Netflix’s ‘Dark’ Takes Time-Travel Narrative to a New Spine-Chilling Level

By Alexyss Panfile, Staff Writer

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Many victims go missing in Netflix’s new show, “Dark.”
Photo courtesy of Netflix.

“Dark” is Netflix’s first original German series which was added at the beginning of the month. This sci-fi series is a combination of crime, drama and mystery and lives up to its title.

“Dark” is set in Winden, a small German town with a calamitous past. It centers on a man’s suicide and a young boy’s disappearance in 2019. This sets off a sequence of events that expose the disturbing secrets that were hidden from the families in the town. This vague plot may deter one from wanting to explore this show further, but there is only so much to be said without ruining the plot. It is truly a thrilling puzzle that has to be put together in the span of 10 episodes.

This thriller has often been compared to other popular Netflix sci-fi thrillers like “Stranger Things” and “The OA,” but “Dark” is its own entity. It has been a long time since I have seen a show as exciting as this one. It bore absolutely zero resemblance to these two shows as they all have their own great and separate storylines.

The creators, Baran bo Odar and Jantje Friese do an amazing job of creating a complex storyline without losing the audience. The audience is taken to three different years – 1953, 1986 and 2019. As the timelines interchange, it may cause a bit of confusion, but it does not take away from the impressive storyline. It was meticulously and carefully thought out. Everything in each scene had a purpose – from the photos placed in the background, to the wardrobe and even the music.

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“Dark” focuses on three different yet specific years during which the town of Winden slowly crumbles.
Photo courtesy of Netflix.

By the end of the season, all of those components come together. I felt as if I were a detective putting together a mind-boggling case. It is not a show to be mindlessly viewed as it has endless substance to it.

Along with the storyline, the score selections were important to setting the tone of the show. The eerie choices of songs and sounds made it so viewers were constantly anticipating what creepy occurrence would happen next. The setting was another huge factor in the overall feeling of the series. The dark forests, rainy days and gloomy, foggy skies put viewers into the town of Winden and it feels anything but upbeat. Another impressive part of the show is the limited use of gore. There were disturbing moments, but the hair-raising circumstances of those moments called for viewer’s imagination more than the actual visual.

One of the most notable parts of the series was the casting. It was astounding that the casting director, Simone Bar, was able to find people that looked so similar to one another for the sake of the interchanging timelines. The acting from the whole cast was incredible. The most noteworthy performances were by Louis Hofmann who played Jonas Kahnwald, Oliver Masucci who played Ulrich Nielsen and Daan Liebrenz who played Mikkel Nielsen. All three of them truly made viewers become lost in the lives of their characters.

Although there has not been confirmation of a second season, one could only hope the creators decide to delve back into it. At least for the sake of the viewers that are left with burning questions.

Netflix has done a fantastic job of putting out binge-worthy material, and “Dark” is by far one of the best in the sci-fi thriller category. It is highly addictive and has come just in time for the holiday break.

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