Super Dark Times

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I remember my adolescence very well. Growing up, learning more about the world, discovering my interest in girls. It was confusing and exciting and frustrating.

Super Dark Times shows all of that, and adds another layer of insanity to it all – the accidental murder of a friend and the subsequent struggle to keep it a secret.

This film does a phenomenal job of recreating the coming of age experience of the 1990’s. A world without internet and social media. A simpler time, a better time.

But not, as some would have you believe, a time without violence.

The cinematography is exceptional, and the use of lighting to set the mood is also very well done. The set pieces and costumes are spot-on for the 1990’s, and immediately succeeded in evoking the nostalgia for my childhood.

The sound design for Super Dark Times is really awesome. The music is great, as can be expected from the time period, but it is really the ambiance that does it. The intense, droning, disturbing soundscape enhances the scenes where it is used.

The characters are what drive this film, and the phenomenal performances from everyone involved help to carry it. Owen Campbell and Charlie Tahan were excellent as the lead roles, portraying two sides of burgeoning manhood. I really enjoyed Elizabth Cappuccino’s portrayal of the ‘girl next door’, the sort of girl that every boy dreams about and longs to be with.

Super Dark Times does an excellent job of showing the juxtaposition of sexuality and violence, and often how the two intertwine. Zach’s (Owen Campbell) dream of sex with his teacher at the site of his friend’s death is not only dark and disturbing; but also provides an intimate look inside the growing mind of a young boy who has experienced trauma during such an important developmental period.

In that same vein, it is interesting and disturbing to watch the awakening of a psychopath in the character of Josh (Charlie Tahan). So many films focus on the killer’s actions and sometimes their motivations – but very rarely do we get to see the moment when those dark desires arise.

Some may find the end of Super Dark Times to be unfulfilling and frustrating. I, personally, found it to be satisfactory. I believe the intention was to show that Allison (Elizabeth Cappuccino) had moved on with her life – something that neither Josh nor Zach could ever seem to do.

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