terrible original BSG, and do the Expanse stories of James S.A. Corey, so they have a track record of doing big projects right.
Still… this was pretty much a pile of dog doo film the first time around, so I have my fingers crossed. I set the plus/minus betting line as 60% chance that it will be better than Event Horizon, which I would consider the minimum threshold to acceptable space ghost stories. Optimism!
Nightflyers is scheduled to be released in the Fall of 2018 on Syfy in the US, and Netflix worldwide. The Scariest Things will update you when we know more about the show.