Streaming Releases: Teenage Psychosis: Super Dark Times (2017) Reviewed

At long last we had a chance to see the teenage tale of murder and paranoia, Super Dark Times. When a fun day of playfulness goes awry, reality descends into madness while lifelong friendships are tested against the odds. 

As one of the best thrillers of 2017, this piece of post-pubescent film making strives and succeeds to create a vivid portrayal of angst, damaged friendships, strange personalities, and high school puppy love. Without straining, this is the first motion picture to truly capture the same mysterious essence and tone of Richard Kelly's Donnie Darko with its ethereal style, excellent soundtrack, and young actors that capture super realistic performances that hinge on some of the best acting we've seen this year. Moving at a slow burn, Super Dark Times hits an even stride that calls back to earlier tales like River's Edge and Bully. Armed to the teeth with talented young actors, trust is broken as a weird story of death unfolds. 

What seems like it may devolve into standard slasher tropes, ends up turning out to be a solid effort that captures the essence of lost youth that's threaded through a fine needle of small town boredom. Borrowing from numerous other movies that have similar stories, Super Dark Times definitely has a repetitious value to it. Yet, it's updated for a modern audience that would view the '90s as their playground. Starring Owen Campbell and Charlie Tahan, the story is carried by experience and well rounded characters that don't ever feel false. Tahan's performance as the emotionally vacant Josh is easily the best part of the project. 

Stay outta my locker, bitches!

Director Kevin Philips transitions from music videos to direct a film that entices a sense of nostalgia while also leading his audience down a brutal path that has no way of supporting a positive outcome. As a pre-Columbine tale, his work here is brooding and shows signs of where society was headed at that point. High school can be a nightmare. And this freshman effort rallies the same chemistry as the aforementioned Donnie Darko. Using some off visually stunning dream sequences, it's sometimes easy to see where his influences came from. 

Only interjecting some small bits of dry wit, Super Dark Times is an oppressive film that keeps the audience in a state of cold shock from beginning to end. Using all realistic settings and natural looking elements that rely on beautiful cinematography, this is one of those indie gems that needs to be seen more of. It is strongly suggested to check this out on your favorite streaming service.