Super Dark Times (2017)

Super Dark Times
Director: Kevin Phillips
Writer: Ben Collins, Luke Piotrowski
Cast: Owen Campbell, Charlie Tahan, Elizabeth Cappuccino, Amy Hargreaves, Max Talisman, Sawyer Barth, Adea Lennox, Ethan Botwick
Seen on: 23.2.2018
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Plot:
Zach (Owen Campbell) and Josh (Charlie Tahan) are close friends, joined in their awkwardness and love for video games. And they’re both crushing on Allison (Elizabeth Cappuccino). But their teenage life is disrupted one afternoon when they’re with Daryl (Max Talisman) and Charlie (Sawyer Barth) and their playing and playfighting turns deadly.

Super Dark Times has an interesting, albeit not entirely new set-up that unfortunately left too many things underdeveloped, unclear and outright illogical to work for me.

Super Dark Times hits the nostalgia spot of the 80s and 90s where teenagers on bicycles roam the suburbs largely unsupervised and confronting some horror/adventure or another. It’s an annoying fact of those stories that they are peopled only with boys and that one token girl everybody crushes on so that things don’t get gay. That constellation alone means that a film has to work extra hard to convince me that it’s worthwhile.

Unfortunately Super Dark Times follows up on that premise with characters that made absolutely no sense to me. Their motivations remained entirely unclear. Why does Allison like Zach? Why does Zach start to doubt Josh all of a sudden? What is up with Josh anyway? Why would Charlie go along with things (and what is he doing there anyway)? These are all questions that the film doesn’t deign to answer, but without those answers, it’s just a mess.

Had it answered the questions, the film could have been something. It’s moody and the cinematography is pretty good. The cast is also strong, especially for such young actors. It shows that Phillips – whose first feature it is – does have promise as a director. Even if the film does have some lengths in addition to the other problems.

But what can I say? Based on Super Dark Times, I won’t be holding my breath to see what they come up with next.

Summarizing: not my thing.

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