Watch DARK, Already!

Netflix has billed its first German series, The Dark, as a grown-up Stranger Things. Little wonder: it features a small town with a creepy government facility, weird and inexplicable events, kids on bicycles, and 80s nostalgia out the wazoo. But where Stranger Things is quite funny and has a certain coziness, The Dark is maudlin and overwrought to the point of hysteria—and totally great!

Local children disappear from the bucolic town of Winden with stunning regularity, and the mutilated bodies of mystery children arrive at the same clip. Does it have something to do with the nuclear power plant or the freaky caves or the dark, scary woods? Could it be somehow related to time travel? Why can’t anyone seem to remember anything? As the narrative bounces back and forth between decades, the tension mounts. This is binge-able television of the first order, the kind that leaves you asking Wie die Zeit vergeht?

While hurtling through the first season, I was reminded of some wonderful books, which I’ve listed below and linked to their Booklist reviews. I suspect you’ll like the show if you like these, or vice versa. Viel Glück!

Black Hole, by Charles Burns

Set in the 70s, this graphic novel follows a group of teens who hang out in the woods and are besmirched by a supernatural (and disgusting) STD. For fans of teenage lust and awful dread.

 

 

Castle, by J. Robert Lennon

A weirdo buys a decrepit house in the woods and feels a terrible foreboding. The woods are creepy. The locals are hostile. Something frightening is happening—but what?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ill Will, by Dan Chaon

Chaon brilliantly distills the satanic panic of the 80s into a novel as surreal and disjointed as the era itself. A gruesome murder ruins two generations of an Ohio family, prompting the reader to ponder the nature of evil and the lie of memory.

 

IT, by Stephen King

The urtext of nostalgic horror involving a group of children pitted against a supernatural enemy inextricably linked to a town. (Dan Kraus has a whole lot to say about it.)

 

 

 

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About the Author:

Eugenia Williamson is the Associate Editor of Digital Products at Booklist. She worked in bookstores for twelve years, reviews books for The Boston Globe, and writes about books, culture, and politics for several other publications. Follow her on Twitter at @Booklist_Genie.

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