As it is for most the movies I'm interested in, I know nothing, or next to nothing about the film when I take my seat. I know the gist of things. The things that my cinephile circles tell me. That's all I need or want. When it comes to Hold the Dark, I would struggle to try and convince you to see it. If I HAD to sum it up in a sentence - It's an expertly crafted, edge-of-your-seat thriller that is as bizarre as they come.
Writer, Macon Blair, and Director, Jeremy Saulnier (both Blue Ruin almuni) weave us through the bitter Alaskan wilderness in search of some missing children. The children are believed to have been killed by wolves. The parents of one of the missing children employ writer, Russell Core (Jeffrey Wright), to track down the wolves, find the child, and bring him home. The more Core searches for the child, the more bizarre the story becomes. A story that unravels into a dark madness that will break nails in clawing back towards the light.
While Jeffrey Wright is the central character, it's the performances by Alexander Skarsgard (Vernon Slone), Riley Keough (Medora Slone), Julian Black Antelope (Cheeon), and Tantoo Cardinal (Illanaq) that truly make the journey as uneasy, while also being as believable as possible. I came for the writing and was more than happy I stayed for the performances.
Notable mentions to the score by Brooke and Will Blair. As well as the impressive methodically moving cinematography by Magnus Nordenhof.
Netflix continues to show they are interested in making good quality television shows as well as making cinematically elite films. Let us hope they can keep it up.