We’ve had plenty of reasons to be excited when it comes to Netflix additions in the last few months.
We’ve also been able to spend the last couple of weeks tucking in to the new series of Black Mirror and spotting all the easter eggs throughout the show’s four-season run.
And now we’re being treated to another gem – one of the best films you never got around to watching when it came out last year.
Wow, SUPER DARK TIMES just blew me away. Super intense, ultra-bleak, outstanding performances. One of the best films I’ve seen this year— Scott Wampler™ (@ScottWamplerBMD) November 1, 2017
Super Dark Times might not have the A-list cast of some of 2017’s bigger hits, but its young stars put in some great performances, making for a film that’s part coming-of-age drama, part tense thriller.
Set in New England in the 1990s, there could be a temptation to think this will be another distinctly nostalgia-flavoured piece in the same vein as Stranger Things, but there’s more to it than that.
That’s not to say it doesn’t paint a picture of the era – director Kevin Phillips, in a very accomplished feature-length debut – makes sure you know the film is of a certain time.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the blend of capturing the teenage experience and faithfully portraying a specific moment in time have earned Super Dark Times comparisons with Richard Kelly’s Donnie Darko, which feels like pretty high praise.
Put as simply and un-spoilery as possible, the film follows a group of teenage friends as they deal with the fallout from a significant incident.
Indeed, RogerEbert.com’s Sheila O’Malley writes of Phillips’ ability to produce “a deeply unnerving mood, more unnerving than ‘what happens’”.
If that sounds needlessly vague, that’s because it is – largely because the appeal of the film goes far beyond that moment and its fallout, into themes of friendship and growing up which are pitched perfectly amid a more unfamiliar flashpoint.
With a 92% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, Super Dark Times feels like the sort of film you want to watch sooner rather than later.
(Main image: The Orchard)