Film Reviews

Super Dark Times (2017)

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Starring: Owen Campbell, Charlie Tahan, Elizabeth Cappucino

Director: Kevin Phillips

When an accident leads to a death, two teen best friends cover it up and find themselves torn apart by paranoia and guilt.

This film is really enigmatic. It’s a film that you can get to the end of and question what it all means. Watching this, I felt like the characters are all a bit off, a bit too detached and strange. No one is really all that nice. Set in suburbia, it seems like everyone lives a normal life, but what does that really mean? Here, the guy has a crush on the girl, and she reacts by chasing after him, almost throwing herself at him. An accident causes a death, and kids cover it up, opting to go on with normal life as though nothing happened. Where friends might be drawn together by grief, both find themselves spiraling off into dark fantasies and nightmares. Who really knows anyone?

This sense that no one is really a good person, that they’re all a bit detached is part of what makes this film great. Are teenagers a bit sociopathic? Are they kind of scary, or is it something about suburban life that has made them that way? It reminded me of a famous real case where teens at a high school killed one of their own, and left the body in the woods, taking other class mates to see it. The actions of the students and their lack of emotion shocked the nation at the time and led to films being made based on or inspired by the case (Heathers is one of them).

As a sense of growing doom and clues that something really isn’t right builds, the film leads us into the dark hearts of two friends, and we start to understand that something is rotten in the state of Denmark. It’s not just the accident and the choice to cover it up, but that there might be something more going on here with one of the friends, since the accident. Who is crazy here and who is in control? It’s a film about the mindset and the fantasies of the two friends, and explores their psychology, without finding easy answers. It goes to some dark places on the way, and in the end, we learn something, and yet, we are left wondering what it all really means.

See It If: you like psychological thrillers and dramas. It’s a film about the minds behind the drama and yet remains dreamlike and enigmatic.

 

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