Review For Jeremy Saulnier’s Netflix Original Hold The Dark

Hold The Dark

Jeremy Saulnier’s new Netflix original HOLD THE DARK has just hit Netflix.

As a big fan of Jeremy Saulnier, I couldn’t wait to feast my eyes and ears on his new film. Even more so when I found out that Macon Blair was penning the script. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the name Macon Bair. He starred in Blue Ruin, played Gabe in Green Room, wrote and directed I Don’t Feel At Home In This World Anymore and also co-wrote Small Crimes.

Based on a novel of the same name by William Giraldi.

Hold The Dark tells the story of Russell, (Jeffrey Wright) a published author and wolves expert. Russell’s world gets turned upside down when he receives a distress letter from a woman looking for help with finding her missing son.

Medora Sloane (Riley Keough) believes that her son was the latest to fall victim to a hungry pack of vicious wolves that stalk the harsh Alaskan wilderness. This child is now the third child suspected to be taken by these wolves.


Meanwhile, her husband Vernon Sloane (Alexander Skarsgard) is deployed overseas and dishing out some freedom. We know that Sloane is a killing machine as we see him take down multiple enemies without emotion or thought. His emotionless, yet animalistic behaviour can continue to be seen as he walks through the village he is stationed in and brutally attacks a fellow soldier (with justifiable cause).

When he learns about his son, this is where shit starts to get a bit crazy.

Hold The Dark Movie review Netflix
Westworld’s Jeffrey Wright as wolf maestro Russell Core

The violence in this movie is just jaw-droppingly good. It is unpredictable, brutal and beautifully shot.  I have always had a thing for bloodshed on snow in movies. I know I sound morbid here, but it’s a thing of beauty from a filmmaking POV. I have never seen such epic gun battles set in a small confined space. I was not expecting that level of action but I sure welcomed it.

Macon Blair’s script is solid although minimal.

In my opinion, this works amazingly well with Saulnier’s direction of the movie. The script allows Saulnier to introduce us to one of the most dangerous aspects of the film, the wilderness. The cinematography is wonderfully done capturing perfectly the danger and hopelessness of the grim, unforgiving landscape surrounding the viewer.

Was it any good?!

Come on, of course, it was, it blew me away!!. I was left at the end of the movie not knowing what the fuck I had just watched. That was far from a bad thing. It just enticed me to get the thinking-cap on (well, Google search but ssshh).


So, thanks to some extensive Google searching and an article shared to me by Stephanie from TV & Movie Addicts, I know exactly what I need to know. When you figure out what the fuck is going on, you’ll start to see the brillance creep through. You’ll realise, that although confusing, Hold The Dark is a perfectly crafted mystery/thriller full of brutality and hidden meaning

9/10 Easily

Words by Gary Gamble 

Founder/Owner/BigCheese @ Moviehooker
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