Super Dark Times (suck it, Stranger Things and It)


#1

I tried this movie in the 20:20, but no one had seen it. Maybe it deserves a thread. It’s a movie set in the 80s or early 90s from a first-time director. It lives somewhere at the intersection of Stand By Me, Lord of the Flies, Superbad, and River’s Edge. The cast is fantastic, especially the actors playing the two main kids. Great 80s/90s production design, too.

“What game is this? Josh, what game is this?”

If you know the answer to this question that Josh never answers, this movie is for you!

Right? The reason I would hesitate to recommend it is that I think it kind of unravels at the end, which is particularly disappointing considering the cast and the dialogue. I’m not sure I understand how it ends up being told from the girl’s perspective . But Owen Campbell and Charlie Tahan are sooo good. I also really like the actors playing Daryl (that guy was chilling!) and Charlie. Where did they get all these kids?

In a lesser movie – It, anyone? – Zach wouldn’t have a supportive loving mother. The parents would all be clueless and ineffectual at best, abusive at worse. But Zach’s relationship with his mother felt real for how it was written and played. Amy Hargreaves (from Blue Ruin!) wasn’t just a presence off in the wings. I loved how she was torn between giving her son his space and being protective of him. It’s a great physical bit when she holds her packback book in front of her face and tentatively tries to start a dialogue about Zach’s potential new girlfriend.

Super Dark Times also has one of my favorite dream sequences for a tiny but important bit of editing. Josh dreams that that the risen corpse of Daryl is sitting on his stomach, weighing him down. Them, in the shot of Josh waking up on the couch, Daryl is still sitting on his stomach. Then it cuts to a closer shot and Daryl is gone, of course, but it’s a great way for a movie to represent that “is this is a dream or is it real?” confusion when you wake up.

-Tom


#2

What year was this released?


#3

This year! It literally came out for VOD last week, I think.

EDIT: I added an Amazon link to the original post. I don’t understand why it’s not doing a tidy little Amazon placement box instead of just an HTML address. Stupid internet.

-Tom


#4

I think the amazon video on demand links work differently than amazon product links.


#5

I have a feeling you are going to enjoy this then.


#6

Kind of…? Totally unravels. Borderline nonsensical. I could not understand the motivations of any of these characters beyond the halfway point of the movie.


#7

I really liked it. Maybe it was my stunted, late blooming teen years that have stuck with me for decades, but movies like this seem to grip me and draw me back into being an awkward high school kid again (rather than an awkward adult). Completely agree about the end. To me it seemed kind of abrupt. Almost as if the whole movie had about 15-20 minutes of scenes that were cut from the last half that could have helped inform us a bit more. I am fine with sparse exposition and hand holding, but it seemed to jump forward in spots.

And yes, the whole last scene with the girl in the car and then back in the classroom was weird. I did not need to see what happened to either of the boys, but they showed her alone to wrap up the film. Were we supposed to suspect that she manipulated it somehow. Maybe even that her being tied up was part of the plan as she had maneuvered both boys? I don’t think so, but it felt weird and inexplicable without some wild theorizing.

Overall, I really enjoyed it. You referenced it and while I thought the performances in both movies were equal, the predictability of It made the movie fall much flatter than it should have. This one did not do that.