Hold the Dark – Review Haiku

Written by Macon Blair
Directed by Jeremy Saulnier

SYNOPSIS

A woman calls a writer and wolf expert to her remote Alaskan village to hunt the wolf she claims took her son, setting a violent chain of events into motion. 

HAIKU REVIEW

Sparse, Atmospheric, Tense;
Unforeseen Territory;
Chilly And Chilling.

GRADE: B+

ADDITIONAL THOUGHTS

I really enjoyed Green Room, and thirty minutes into this I paused so I could get on the library’s website and reserve Blue Ruin to catch up on Saulnier’s work. He has a real gift for creating tension within a frame, and this film has it to spare. Jeffrey Wright is fantastic in a lead role that doesn’t go anywhere near where you are expecting at the outset, using pauses and the slightest glances to incredible effect. It is beautifully photographed amidst a landscape that screams “you are not welcome here,” the editing is great (particularly in one of 2018’s best set pieces) and the score is as unsettling as that creepy mask. It comments on the parallels that often exist between animal and human nature, in both good and bad ways, and the title invites us to consider how long each of us can hold back our darker nature and destructive forces. There are some deeply disturbing family issues under the surface, that may play a part in frustrating some people in regards to the final act, but when dissected, the ending really brings the narrative full-circle in a way that will stick with you. It is a think piece disguised as a brutal mystery/thriller, as deep and dark as the night that descends upon this remote location, threatening to swallow up anything and anyone in its path. Human nature can mirror that of the animal kingdom, with the flickering light of a fire piercing the night, a dying reminder of the goodness in the world that must be fed to thrive.

Get on Netflix and check this out!


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