DAVID BIANCULLI

Founder / Editor

ERIC GOULD

Associate Editor

LINDA DONOVAN

Assistant Editor

KARLE DUNBAR

Social Media Manager

Contributors

ALEX STRACHAN

GERALD JORDAN

ROGER CATLIN

GARY EDGERTON

CANDACE KELLEY

TOM BRINKMOELLER

MONIQUE NAZARETH

DAVID SICILIA

GABRIELA TAMARIZ

NOEL HOLSTON

JONATHAN STORM

 
 
 
 
 
There's a Chance 'Dark' Is Worth Watching, but It's Hard to See – Most of the Time Literally
December 1, 2017  | By David Hinckley
 

Dark lives up to its title.

The new Netflix crime mystery drama, which becomes available on the streaming service Friday, plunges into a small, quiet German town where several young boys have gone missing.

As if that isn’t mysterious enough, much of Dark is filmed at night or in what might charitably be called low light.

That technique is widely used to camouflage the mechanics of special effects, but while Dark has a supernatural element, the lack of light here seems more designed to keep characters and viewers wondering if something ominous may be lurking in the woods.

Or in a big old tunnel.

Adding to the challenge for most American viewers, the characters in Dark all naturally enough speak German.

So Dark fits into the Netflix master plan of conquering not only the United States but the world. Fortunately for American viewers, in this case, there are subtitles.

The story takes more than an episode to unfold, in any language.

The town of Winden has long prided itself on being a haven of safety in a troubled world. So some of the citizenry doesn’t want to believe that missing teenager Erik (Paul Radom) could have met foul play. He must have simply run away.

Then Mikkel (Daan Lennard Liebrenz) disappears on a night prowl through the woods with a group of his friends. The exact nature of their mission remains, again, mysterious, seemingly with some sort of ritual element.

There are hints something wicked lies out there, and we catch a glimpse of a metallic, robot-like face. The music feeds the sense of unease.

As the story gradually unfolds, however, its focal point pivots away from the woods and back to the town – or, more specifically, four families. All four are involved in some way with the missing boys or their friends, but as the search process plays out, it’s clear these folks are dealing with several other long-simmering issues.

Some of those issues are standard stuff like affairs. Others seem to involve some event that apparently happened 33 years earlier and also seems to have shattered Winden’s face of serenity and safety. The fact that only a seemingly half-crazy old man openly talks about this event tells us it’s more important than the rest of the town would like to admit.

The school principal and the lead police investigator play prominent roles, as it turns out both are struggling to keep their personal lives and families intact.

Dark requires close attention and patience, as hints of things like a traumatic suicide and an unexplained old letter drive different characters to actions whose purpose often seems unclear.

The story does eventually coalesce – or maybe we just get used to the darkness.

 
 
 
 
 
Leave a Comment: (No HTML, 1000 chars max)
 
 Name (required)
 
 Email (required) (will not be published)
 
 Website (optional)
 
IULPC
Type in the verification word shown on the image.