Hold the Dark – No Spoiler Review

This review was written by TheQuintessentialist. You can find his blog here: http://the-quintessentialist.blogspot.com

Hold The Dark is a 2018 Netflix film that was released on September 28th, and boy does this movie really like to throw twists at you!

The majority of Hold The Dark takes place in Alaska during the brutal cold of winter, where a young boy is seemingly killed by wolves. The young boy’s mother, Medora Slone (Riley Keough) writes a letter to a prominent author and naturalist that deals with wolves, Russell Core (Jeffery Wright). The father is away in the Iraq War during this time, but do to a certain event the father, Vernon Slone (Alexander Skarsgård) is set to return home, and then more twists in the story start to unfold.

Alright I cannot understate this enough, this movie has so many twists it can really surprise the heck out of you at certain points in the film. I don’t want to give anything away but just know that my description of the film is about the first half hour, and things change in ways that I did not expect to happen.

Regarding the acting in Hold The Dark, for the most part everyone did a fine job, though a few actors felt stiff once and a while, but that didn’t happen very often. Is it just me or have the Skarsgård’s been dominating the film industry the past few years? Because I’ve been seeing at least one of their names pop up in a ton of films. How many Skarsgård’s are there? Anyways, Alexander Skarsgård does a fine job portraying his character Vernon.

My favorite performance though was most likely from Jeffery Wright, playing Russell Core. Jeffery Wright is a fantastic actor and acts as our protagonist for this film. If his name sounds familiar and you can’t place him, he was in The Hunger Games series and played Beetee, and he was also in Westworld and played Bernard Lowe.

Wolves in Hold The Dark act more as a symbol than a threat in some ways. The danger of the animal is present in the film, but there is a certain level of respect granted to the animal as well. Though the wolf imagery is dropped for part of the film more so in the middle than anywhere else.

Now some of the flaws of the film. Clocking in at 125 minutes, this film feels long at points and can drag a little. I think they should have cut maybe 10 minutes off of this film and it would have worked better. Also there is a dark looming sense that overlays the film, even when it gets loud and bloody, it still keeps a quiet tone about it. It’s kinda hard to understand, but if you watch the movie I think you’ll know what I mean. This film does develop some of it’s characters but I think they could have put a little more effort into it than they actually did.

Hold The Dark was directed by Jeremy Saulnier and the most notable thing that I found that he has directed in the pas is Green Room, so take that as you will. I have not seen any of his prior work, but after seeing Hold The Dark, would I want to watch his other work? …Maybe, because even though Hold The Dark was a competent film, it could have been improved upon. I think this would just end up being a wait and see with this director.

Overall, Hold The Dark is an alright film with some good twists. Would I recommend seeing it? Only if you are into crime or mystery type of films that hold a dark tone over themselves. It is well shot and the actors did well generally. In the end, Hold The Dark was a bit of a toss up for me, it was hard to come up with my final rating for this movie, but I’m happy with what I decided upon.

Final score: 3.3/5

This review was written by TheQuintessentialist. You can find his blog here: http://the-quintessentialist.blogspot.com

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