Dark/Web (Blu-Ray) Review

The Deep Dark Web

By Curt Wiser

The internet. It is the great abyss, a representation of humanity that shows off the best and worst of what we are capable of. Dark/Web is a Science Fiction anthology series which was released as an Amazon Prime Exclusive in 2019. Well, now it is also available as a special edition Blu-Ray.

When Molly Solis, played by Noemi Gonzalez (“Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones”) mysteriously disappears, a group of her friends unite to search for her. As they follow the messages and clues to her location, it also leads them down the depths of an impeding crisis dealing with the dark side of technology.

I published a great interview with Emmy Award winner Allison Vanore, one of the producers of Dark/Web. For more details on the production of this series and the story, you can read my interview with Allison Vanore.

Dark/Web is an anthology series like no other. Tonally, fans of Black Mirror will feel right at home, however, the structure and style is what makes it unique. The main story of the group searching for their tech savvy friend is told linearly throughout the eight episode series. But most of these episodes feature a second B-Story which is related to the trail Molly leaves behind.

These fun side stories are the anthology component. They explore various aspects of the hidden dangers of technology. Everything from ride share apps, cyber bullying and organ transplants are compelling departures from the central story of Dark/Web. These anthology segments are from different writers and directors than the main story. All these styles and stories come together nicely and are connected in some ways.

Full disclosure, the production company Felt Films held a contest for writers to submit their short anthology scripts related to the dark side of the internet. They picked one winner to have their script produced as part of the anthology. I am happy to say I was one of the semi-finalist with my script titled Death Clock. This contest led me to the Dark/Web series and I’m so glad I took that journey.

It must be noted that some of the creators behind Dark/Web also are the filmmakers of Circle, a contained Sci-Fi hit movie on Netflix. This team of producers/writers/directors include Michael Nardelli, Mario Miscione and Tim Nardelli. This series really is an ambitious indie marvel from a core cast and crew doing all they could to make it happen. The special features on the Blu-Ray tells that tale.

The Dark/Web Blu-Ray features over 7 hours of bonus materials, and I enjoyed every minute of it. All eight episodes had commentary from the filmmakers of the main plot line and the anthology segments. They go into detail about writing such a unique series like this, how hints were placed in that lead to the season’s conclusion. Or how these anthology tales relate to the main narrative and fit the overall tone of the series.

These commentaries were recorded in 2020, during the Pandemic lock down, shortly before the presidential election in America. In that sense, moments of the commentary could serve as a time capsule for a year we will never forget, no matter how hard we try.

As a filmmaker, I can tell you these bonus features give you great tips on film production, especially a visual effects heavy project like this. This three disc set also includes a full Comic-Con panel with the cast and crew of Dark/Web. The panel has a humorous, conversational style and dives into how they personally feel about apps and the state of technology.

Other special features include more cast and crew interviews, including an hour long discussion with the visual effects artist of Dark/Web. These visual effects artists talk shop and go into specifics about what it took to create these stunning visuals in the series. Fans and indie filmmakers alike will find this feature interesting because they talk about how best to set up shots during production to help the visual effects artists do their work later.

Dark/Web earned 7 Daytime Emmy nominations and one win. It has a diverse and talented cast which includes Sibongile Mlambo (“Lovecraft Country (TV)”, “Teen Wolf (TV)”), Michael Nardelli (“Circle”), Julie Benz (“Saw V”, “Hawaii Five-O (TV)”) and Dora Madison (“Bliss”, “Chicago Fire (TV)”).

Back to our abyss, a sea of metal, glass and flickers in the night. We have been staring at these screens of ours more than ever lately, possibly to the point it blinds us from the real world around us. During these wild and turbulent times, while technology feels more pervasive and dominant than ever. It is the perfect time to settle in and watch this binge worthy series Dark/Web.

Lastly, within these bonus features there is a lot of talk about the possibility of more seasons of Dark/Web and a sequel to Circle, fingers crossed on both accounts.

Originally published at https://www.ocmoviereviews.com on January 21, 2021.



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