Movie Review - Super Dark Times
If anything, this movie reminded me of Josh Trank's Chronicle (2012), but instead of being a commentary on a particular genre, the super-hero genre via the found footage aesthetic, this movie more or less is just a straightforward dramatic thriller that could have been a moody piece, resembling a teenage The Tell-Tale Heart, or, an exercise in youthful paranoia and extreme distrust, but, instead it ends in a rather predictable display of violence that suggests nothing more inherent or meaningful. Arguably, Chronicle ends the same way, but the characterizations weren't as vague or intentionally mysterious as they are here.
Owen Campbell (Boardwalk Empire and The Americans) stars as Zach, a teenage boy, possibly 15 or 16 who rides bikes and watches scrambled porn with his best friend. He's a scrawny kid, but he has a really cool, single mom who knows when to coddle and baby him and when to back off and give him privacy to spend time with the girl that he likes in his bedroom. Of his friends, he's the one who's the most anxious and guilt-ridden when bad things happen.
It would have helped if the inciting incident weren't as clunky and weird as it is. The incident is staged awkwardly. It's very obvious what's going to happen and instead of being an act of misplaced or misguided retribution for bullying or whatever is at hand, the movie has it as an accident. As such, I'm not sure I buy the arc of Josh from that accident to where he goes by the end. It feels too jarring. It wasn't jarring in Chronicle and it's not simply because DeHaan might be a better actor.
Not Rated but contains language, violence, blood and sexual situations.
Running Time: 1 hr. and 43 mins.
Available on DVD / VOD.