If you are feeling a little lost since you finished binging Stranger Things 2, Netflix has delivered on another eerie series centered around a supernatural setting and of course, a few missing children. DARK is a German Netflix original series that was created by Baran bo Odar and Jantie Friese. To me, it seemed as if these two saw Stranger Things and said, hey we can do that, but with our own twist on it. But with that being said, it stood alone. I really enjoyed this series and found myself diving deep into this story and the characters involved. It was a little hard to keep up with who is who for a while since we are dealing with three different periods of time simultaneously. That though, is the reason this series is so fun and interesting. I found that the more confused I got, the more I wanted to dive into the writers brains and figure out what the hell was coming next and how this whole thing would come to a climax. This series covers a wide array of themes, such as time travel, religion, family drama, love and of course, the almighty battle between good and evil. You really do not know who or what you are dealing with when it comes to the evil that is lurking until the final episodes and final moments, and holy shit does this get fun. If you like thrilling mysteries and enjoy being psychologically challenged, then this series is right down your alley.
So, lets get into it. DARK opens this journey in 2019, with a missing child in the small town of Winden, Germany. We get a deep look into four separate families whose lives have all been intertwined one way or another. They have all lived in Winden for decades, so they are very aware of one another and share a deep history. This story follows the Nielsens, the Dopplers, the Kahnwalds and the Tiedermanns. The main character Jonas Kahnwald is a young high school student who just had lost his dad to suicide. The suicide remains a mystery throughout most of the show, and as you can imagine, things eventually come full circle. Jonas is thrown into the middle of everything right away as the young Mikkel Nielsen goes missing around the mysterious caves by the old nuclear power plant. These four families find themselves in a similar situation to what happened 33 years prior, in 1986, when Ulrich Nielsen (Father of Mikkel) looses his brother, Mads. There are three specific years you will find out are extremely important, and that is 1953, 1986 and 2019. All 33 years apart from each other and all are related in the sense that children have gone missing during these years. So what the fuck does this all mean? Great question, because trying to explain this series is like trying to show your grandparents social media.
DARK flashes you in between three separate time periods while slowing introducing you to who is who and who grew up to be who. Throughout the first half of the season, they present you with this presence, as if an evil entity is responsible for the happenings. We, as an audience though, are of course given small slivers of information while these families are struggling to find out exactly how this is happening yet again. Someway, all of these events are tied together and it is all at the hands of something or someone evil. This evil I speak of, is Noah. Noah is one of the most interesting and fascinating characters I have come across in a while. You truly do not know who the fuck he is or what the fuck he is after until the final two episodes, which adds to the suspense. It was fun coming up with theories as to how his role will play out while watching because he is dressed as a Priest throughout and speaks the word of God, but is clearly influenced by something much darker. His motives eventually come to light and the four families begin to realize that the nuclear power plant and these three time periods are all interrelated and are the sole purpose this town has been cursed for decades. Slowly but surely, we as an audience, begin to uncover the mystery of who is pushing what agenda and how these three time periods affect one another.
This was a fascinating watch and peaked my interest in a brand new way that I have not experienced before. Time Travel is one of the trippiest and most difficult subjects to cover in film but these creatives did a great job of showing us what we need to know, when we need to know it. This was a darker and more gritty version of Stranger Things with it’s own flow and style. The show runners created well-developed characters and did a great job of pacing throughout the ten nail biting episodes. When you come across this series, make sure you watch it in its original form with German language and English subtitles. Watching it with the dubbed voice over is awful. With all of that being said, I give DARK a very solid 4 out of 5 stars. There is something so beautiful about foreign film and the way it grabs your attention with the unique, stylistic shooting and story telling. I won’t spoil the final moments, but they most definitely left it wide open for a second season and I am pumped. Thanks for reading and listening, as we here at Crafthouse Cinema are experimenting with new ideas and fresh content weekly, so crack a cold one and stay tuned.
Hate is a weak emotion.