Kevin Phillips’ 2017 feature film directorial debut ‘Super Dark Times’ is a psychological thriller film about an accidental murder that sends the lives of two boys down an unexpected spiral. While navigating their awkward teen years, best friends Zach and Josh find themselves in a deadly predicament after Josh accidentally kills another classmate, Daryl. Zach and another boy Charlie help Josh cover up Daryl’s death, but soon the secret starts to take over the young boys’ conscience.
While a paranoid Zach tries to pretend everything is normal, conflicting feelings rise within Josh that further complicate everything. If you’re curious to see how this crime cover-up goes for Zach and Josh and how Daryl’s untimely death influences them, here is everything you need to know about the ending of ‘Super Dark Times.’ SPOILERS AHEAD!
Super Dark Times Plot Synopsis
Zach and Josh are your average teenage boys who spend their time after-school hanging out at each other’s house or outside with their bikes. Interested in the same movies, comic books, and girl, Allison, the two boys have been best friends for a long time. After bumping into two other boys, Daryl, a foul-mouthed kid from their school, and his friend, Charlie, at a gas station, the boys ride out to a creepy off-limits bridge together. The next day, the four boys hang out in Josh’s house and decide to dig into his older brother’s room, who is away with the Marines.
When Daryl comes across a stash of weed, he tries to buy it off of Josh, who declines the offer. Soon, the latter shows the boys his brother’s katana, and the group leaves for the woods, where they slice through milk cartons with the sword. Eventually, Daryl pulls out the weed he stole from Josh’s house and starts smoking a joint, which angers Josh. Following a confrontation, the two get into a physical fight, which ends with the former’s neck accidentally getting impaled on the sword.
While everyone freaks out, Daryl tries to run away but doesn’t make it far before he dies. Zach acts on impulse and tries to cover up the body with foliage, while Josh has a breakdown about the incident. Charlie brings the sword and suggests they hide it as well. The boys throw the katana inside a hole in the ground and get rid of Daryl’s possessions. While stowing away the bike, Zach hurts his wrist and has to get a cast for his arm.
Over the next few days, news about Daryl’s disappearance spreads around town while Zach tries to act normal when he is constantly on edge. Ominous nightmares about the dead boy haunt Zach’s sleep leading to insomnia that paves the way for increased paranoia. Simultaneously, Allison shows interest in Zach, but his deteriorating mental health prevents him from reciprocating her advances. Meanwhile, Josh continues to skip school until Zach confronts him about it and reiterates the importance of not drawing attention to themselves.
After catching Josh acting weird, handing out weed at parties, and getting in trouble at school, Zach decides to ride to the woods to check on Daryl’s body. There, he finds the boy’s body has been tampered with and realizes the katana is missing. Unnerved and disturbed, he contacts Charlie to tell him about his wild theory regarding John Whitcomb, the boy who recently died after allegedly falling off a bridge.
Zach believes Josh has something to do with John’s death, but Charlie refuses to listen, accusing him of losing his mind. The next night, Josh visits Zach’s house, and the latter has a similar conversation with him about the missing katana and accidentally insinuates Josh’s potential connection to John. Josh blows up at Zach and storms off, causing him to get suspicious of him even more.
Super Dark Times Ending: Did Josh Kill John Whitcomb?
The narrative establishes Josh and John’s aggressive dynamic early into the story. Once when walking back to their homes, Zach and Josh pass by John and his troublemaking friends. During the encounter, the latter’s friend bullies Josh, who picks a fight with him after he insults his older brother. Although John remains a bystander to that incident, Josh rants about him later to Zach.
As such, Josh’s detestation of John Whitcomb is obvious to Zach and the viewers from the get-go. Due to the same, when Zach learns about John’s death, he can’t help but wonder if it has a connection to Josh. Earlier, at Allison’s birthday party, Zach sees Josh agreeing to sell marijuana to John after Josh gifts his brother’s stash to Allison.
The fact that Josh gives away the weed to Allison is weird enough, considering it was the catalyst in Daryl’s accidental murder. However, on top of that, Josh also acts affable toward John, promising to get him some weed later, which makes Zach all the more suspicious. Likewise, John died by the bridge, the same spot Zach, Josh, Charlie, and Daryl hung out at a day before Daryl’s death.
