Hold the Dark (2018)
October 21, 2018 5:57 PM - Subscribe

In the grim Alaskan winter, a naturalist hunts for wolves blamed for killing a local boy, but he soon finds himself swept into a chilling mystery.

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. (Netflix)
posted by Existential Dread (3 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Can't believe I didn't immediately recognize Arnold from Westworld.

I liked Green Room and sort of liked Blue Ruin. I'm on board with realistic tension stories that boil over into violent set pieces; I like a good lower-stakes action movie. The big ticket set piece here, the machine gun scene, seemed to arrive out of nowhere and went on a long time and was a bit silly. I liked other smaller things, though nothing quite matched the arm scene from Green Room in terms of yikes.

I don't remember if the movie eventually told me what Russel's wolf-related brooding was about, or resolved some shape to Vernon and Medora's evil. If they did they shouldn't have. It takes itself seriously but I think it's kind of a dream-logic haze movie, and it doesn't seem good to pick at it.
posted by fleacircus at 7:53 PM on October 21, 2018 [1 favorite]

I watched this and really found that I appreciated it a lot more 24 hours after I finished it, then right at the end. It stuck with me and I found myself thinking about in the shower, or while cooking. I'm not sure the ending of Medora and Vernon reuniting and leaving together made sense to me still, but the visuals and the atmosphere were really striking.
posted by Carillon at 3:50 PM on November 2, 2018 [2 favorites]

I loved the atmosphere, the acting performances, the cinematography. I really enjoyed the excellent native actors they recruited. The story had a certain dream logic, and the violence was always startling and unexpected in how quickly it came on. I had to rewind fairly often to see what I had missed; the Iraq sniper was almost invisible. The only "protagonists acting stupid" objection I had was in the last act, when the police chief and Core are just traipsing down the path to the destination.

I'll definitely watch this one again.
posted by Existential Dread at 8:50 PM on November 2, 2018 [1 favorite]

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