“Dark,” the first German original Netflix series, reminds audience of recent successes such as “Stranger Things,” and the blockbuster rendition of Stephen King's “It.” The series features a dark past that threatens the town’s modest population.
When a string of events causes multiple children to go missing, the tensions rise in a small German town built near a nuclear power plant. The show juggles multiple themes with supernatural, science fiction and crime drama entities.
"Dark" opens with the disappearance of a child whose parents are frantic to find him. When it appears that the police and the town’s search efforts lack enthusiasm, the parents of the missing child confront the head of the investigation.
After the confrontation leaves the parents and the police estranged, the police decide to look deeper into the matter. The head of police, Katharina Nielsen (Jordis Triebel), investigates further when she realizes the safety of her own children are at risk when a second local child disappears.
Aesthetically, the name of the series matches the overall themes of the show well. "Dark" takes place in various different dark settings including a forest and a cave.
The room that the children are held captive is the brightest setting of the show because it is designed to hold children. Despite its bright wallpaper and bedding, this room is as dark as the other settings because of the macabre devices used on the children to offset the cheeriness of the room.
"Dark" is reminiscent of “Stranger Things” and “It” because it features the disappearance of multiple children and supernatural premises, specifically to “It” because it offers the idea that the crimes are reccurring.
A string of crimes took place in the town close to 30 years prior to the new disappearances. Many different events imply these disappearances are connected. The police do not look into the crimes’ connection at first, but a couple of people who witnessed the past crimes begin to make the connection.
The crimes all center around the cave, the forest and the nuclear power plant. The police struggle to find the real crime scene because the bodies are continually moved from their original crime scene.
However, these crimes are not the only thing in the town that is off. The crimes create connections not only among themselves but also between the families they affect. Darkness in the town spreads throughout the families of the town until their secrets make their lives almost as dark as the crimes.
Unfaithful spouses, birds falling from the sky and other dark family secrets create a gloom of its own that stands alone in spite of the several crimes being committed throughout the town. This series offer exactly what it advertises and more.
“Dark” provides the perfect distraction for the audience from their own dark secrets that keep them up at night.