The latest Netflix horror series is Trippy Mindf*ck

dark It was one of Netflix’s most creative and exciting series, a square, time-traveling epic about grief, loss, and regret. Show creators Jantje Friese and Baran bo Odar not to shy away from this triumph model 1899another multi-character head-turning affair that piles mystery upon mystery to a bewildering degree.

It’s hard to come by clarity on the German duo’s latest eight-part effort, and it can sometimes be more baffling than exhilarating. Still, there’s plenty to savor about this spinning piece, which swirls and swirls around until it’s hard to separate fact from fiction – if anything at all in this story is true.

Perhaps the biggest drawback 1899 (which premieres November 17) is one that seems intent on transcending the literal darkness of its predecessor. There is a difference between ominous opacity and incomprehensible obscurity, and the Friese and bo Odar series often succumb to the latter. She wraps her suspenseful drama in such pitch-black colors that it’s hard to pull anything off.

It’s a case of atmospheric overload, which proves pretty frustrating considering the show’s aesthetics are effectively scary. There are passages and rooms lit by iridescent lamps and candles, waves of mist enveloping and obscuring, glowing contraptions and mysterious devices like passages and portals that characters come to navigate.

Before anyone starts crossing the disparate worlds, 1899 It sets its scene aboard the Kerberos, a turn-of-the-century European ship bound for America and its passengers an international (and therefore multilingual) group in search of new beginnings. Chief among them is Maura Franklin (Emily Beecham).

When her character is introduced, she has a dream in which she screams to her shady father about her missing brother as she is strapped to a medical chair. When she wakes up, there is a message from her brother that reads, “Trust no one.” Maura is a British physician with a particular focus on the brain, yet the repetition of her name, town, and history suggests her head is not in perfect working order. The strap marks on her wrist indicate that her dream may have been no more a fantasy than a recent memory.

Likewise, other Kerberos passengers revisit painful—often death-related—memories while asleep, including the German ship’s captain Eck (darkAndreas Pietschmann), whose family met a terrible fate. Why do these homages always end with hallucinatory visions of the pyramid, a whirling vortex, and a silent command of “Wake up!” Impossible to decipher at first, though things are at least becoming (relatively) clearer thanks to the incredible turn of events.

A few days after their destination, Eck and his colleagues receive a signal from another company’s ship, the Prometheus, which went missing four months earlier. Even more puzzling, upon locating Prometheus and digging inside, they discover that it is in disarray and completely empty, except for a young boy (Flynn Edwards) who is locked inside a bar cabinet, refuses to talk and carries a small black pyramid with him. .

No one knows what happened to Prometheus, and 1899 He dispenses the clues only slowly – all accompanied by three bonus elusive shells that perpetually make things fuzzy.

As Ike and Maura strive to make heads or tails out of their predicament, the series introduces a cast of characters whose fates are sure to intertwine: Spanish playboy Angel (Miguel Bernardo) and his fake priest friend Ramiro (Jose Pimento); a Chinese immigrant impersonating Japanese geisha Ling Yi (Isabella Wei) and her mother Yuk Ji (Gabi Wong); American Ms. Ling Yi (Rosalie Craig); Polish oven worker Olek (Maciej Musiał); hitchhiker Jerome (Yan Gael) and newlyweds Lucien (Jonas Ploquet) and Clemence (Mathilde Olivier); Danish basement residents Tove (Clara Rosager), her brother Christer (Lucas Lingard-Tönsen), and her religious parents Eben (Maria Ehrwalter) and Anker (Alexander Willom); and Franz Franz (Isaac Dentler), Icke’s ruthless right-hand man.

They each have cursed and/or troubling secrets, and their plights are hopelessly intertwined once the boy from Prometheus is brought to Kerberos and strange events begin to unfold.

Following in the footsteps of previous Friese and bo Odar series, darkAlso aboard Kerberos is a mysterious man named Daniel (Aneurin Barnard), who shares an apparent bond with Maura and uses a speedy little beetle to perform miraculous feats. Moreover, Maura’s father (Game of thrones‘Anton Lesser) is a completely shady and undercover character, who works from a fancy office with a wall of television screens – a tip, as is the case with darkAnd the 1899His story spans multiple eras.

These factors slightly undermine the novelty of the procedures, as does the paucity of concrete answers. Anyone desiring neat and tidy decisions should look elsewhere, as the show is working overtime to maintain the fleet of momentary action and momentum while keeping the bigger picture out of the way.

dark Vets will have little trouble keeping up with themselves 1899wave length. Newcomers, on the other hand, may find the deliberate pace exciting to try a little. Fortunately, any occasional sluggishness is offset by good performances – led by the charismatic Beecham and Beecham, who share a tight chemistry – as well as the methodical buildup of insane developments.

Hidden trigonometric symbols, mental wards, zombies like lemmings, mute children, broken faces, hidden portals that lead to tiled channels and futuristic panels controlled by tantalizing control boxes are all part of the madness, not to mention the various other trappings that are more suggestive of this memory. She is central to this tale. Then again, the series could be about perception, identity, or any number of other things, since Friese and bo Odar drop a variety of hints but always keep things close to the jacket, generating the juicy intrigue needed to keep the guessing game going. afloat.

“None of this makes sense,” Ik exclaims halfway through 1899Season 1, and in that time so many inexplicable incidents have occurred that almost any theory regarding the nature of this madness seems plausible. Like Friese and bo Odar’s previous streaming gem, this supernatural thriller is so intricate that trying to decipher its mysteries isn’t just a challenge, but a borderline headache – overall, in the best way possible.

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