9 items from 2017
Super Dark Times? How about Super Fuckin’ Dark Kick-Your-Teeth-In Stressful No Good Very Bad Times. Writers Ben Collins and Luke Piotrowski construct a backyard crime drama – like if Brick followed a cover-up instead of investigation – while debut filmmaker Kevin Phillips acts as visionary/our soul’s executioner. You know what’s going to happen. It’s obvious. That still doesn’t keep this maliciously pitch-black thriller from ripping your guts out, locked eye-to-eye all the while. Tension is tighter than a leather gag and adolescent unpreparedness heightens reaction. Choke on your fancy words, because there’s only one phrase that captures our reaction – holy shit. Savage, sincere and so very unsettling.
Collins and Piotrowski open on death – a dear carcass that’s been dragged into a school cafeteria. It’s a short intro that leads into Zach (Owen Campbell) and Josh (Charlie Tahan) sitting on a basement sofa, discussing boyhood pleasantries. »
- Matt Donato
Set in an familiar and ambiguous time and place (mid-90s in anytown USA), Super Dark Times functions as a kind of trojan house until its twist. Delivering horror thrills, the Kevin Phillips-directed feature first and foremost invests in character development as an effective and sympathetic coming-of-age story until it lives up to its title. We follow four friends Zach (Owen Campbell), Josh (Charlie Tahan), Daryl (Max Talisman), and Charlie (Sawyer Barth) as they have mild, seemingly innocent adventures: watching scrambled pay-per-view softcore porn, playing 8-bit video games, biking over an abandoned bridge, and ultimately stealing from Josh’s brother. The last part doesn’t end well and it is impossible to discuss the film without spoiling the twist.
Before I provide fair warning and get into spoilers I’ll simply say Super Dark Times delivers on its premise. Virtually free from quirk and black humor, the film is an effective, »
- John Fink
Owen Campbell, Charlie Tahan, and Elizabeth Cappuccino go through some Super Dark Times in Kevin Phillips' Tribeca-premiering feature debut. Also starring Max Talisman, Sawyer Barth and Amy Hargreaves, the harrowing feature follows Zach and Josh, two teenage best friends growing up in mid-'90s suburbia whose lives are forever changed following an unexpected and horrific moment of violence. "The film's about some friends, and they kind of get into some sh*t with a samurai… »
The ominous prologue of Kevin Phillips’ “Super Dark Times” arrives like a shiver, and that chill lingers until the bitter end, continuing to sink into your skin even as the rest of the film begins to melt into the atmosphere. A slow-burn high school thriller that’s like a tortured cross between “Stand By Me” and “Donnie Darko” (with a bit of Dostoyevskian madness thrown in there for good measure, Phillips’ feature-length debut begins by welcoming us to a grey Hudson Valley town that’s lost in the barren phantom zone between fall and winter.
The place looks practically post-apocalyptic, the shattered window of a classroom evoking “Children of Men.” But it’s not the end of the world, just a petrified buck who’s gotten himself into a spot of trouble. Some cops stand over the animal as it lies dying on the floor between the desks, the men »
- David Ehrlich
Keep up with the wild and wooly world of indie film acquisitions with our weekly Rundown of everything that’s been picked up around the globe. Check out last week’s Rundown here.
– Grasshopper Film has announced the acquisition of all U.S. distribution rights to Michael Almereyda’s new documentary “Escapes,” a dynamic portrait of Hampton Fancher, executive produced by Wes Anderson. “Escapes” will open in theaters this summer followed by a VOD and Home Video release in the fall.
“Escapes” showcases the storytelling talents of Hampton Fancher, flamenco dancer, film and TV actor, and the unlikely producer and screenwriter of the landmark sci-fi classic “Blade Runner,” as well as screenwriter on the upcoming sequel “Blade Runner 2049.” Fancher’s running commentary – with a little help from Philip K. Dick and Ridley Scott – works in concert with extensive archival footage as Fancher relates death-defying escapades from a remarkable life. »
- Kate Erbland
7 March 2017 3:37 PM, PST | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »
The Orchard has acquired the worldwide distribution rights to teen drama Super Dark Times.
Owen Campbell, Charlie Tahan, and Elizabeth Cappuccino star in the debut feature of Kevin Phillips, which follows two teenaged best friends in the '90s as they attempt to cover up a gruesome accident.
Super Dark Times will screen at the upcoming Tribeca Film Festival. The Orchard is planning a theatrical release for the film later this year.
- Mia Galuppo
The Orchard has picked up worldwide rights to director Kevin Phillips debut film Super Dark Times, which is set to screen at Tribeca in April followed by a theatrical release later this year. Written by Ben Collins and Luke Piotrowski, the drama stars Owen Campbell, Charlie Tahan, and Elizabeth Cappuccino. Set in the mid-1990's, the film follows teenage best friends Zach and Josh, whose friendship is challenged when a gruesome accident leads to a cover-up. The secret… »
The 16th annual Tribeca Film Festival kicks off this April in New York, and horror fans attending the cinematic gathering have plenty of titles to look forward to, including the world premiere of Mickey Keating's Psychopaths.
From the Press Release: "Tribeca’s Midnight section is the destination for late night audiences to discover the best in psychological thriller, horror, sci-fi, and cult cinema. This year’s six selections offer new genre experiences for even the most extreme viewer.
Devil's Gate, directed by Clay Staub, written by Peter Aperlo, Clay Staub. (Canada, USA) - World Premiere, Narrative. Struggling to overcome a recent professional tragedy, a tough-as-nails FBI agent (Amanda Schull) relocates to a small North Dakota town to investigate the disappearance of a local woman and her young son. The search leads to the missing woman’s husband’s (Milo Ventimiglia) secluded farm, on which answers, new mysteries, and God-fearing terrors await. »
- Derek Anderson
The fecund coming-of-age story receives a genre-twisting injection of violence in debuting director Kevin Phillips’ alternately sensitive and gory “Super Dark Times.” Jarring in the way it jumps whole hog from a sincere, penetrating look at the nightmare of guilt into far more standard psycho territory, this teen drama about the repercussions of a tragic accident is so spot-on in its depiction of high school behavior that its shift to slasher mode creates disappointment. Still, it’s hard not to appreciate the astute ways the script captures the moment when carefree childhood turns into the loss of innocence. Visually striking, with a fine ear for teen dialogue among boys, and excellent performances (especially from Owen Campbell, fresh from Sundance kudos on “As You Are”), the film could make a moderate box office splash, with steadier returns from VOD.
The long shadow of “Stand by Me” will always haunt films about »
- Jay Weissberg
9 items from 2017
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