Friday, October 13, 2017

[Review] Super Dark Times

Kevin Phillips' remarkably striking directorial debut - Super Dark Times - is a somber and hectic loss-of-innocence thriller that definitely isn't kidding about its title.

Set in '90s suburbia and steeped in nostalgia and teenage hormones, Zach (Owen Campbell) and Josh (Charlie Tahan) are prototypical best friends in high school (the film opens with them watching a fuzzed-out Spice Channel) - that is, until a shocking and gruesome accident (it'd be a spoiler to go into detail) followed by an impromptu cover-up sends their lives spiraling out of control.

The film is both wondrously and ominously shot, and it captures a pitch-perfect tone, evoking the likes of Stand By Me, Donnie Darko, It Follows, and "Stranger Things". But there isn't anything abstract or supernatural going on here. The ugliness of reality hits hard. Very hard. Anxiety, paranoia, panic, and regret permeates throughout the story, and it all feels as heavy as the sky falling. The narrative has the type of gripping momentum that makes the duration fly by. The cast is of full of newcomers, and they're all sharp with impressively natural and convincing performances.

It's immensely intriguing to see how the whole thing plays out. I was engrossed until the bitter end. Director Kevin Phillips is certainly one to watch, so catch this one on VOD as fast as you can.

( 8/10 )

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