The dialogue and acting is superb; Saulnier has a knack for making character exchanges seem so natural. The end. SEE ALL 26 REVIEWS. Let's dedicate all this time and manpower to make this non-story?" Waiting for an ahh moment in this film is like waiting for an answer to the existence of aliens. Wolves, snow, lots of suspenseful music and that's about it, An atmospheric success that is far from perfect, Saulnier's trademark violence and craftsmanship make for an epic, atmospheric fusion of genres, Jeremy Saulnier's Latest Is Also His Weakest. Saulnier, the man behind Murder Party (2007), Blue Ruin (2013), and Green Room (2015), has become an extremely reliable and continually interesting source for genre entertainment. Planning to watch Hold the Dark? TweetEmail TweetEmail Review by Stephen Tronicek Behind every bloodsoaked frame of the four features of Jeremy Saulnier there’s something deeper, darker to be explored. Hold the Dark opens in theaters and streams on Netflix on Sept. 28. At the start of another pitiless winter, wolves have taken three children from the remote Alaskan village of Keelut, including the six-year-old son of Medora and Vernon Slone. This film is more of a meditative, atmospheric, slow burn with occasional bursts of extreme intensity rather than a standard thriller. Such a shame. Hold the Dark is brutal and bleak Arctic noir. Hold the Dark is nonetheless absolutely worth watching, and a worthy addition to Saulnier’s expanding filmography. It doesn't. As a fan of director Jeremy Saulnier and a fan of man vs nature movies in general (go nature! It's a story inside a story, the mother killed her son because she was living in the dark. If you were expecting Jeremy Saulnier’s latest film to be as intense and terrifying as Green Room, prepare to … All the parts are there, good acting, engaging characters, great nature scenes, and a great story that ended up being a little too cryptic. Hold the dark is complex: partly a thriller, partly a mystery film, partly a crime film. This film has no concept or plot. Set in a remote area in Alaska, the film is extremely dark and extremely violent, and deals with overwhelming grief, supernatural occurrences, and immeasurable human cruelty. The movie does follow the book fairly well, but the book just seems to explain things better and provide better background details so you don't feel so confused. Jeremy Sauliner doesn’t fuck around. Metacritic Reviews. Hold the Dark, which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival and released exclusively on Netflix is a fascinating exercise in atmosphere and subverting expectation. I'll tell you. The always-great Riley Keough plays a resident named Medora Sloane, whose son disappears one day, presumably taken by wolves. Clearly, all the ingredients are there. Hold the Dark is the type of film you allow your brain to pluck at before fully deciding how enjoyable it is. Hold the Dark is a violent, visceral film, but it can leave you cold in more than one way. “Hold the Dark” occasionally explodes into stunning violence, particularly an extended shoot-out sequence with local police, including one well-played by James Badge Dale, also the star of an excellent TIFF Midnight Madness film, “The Standoff at Sparrow Creek.” Clearly, all the ingredients are there. Review: HOLD THE DARK A flawed, fascinating journey into the wilderness. In “Blue Ruin” and “Green Room,” Saulnier grabbed his viewer and refused to let them go. Sep 14, 2018. “Hold the Dark” is such a film. Review: In ‘Hold the Dark,’ Wolves, Gloom and Blood in Alaska Jeffrey Wright plays a naturalist who has been summoned to a town where wolves seem to be snatching children. Deliberate and almost witnessing the events as if he was the one watching the movie. 4. Great job reviewing, its always nice to see a review that takes an honest look at its subject, but when you add your input and personal taste it makes it so much better. The movie held my attention because I didn't want to miss anything that would confirm what I thought the film would be about. My suspicions is that the answers were left on the cutting room floor when the film was edited. With Hold the Dark, Green Room director Jeremy Saulnier crafts a bleak, unforgiving film with an ever-increasing body count. You get the impression that people were never meant to settle here, and not only because there have been an increasing number of incidents in which wolves absconded with local children. By