5.6/10
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Hold the Dark (2018)

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0:31 | Trailer
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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1,066 ( 98)

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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 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


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

Hold the Dark is the first film Jeremy Saulnier directed without also having written the screenplay. See more »

Goofs

Shortly after Russell arrives in the village, he is walking with Medora and a snowmobile drives by, dragging an elk on a sled. However, there are no elk on Alaska's mainland. 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

 
Saulnier's trademark violence and craftsmanship make for an epic, atmospheric fusion of genres
29 September 2018 | by jahpeatone64See all my reviews

Don't go in expecting Green Room. This film is more of a meditative, atmospheric, slow burn with occasional bursts of extreme intensity rather than a standard thriller.

Some of the plot elements, and how they are handled, will turn people off but the craftsmanship here is impossible to ignore. The performances are strong and the visuals are beautifully bleak. The violence is explosive and deeply disturbing. Fans of Saulnier, and fans of genre in general, will find a lot to appreciate here.

Those who want instant gratification or things wrapped up neatly will probably hate it, as the themes the film deals with, along with how it presents them, strongly warrants a second watch as well as a good amount of reflection. Some of the ambiguity could have been handled with a bit more coherence, but the script is far from poor. Macon Blair's screenplay is both interesting and thought-provoking for those with the patience to appreciate it.

Overall the film's story gets its message across, regarding the line between human and animal, and the feral tendencies we bury in ourselves. It could have used a bit of cleanup getting there, but it's still a compelling and harrowing journey that's expertly crafted, above all else.


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