Steven’s review published on Letterboxd:
It's important to remember that this is science fiction at it's purest, mixing fantasy and realism with the intention of showing the audience something about the contemporary world we live in. This is how science fiction was approached in literature, before the days of film, used as an allegory or metaphor for our world or as an attempt to answer fundamentally human questions instead of being vessels for special effects. Whilst today's sci-fi blockbusters are visually stunning, the genre rarely delves into humanistic territory like Tarkovsky did. The symbolism and visual signposts are very evident in Stalker and watching it for the first time felt quite overwhelming at points as there seems to be a hundred ideas, concepts and philosophies being explored at once and only a few I was able to pick up on. Stalker feels a bit like one of the great Russian novels, obsessed with exploring the meaning of existence and the depth of a man's soul and I don't feel like I could do it justice after just one viewing so I plan on revisiting it in the future.