German mystery thriller 'Dark' has been garnering stellar reviews since its release on Netflix.
The story is based in the sleepy German town of Winden under the backdrop of the nearby nuclear plant that is in the process of being shut down. Nothing ever happens in Winden, that is until Erik Obendorf goes missing and unrest beings to bubble within the locals.
The Netflix original is brooding, portentous and well... dark. Beautifully shot, the series doesn't have the 80s nostalgic feel that Stranger Things gained its popularity off of, though in it's place is a constant sense of dread that keeps your eyes glued to the screen.
You could be forgiven for thinking that 'Dark' is one of those shows that is simply a cynical attempt to ride on Stranger Things' coat-tails, but the drama more than stands on its own two feet. On the surface the comparisons are obvious: the child actors, other dimensions, missing kids, flickering lights.
But, the science fiction has more in common with 2001's Donnie Darko. The impending sense of doom, the moody teenagers the time travelling element, as well as the 80s soundtrack. In fact there seems to even be a nod to Richard Kelly's cult classic, where one of the children is wearing Donnie Darko's iconic skeleton hoodie.
If you're not one for subtitles the actors have been dubbed with American accents, but I would recommend leaving the german actors performances intact. There's a strong cast and the children/teenagers especially are very accomplished.
The first season is ten episodes long. The first episode entitled 'Secrets' sets the tone well for the rest of the series with a suicide, affairs, a suspicious old man a disappearance and finally a death. The series also calls to mind the time travel science fiction 'Primer' and the final scene of the opener will have you clicking on the 'next episode' button as soon as the credits roll.
Here is the trailer: