It’s life as normal in downtown Moscow with citizens going about their daily lives in a bleak neon drenched city (guess the influence). Generally, well to do enjoying the good things in life when news starts to filter through that Russian cities indeed the rest of the world is closing down losing power and life systems. Only a small area in eastern Europe has survived now designated the Quarantine Zone.

A crack team of commandos lead by Oleg (Aleksey Chadov) are sent out of the zone to try and find out what is going on. These report lifeless communities strewn with bodies people collapsed going about their everyday business. A dangerous mission as one of the outposts that survived was attacked by bears, in a decent special effects’ extravaganza. Oleg is joined by Alyona (Lukerya Ilyashenko) a doctor. In the zone the invaders reveal themselves via Id (Artyom Tkachenko) and that they have been mining away at the human race for hundreds of years preparing for an invasion.

The premise isn’t too far removed from your standard sci-fi alien invasion planning and has some intriguing ideas coming out of it. Had they progressed with those it might have been a more satisfying overall experience.

As it is the problem isn’t with the effects or the acting which the former are excellent - the bear attack and aftermath are fantastically realised - and the latter is much as you would expect with actors playing hard nut military types with backstories and romantic trysts. It is that it is unremittingly grey and sombre.

Granted this is a bleak alien invasion movie which doesn’t lend itself to light pastel colours but the grim palate that directors Egor Baranov and Nathalia Hencker have used throws a veil over everything dulling almost every aspect of the film. This affects the viewing experience making it stodgy and as such hard to develop much interest in the characters. The story itself then begins to suffer with enjoyment leaching out and gradually waning over its two hours or so running time.

The Blackout: Invasion Earth, released by 4Digital on 28th December on Blu-Ray, DVD and digital platforms.