Hold the Dark – Review

Genre Thriller
Directed by Jeremy Saulnier
Starring Jeffrey Wright, Alexander Skarsgård, James Badge Dale, Riley Keough, Julian Black Antelope
Released on September 12, 2018(TIFF), September 28, 2018(worldwide)
Duration 125 minutes
Flixxpanda Rating 7/10
Channel Netflix

Hold the Dark is based on the novel of the same name by William Giraldi. Directed by Jeremy Saulnier, known for his masterpiece thrillers, he seemed to go a bit off track making this one. Hold the Dark is a carefully crafted film with a great story-line and intricate subplots but maybe it demands too much of its audience. It asks for your undivided attention and in the end you’re left with little in return as the credits roll. The base subject matter is dark and fearless, the movie just failed to bring together all the puzzle pieces effectively.

Hold the Dark is one of those films that attract a wide range of opinions from its audience. It’s one of the latest movies to hit Netflix and it’s not necessarily a bad film. It just fails to keep you engaged for its entire running time and often leaves you feeling like there’s a crucial piece missing.

Set in the brutally cold and lifeless landscape of Alaska, the film has you feeling numb even though you’re sitting in your warm and toasty living room. Alaska can be beautiful, sure, but the movie is portraying such a bleak mindset, it has you cancelling any dream plans you ever had of moving there. The snow, mountains, no sun and lack of color feel like humans were never meant to inhabit the area in the first place. There’s just too many negatives here.

There have been an increasing number of accidents of local children going missing supposedly due to wolves. The admirable Riley Keough plays a humble resident names Medora Sloane whose son has disappeared. She calls on wolf-expert, Russell Core (Jeffrey Wright) in an attempt to get her son back. However when her husband Vernon (Alexander Skarsgard), a military man returns from service, things get very violent very quickly.

The film gets disturbing and inhuman at times, it builds up sequences of events and blows up. While Russell is calm, collected and rational, Vernon is all brawn with no brains. The stark contrast in the two make a compelling film, but not enough to keep you engaged in it’s entirety. There is no humor in Hold the Dark, the whole thing is bleak, desolate and mind-numbing. The cast seems to have stuck to the code and maintain limited expressions and are seemingly unaffected by most of the gore. The film tries to emphasize a sense of mystery, but honestly they should have unveiled a couple of these “mysteries” so as to keep us watching.

Credit – Netflix | YouTube

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