There are many ways to describe this marvel of a show which dropped on Netflix. Many people are calling it the German version of Stranger Things, but it’s a lot more than that. Nordic noir meets sci fi meets period drama doesn’t do it justice either.
Dark is a unique, mind-bending show and it’s pretty much impossible to categorise. It’s about time. About a town. About family trees. It’s about so many things. In fact, the only criticism I can offer is that it is perhaps too ambitious, covers too much ground for ten episodes. If just a few of the many nebulous sub-plots were stripped away, this show would be a faultless masterpiece.
I get why people compare it to Stranger Things. There’s an 80s vibe, creepy forests, and missing children. But Dark is a lot, well, darker. It’s unforgiving treatment of the human condition and refusal to give us wholly loveable characters make it difficult to watch and feel more like The Bridge or Black Mirror.
The cast is ludicrously large, and to go into the character list would be spoiler hell. The acting throughout is impeccable. Louis Hoffman as Jonas – the troubled, yellow-jacketed youth who is one of the main characters- gives one of the many impressive, enthralling performances.
The cinematography is unbelievable as well. The earthy, bleak palate is punctuated with sharp splashes of bright colour. The photography pulls you into the story, switching from long-shots to more intimate, hand-held sequences to reflect the characters’ nightmarish experiences.
The kaleidoscopic, fractured imagery of the title sequence is not an ‘edgy’ gimmick. It sets the tone perfectly for the ensuing cerebral, existential-crisis-inducing experience.
Dark is brutal, shocking and an absolute mind-fuck. It’s not a question of how you watch it, but when. Take care.
Hint: watch in German with English subtitles, not the English dubbed version
Dark is available on Netflix
By Emily Black