5.7/10
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461 user 70 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 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 »

Quotes

[When kids are killed, the future dies]
See more »

Soundtracks

Please Come Home For Christmas
Written by Charles Brown and Gene Redd
Performed by Charles Brown
Courtesy of Gusto Records, Inc.
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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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