David Duprey On Sep 29, 2018. I realized the ending of the movie skipped over a lot of details. She calls in an expert on the animal in an effort to try and get her son back named Russell Core (Jeffrey Wright), but the quiet, intellectual man is quickly overcome by the violence of the area, a violence intensified when Medora’s husband Vernon (Alexander Skarsgard) returns from military service overseas. The anticipation for Hold the Dark was high for this reviewer as its director Jeremy Saulnier had shown strong promise with his two previous features, Green Room (2015) and Blue Ruin (2013). It never happens. Director Jeremy Saulnier has made a name for himself with ultra-violent, existential thrillers Blue Ruin and Green Room, and his latest twists that into something even more primal about the human condition. It will hardly be a memorable film but I think it's worth it. Here is the movie explained. Alexander Skarsgard; Jeffrey Wright; Jeremy Saulnier ; Riley Keough; Between Blue Ruin and Green Room, Jeremy Saulnier has definitely established a name for himself. There are moments in Hold the Dark, none of them directly related to the plot, that are just as unsettling and searing as the best moments of Blue Ruin and Green Room. The new Netflix Original Movie Hold the Dark Explained little about what it actually means by the close of the film. Hold the Dark probably isn’t one of the best films of the year but it is a phenomenally bitter, violent work. You need to be prepared to … Hold the Dark is something different, a tale with a sense of grandeur and mythic scale. Directed By: Jeremy Saulnier. This is an advance review from Fantastic Fest. | Brian Tallerico is the Editor of RogerEbert.com, and also covers television, film, Blu-ray, and video games. At least Hold the Dark is a beautifully haunting-looking film, thanks to Saulnier and cinematographer Magnus Nordenhof Jønck. I had high hopes for this, having enjoyed his previous movies so much, and Hold the Dark didn't disappoint. 3 Responses to “Hold The Dark Review: An Unsettling Yet Fascinating Experience” Makoa Bryson on October 11th, 2018 8:47 pm Leave it to Chris to make me want to watch a movie I’ve never heard of. The camera lingers on the expansive forest and frozen tundra, creating a … And yet Saulnier endeavors to mimic the cold, desolate setting of his story in the filmmaking, resulting in a humorless, bleak, unforgiving movie. Hold The Dark is Netflix's newest movie, and I had high hopes for it. This is the kind of film that if you half-watch whilst doing something else, you would almost certainly hate it. To say this movie was a disappointment would be an understatement as vast as the Alaskan wilderness it was filmed in. Hold the Dark 's unsettling aesthetic offers more of what filmgoers expect from director Jeremy Saulnier - and is often enough to prop up shaky narrative underpinnings. Characters speak softly and deliberately, though often with ominous intent. Hold the Dark review: Netflix's “enigmatic and violent” chiller won't be for everyone Hold the Dark is the latest Netflix movie offering - A Time for Wolves or just for brutal bloodshed? ‘Hold the Dark’ Review: Jeffrey Wright Battles Wolves and Demons of the Alaskan Wilderness in Jeremy Saulnier’s Unpredictable Survival Saga — TIFF It still manages to move and explore just as effectively. But it never did. But Jeffrey Wright's performance is worth a view alone. It reminds me of many films and tv shows: Prisoners, No Country for Old Men, The Grey, Twin Peaks and True Detective. Will Hyland. Hold the Dark Review: Netflix Movie Has Ice in Its Veins. The acting was solid, stoic, and appropriate for the subject matter. Hold the Dark keeps you at arm’s length for a very long time as you try to figure out just what it is. At least Hold the Dark is a beautifully haunting-looking film, thanks to Saulnier and cinematographer Magnus Nordenhof Jønck. Reviews; September 29, 2018. This is an advance review from Fantastic Fest. In all seriousness, I've been looking forward to Hold the Dark. Skarsgaard is useless. And as 90% of all the other reviews state, the plot is unintelligible, slow, and pretentious. It's the third in a series of instances where children have disappeared from the area, all of them thought to have been carried off by wolves. Hold the Dark review – Netflix chiller aims high, lands somewhere in middle. | 3 VIDEOS | 86 IMAGES. Hold the Dark, his latest feature, is currently sitting somewhere