Here’s Why Super Dark Times Should Be On Your Radar


Today marks the limited theatrical release (screening list) of Super Dark Times, which hails from The Orchard. Telling the tale of a teenage boy who is part of a horrifying accident, Super Dark Times brings us back into the early 90’s, before the Columbine High School massacre. It’s a film about a friendship broken apart by the mistakes of innocence, how an afternoon of joy can quickly turn into one of the most harrowing days of someone’s life.

The film is the feature-length debut of Kevin Phillips, whose short film Too Cool for School premiered at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival. In an interview at that festival, he spoke about Super Dark Times. In it, he labeled the 90’s as a, “…ripe and vulnerable and very sensitive time…It’s perfect for cinema.” He fully admits that the Columbine High School massacre played a heavy role in the film, stating that he saw firsthand how America changed after that shocking event. “That changed the landscape,” Phillips stated. “That changed the way parents and people in general viewed violence, especially amongst teenagers and kids in high school and kids in general…

Speaking with Vice, Phillips brought up several phenomenal directors that he cites as influences on this film, such as, “…Lynne Ramsay, David Fincher, Ingmar Bergman, and Jonathan Demme.”

For many of us, we remember ourselves how that event changed the shape of our culture and society. Everything was viewed through a lens of extreme scrutiny. Things that had no business being judged were suddenly taboo, like black trench coats. Fingers were pointed at Marilyn Manson and Doom as the cause for loss of life. It was a time of frustration and discussion, of which many conversations are still happening to this day.

If Super Dark Times‘ only purpose was to create a film with a sensitive topic in mind, we wouldn’t be here to tell you that it’s something you need to watch. It’s because it’s done with grace, poise, and elegance, all without shying away from being a deeply unsettling and unnerving experience, that I’m here to tell you all about it.

Phillips does an amazing job directing based on a script by Ben Collins and Luke Piotrowski, the duo who wrote SiREN, the V/H/S spinoff film. This is the same duo who wrote the upcoming fantasy/horror film Stephanie, which is being directed by Akiva Goldsman and will star Anna Torv, Frank Grillo, and Harold Perrineau. With only a handful of films before Super Dark Times, it’s clear that this film has made enough of an impact that they’re moving up in the ranks.

Much acclaim has been given to the stars of the film, such as Owen Campbell (“The Following”, “The Americans”, As You Are), Charlie Tahan (I Am Legend, Frankenweenie, “Wayward Pines”), Elizabeth Cappuccino (“Jessica Jones”), Max Talisman, and Sawyer Barth (“The Following”, “Public Morals”). The New York Times called their performances, “…uniformly excellent” while THR gushes about the, “…vivid performances from a youthful cast.” Our own Brad McHargue praised the, “…incredible performances of Campbell and Tahan.”

EW praised the film, saying that it had a, “…masterful air of unpredictability and white-knuckle tension.” Variety adds, “Phillips instills a sense of unease from the very beginning…

If you’re looking for a character-driven thriller, one that spirals out of control into a shocking conclusion, Super Dark Times is precisely the film that you are looking for. For those lucky enough to have it play in their area (screening list), we highly recommend you make the journey. For those of you who can’t make it out, Super Dark Times will be hitting digital platforms and OnDemand this coming Tuesday, October 3rd.

I have a feeling that Super Dark Times will speak to many of you on a level that few other films do. It’ll take you back to your childhood but not with the intent of bringing up fond memories. Rather, it will remind you of the dark cloud that pervaded over our lives for many, many years.

Super Dark Times



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