All the clues point toward one thing: Josh has a connection to John’s death. Zach starts to believe his theory further when he realizes the katana is missing. Since he, Charlie, and Josh are the only ones who know about it, one of them must have taken it. Given Josh’s past with John and his previous brush with killing, it’s not difficult to connect those dots.
As a nerdy social outcast, Josh feels helpless and without any power. Therefore, when he first accidentally murders someone who’s bothering him, it unlocks something in him. Since Zach and Charlie help him cover it up, Josh doesn’t have to face the consequences of his actions. As such, he starts to believe murder is a viable solution to his problems and kills John Whitcomb.
Although the specifics of how Josh kills John are up to speculation, the probability of him using the katana on him is low. John’s death wouldn’t have been ruled as an accident where he fell off the bridge if authorities found signs of abuse on his dead body. As a result, Josh likely kills John by pushing him off the bridge.
Does Josh Kill Zach?
Shortly after Zach begins to believe Josh killed John, Zach visits Josh’s house in the morning but fails to find him. After discovering Josh called Allison recently, Zach realizes Allison must be Josh’s next target. While Zach tries to look for Allison, Josh shows up at Meghan’s house, where Allison is hanging out. Josh brings another stash of weed for the girls alongside the katana poorly wrapped in beach towels. Allison and Meghan let Josh into the house, where they talk and smoke weed.
Eventually, Josh shows the katana to the girls, who are very impressed by it. Meanwhile, Josh finally finds Meghan’s house and enters without notice, confident that Josh must be up to something menacing. In Meghan’s room, Josh finds Meghan in a pool of her blood on the bed with Allison tied up in the corner. Josh prevents Zach from entering the room, and the latter runs out of the house, yelling for help. When no help arrives, Zach scales the house and climbs in through Meghan’s bedroom window.
After untying Allison, Zach looks for Josh with a fireplace stoker as his weapon. = Zach likely feels guilty about his involvement in Josh’s actions, which fuels his determination to stop him. When Josh attacks Zach, he delivers several gashes on Zach’s body, gravely injuring his friend. Nevertheless, Zach fights back and runs out to the front lawn, knocking the katana out of Josh’s hand.
Perhaps Zach believes the katana has made Josh drunk with power, and without it, his attacks would seize, but Josh continues with his assault and tries to choke Zach. However, before Josh can kill Zach, an older neighbor comes out and helps Zach by restraining Josh. That marks the end of Josh’s terror, and by nightfall, the police have him in custody. On the other hand, paramedics tend to Zach, who stares at Josh in the cop car, infinitely confused and betrayed by his friends’ depraved actions.
What Happens to Meghan and Allison?
After Josh attacks Meghan’s house, he kills Meghan but keeps Allison alive and tied up in the room. Josh likes Allison and wants to win her affection. Due to the same reason, he gives her his brother’s weed and tries to form a connection through it. Still, Josh knows Allison doesn’t actually like him back. Allison is interested in Zach and repeatedly tells him the same.
At the film’s beginning, Zach and Josh go through their school’s yearbook, discussing which girls and teachers they find attractive. When Allison comes up, Josh is very clearly interested in her, but Zach feels uncomfortable talking about her sexually in such a disrespectful manner. Zach and Allison have been acquaintances in passing, and although Josh is interested in her sexually, he also genuinely likes her.
Compared to Josh, Zach’s feelings come across as more sincere, and Allison can probably tell the same. Therefore, when Josh realizes he’s lost Allison to Zach, he approaches it like he has been approaching all his social problems lately: through violence. Nevertheless, Zach stops him before he can harm Allison to the point of no return.
After things blow over, Allison returns to her regular life, attending school. The film opens with her witnessing a deer dying in her school classroom. Overnight, a deer runs into the school window and wreaks havoc inside until it’s too injured to move anymore. In the morning, Allison watches cops put the deer out of its misery by killing it.
Just as Allison wasn’t involved in the violence the deer endured or may have caused, she wasn’t complacent in Josh and Zach’s violence either. Still, she ends up witnessing both, and the scars of each incident stay with her. Only unlike the deer, Josh’s scars are much more visible, in the form of three slashes across the back of her neck.