in the mid-to-high 60’s on Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic. You can see that a movie is technically very well made, camera is top notch, acting is excellent, pacing is slow, but steady. A wolf expert travels to a peculiar Alaskan village to investigate a series of child murders. I read the book a few months ago and then discovered the movie on Netflix. Based on Hold the Dark by William Giraldi Directed by Jeremy Saulnier Starring Jeffrey Wright, Alexander Skarsgård, James Badge Dale, Riley Keough, Irene Bidel, Julian Black Antelope . And yet Saulnier endeavors to mimic the cold, desolate setting of his story in the filmmaking, resulting in a … Vernon is the brawn to Russell’s brain, and his arrival seems to unleash something inhuman in the area. Characters speak softly and deliberately, though often with ominous intent. Critics Consensus. This article spoils the shit out of Netflix’s latest exclusive feature, Hold the Dark. There’s a bit of bait and switch going on in this murky, brittle novel. Worth the watch if you like quiet psychological horror. Frank Mengarelli 2 years ago. A.S. is convincingly robotic as the injured returning war vet bent on making things right in his stark and twisted mind - taking everything out on everybody. After establishing himself as one of the most promising talents working in the film industry today with two back-to-back cinematic gems, Jeremy Saulnier hits a snag with his fourth feature film and delivers his first dud with Hold the Dark. I rarely rate movies but this time I felt compelled due to the fact this movie was such a let down. I don't know what I just watched. Synopsis. I loved Green Room, but this was a very different movie. This is the third film I've seen from director Jeremy Saulnier, Blue Ruin being an all-timer revenge thriller, and Green Room being one of my more recent disappointing experiences. After reading the novel I then understood the movie in its entirety. The mood looks promising. Toronto Film Review: ‘Hold the Dark’ Jeremy Saulnier's latest is a chilling, cryptic journey into Alaska's heart of darkness. Only Dale gives a performance with any sort of energy with Wright, Keough, and Skarsgard looking almost like the walking dead at times, moving through the inevitable brutality of the plot in a way that’s designed to make “Hold the Dark” more mysterious and intense but actually serves the opposite purpose. It’s a dark, brutal, unsettling but yet intriguing narrative being presented. 1. Which is only 66.6% correct. Hold the Dark 2018 ★★★★½ . Terrrible movie that once again leads you down twists and turns, eventually getting nowhere. But you get the feeling that he was like that before he even left for the war. Get all the latest news and updates on Hold The Dark Review only on News18.com. Read all news including political news, current affairs and news headlines online on Hold The Dark Review today. Review by andread Pro. Of course, some stories are served by punishing their audience, but the tone becomes numbing here when it needs to be engaging. It's photography and alaskan scenery are often gorgeous. Good for Netflix for giving it distribution and adding a good film to its catalog which is plagued with more poor quality than good quality. User Ratings Ending explained. Avoid. Hold the Dark like his previous projects has great performances, gorgeous cinematography (shot in Alberta), a dark/gloomy story/atmosphere/mood, and a very intriguing story but unlike his previous two projects, suffers from its slow burn pacing. Dialogue is terrible, a very bad imitation in terms of pacing of the movie Drive, which was excellent. HOLD THE DARK opens on Bailey Slone (Beckham Crawford), a young boy playing with toy soldiers on a mound of snow in front of his rural house in a remote village in Alaska. He is also a writer for Vulture, The Playlist, The New York Times, and Rolling Stone, and the President of the Chicago Film Critics Association. Hold the Dark is something different, a tale with a sense of grandeur and mythic scale. Only moments later, the boy is gone. From the beginning, the setting of “Hold the Dark” is unforgiving, terrifying. Hold The Dark isn't a film that's easy to throw on in the background, with a group of friends, or even on a random day of the week. Hold the Dark is now available on Netflix.]