Ted K.: The Darkness Within

Directed by Tony Stone, Ted K gives the viewer a look inside the life of Ted Kaczynski (Sharlto Copley), aka the infamous Unabomber. Once a genius mathematician, Ted now lives in insolation in the Montana mountains. Far from civilization, Ted grows an increasing contempt for women, technology, and modern society. Within the film, the viewer gets to see his declining mental state, and his life leading to his infamous killing spree. One of the most terrifying terrorist/serial killers to elude American authorities, Kaczynski kills with no remorse.

Beginning in the actual Montana land Ted was living in, the film explores Ted’s life and its affect on his psyche. A poor man with nobody besides his mother in his life, Ted has fallen to a low place. Once a math prodigy praised for his genius who became a young professor, Kaczynski now finds himself eating dirt, hitchhiking to payphones, and asking to borrow money from his mother. Over time, he slowly becomes more out of touch with reality, blaming it on technology. To him, technology is destroying nature and ruining the world. However, to the rest of the world, he sounds insane which sets him on a course to his infamous bombings and mind games with the police.

What makes Ted K unique is that it explores though his human side, beyond the bombings. Usually with films exploring serial killers and terrorists you empathize with them and see that they were just a product of society tearing them down. (After all, maybe if the world weren?t so cruel, they wouldn?t have lashed out against it.)

Well, that?s not the case for Ted.

Instead, Kaczynski is portrayed as an arrogant fool who believes himself to be better than everyone else. He treated women with disrespect. He talked down to his own family, as if he was the second coming of Jesus sent to save them from technology. While the film may show his human side, it also believes that he had no redeeming qualities at all.

In the end, Ted K is an interesting look at what motivates a man to commit the most unthinkable. Here, Kaczynski is detestable in every way, but that’s a testament to some solid work by Copley in the process. As such, Ted K shows what happens when someone succumbs to the darkness within and unleashes it upon the world.

Ted K is available in theatres on Friday, February 18th, 2022.

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