5.7/10
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525 user 77 critic

Hold the Dark (2018)

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After the deaths of three children suspected to be killed by wolves, writer Russell Core is hired by the parents of a missing six-year-old boy to track down and locate their son in the Alaskan wilderness.

Director:

Jeremy Saulnier

Writers:

Macon Blair (screenplay by), William Giraldi (based on the book by)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Beckam Crawford ... Bailey
Riley Keough ... Medora Slone
Jeffrey Wright ... Russell Core
Michael Tayles ... Clerk
Issac Bird Issac Bird ... Yup'ik Teen
Joseph Whitebird ... Yup'ik Man
Zandus Snow Zandus Snow ... Yup'ik Boy
Julian Black Antelope ... Cheeon
Alexander Skarsgård ... Vernon Slone
Conor Boru ... Corporal
Anabel Kutay ... Iraqi Woman
Emmanuel Imani ... Medic
Tantoo Cardinal ... Illanaq
Clarence Hoof ... Yup'ik Prayer 1
Savannah Bird Savannah Bird ... Yup'ik Prayer 2
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Storyline

Retired naturalist and wolf expert Russell Core journeys to the edge of civilization in northern Alaska at the pleading of Medora Slone, a young mother whose son was killed by a pack of wolves. As Core attempts to help Medora track down the wolves who took her son, a strange and dangerous relationship develops between the two lonely souls. But when Medora's husband Vernon returns home from the Iraq War, the news of his child's death ignites a violent chain of events. As local cop Donald Marium races to stop Vernon's vengeful rampage, Core is forced on a perilous odyssey into the heart of darkness. Written by Netflix

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

alaska | See All (1) »


Certificate:

TV-MA | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

28 September 2018 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Hold the Dark See more »

Filming Locations:

Calgary, Alberta, Canada See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Atmos

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39: 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Sixth collaboration between Jeremy Saulnier and Macon Blair after Green Room (2015), Blue Ruin (2013), Murder Party (2007), Crabwalk (2004) and Goldfarb (1998) See more »

Goofs

The Alaskan mountain range outside Cole's hotel room is the visually distinctive Southern Canadian Rockies, a mountain range located over two thousand miles from the Alaska border. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Medora Slone: [in her letter] Dear Mr. Core, three days ago my son Bailey was taken by wolves. This happened twice already here. No one in the village will hunt them, and I am alone here now. I have read your book. I know you have done this before. In my heart, I know that you are able to do it now. I do not expect you to find my son alive, but you could find the wolf who took him. Come and kill it to help me. I know you have sympathy for this animal. Please don't. My husband will come home from ...
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Soundtracks

You'll Lose a Good Thing
Written by Huey P. Meaux and Barbara Lynn (as Barbara Lynn Ozen)
Performed by Lou Ann Barton
Courtesy of New West Records
By arrangement with Sugaroo!
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User Reviews

 
Holds your patience in the Dark
19 September 2018 | by GODZILLA_Alpha_PredatorSee all my reviews

The basic premise of Jeremy Saulnier's adaptation of Hold the Dark takes place in Alaska where wolf expert Russell Core has arrived to investigate the disappearance of a child claimed by his mother to have been taken from the very animal Core studies. From there Core discovers that the wolves may be the least of his concern.

The film is interesting through its dark atmospheric tone and gorgeous yet haunting cinematography of the wild landscape. As with any other of his, the violence is very sudden and brutal. It sneaks up behind you and leaves you in gasp from the site of it. While the body count is way higher and on a much bigger canvas, it lacks the self-contained momentum of Green Room and Blue Ruin. The pacing felt very inconsistent at times especially as it seems it never quiet matches the shocking shootout scene that happens in the middle act. Both Jeffrey Wright and Alexander Skarsgard get to show great character work in their performances. Wright shows Core as a man whom is sympathetic towards wolves as he sees their behaviour isn't intentionally evil but is disturbed and often times terrified of what horrifying acts human beings themselves do throughout the story. And Skarsgard as the missing boy's veteran father Vernon brings an intensity and intimidating presence while still conveying there is still a little bit of humanity left in him to understand his motivations. While the characters are certainly compelling, the vaguely defined supernatural element makes the story's direction feel too plot heavy and less compelling. The story is very much an exploration of how human behaviour can be more vicious then nature itself. While the conclusion makes sense thematically, it can feel anti-climatic depending on how much you are invested in the themes.

Hold the Dark I wouldn't call a disappointment but does not live up to the quality of his past films. It still has some really good scenes that are still worth watching.


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