. I'm stunned at how bad it was. Hold The Dark (2018) movie review. No harm, no foul. There is a vastness to every scene that makes you feel just how small people are against this cold, unforgiving land (and makes one question anybody’s decision to settle there in the first place). Nevertheless, I am here to explain the points and subplots of this movie. These promise quality but end up circling the porcelain drain. Hold the Dark has too many stops and starts to build up the tension enough to sustain the film. Hold The Dark is a 2018 adventure set after the deaths of three children suspected to be killed by wolves, and a writer hired to track down and locate a missing son in the Alaskan wilderness. It's a quiet, plodding psychological drama that doesn't explain everything to the viewer. Read full review. Netflix's Hold The Dark is a pitch black movie with an ambiguous ending - from the wolves to the humans in wolf's clothing. Hold The Dark isn't a film that's easy to throw on in the background, with a group of friends, or even on a random day of the week. | Nonetheless, it's an enjoyable view. What happened? Watched Sep 28, 2018. andread’s review published on Letterboxd: ... Christopher Nolan, and Denis Villeneuve. Don't go in expecting Green Room. First look review Toronto film festival 2018. User reviews are even harsher, with the film tagged as “confusing”, “full of plot-holes” and “depressing”. After watching Hold The Dark I felt compelled to read the novel by William Giraldi. And you couldn't care less about him or anyone else in this film. It was released on September 28, 2018. 02/10/18. Equal parts bloody and beautiful, Hold the Dark may finally prove to be Saulnier’s breakout feature film for the more casual viewer to finally take note of his name. After the deaths of three children suspected to be killed by wolves, writer Russell Core is hired by the mother of a missing six-year-old boy to track … Share . Hold the dark is another kind of thriller, set in Alaska and it projects a supernatural feel to it even from the beginning. No clue, what the plot was. [This is a repost of my review from the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival. It also screened at Fantastic Fest on September 22, 2018. Hold the Dark is a quiet film punctuated by moments of explosive violence which, as always, Saulnier frames matter-of-factly and never revels in. Maybe there's something deep or artistic but I didn't get it. Smart, well edited, and it held my attention. Director Jeremy Saulnier’s last effort, “Green Room,” stands as one of the 21st century’s best films. It keeps you watching because you keep thinking, "OK, at some point, someone is going to tell me what the hell is going on in this plot. If you're in the mood for a disturbing film and sometimes we all are, this is a good one to watch with a pot of something hot, a bowl of popcorn and a blanket. He's one note in everything he does. Hold The Dark is rather unwell. External Reviews ), Hold the Dark has been on my radar for a long time. The movie was well shot and every scene seemed to keep me wondering how the movie would come to an end. Other than that, “Hold The Dark” is a very fascinating viewing experience. Maybe people like a movie that just ends without giving any reasoning or premise, or maybe the director tried too hard. Hold the Dark opens in theaters and streams on Netflix on Sept. 28. Awards Read our review first. Still, the film never coheres outside of those flashes, ultimately delivering a disappointing, confusing, but undeniably fascinating experience. And there are many implications and hints across the movie that shows that "indirectly." And it just goes from bad to worse. The more time you invest in this adventure, the more painful it becomes to admit that this movie is beyond redemption, that nothing normal is going to happen and that you wasted two hours of your life. It has something to it that keeps you going. They you start watching it and it's all downhill from there. Slow, dull, there was a sense of dread but that was more from sheer boredom. Jeffrey Wright Stars in Netflix Original ‘Hold the Dark’ – Review. The use of space and setting is actually the best quality of “Hold the Dark.” Saulnier and Blair make Alaska feel like a place where any number of things can kill you—cold, wolves, or even the insanity brought on by too little sunlight. Skarsgaard goes around killing people. At least Hold the Dark is a beautifully haunting-looking film, thanks to Saulnier and cinematographer Magnus Nordenhof Jønck. 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