Hold the Dark, American Movie (2018)

I love this time of year. The days are getting shorter again, which means the sun is beginning to set earlier and it becomes darker more quickly in the evening. Yes, I know many of you are probably disagreeing with me at this point, but I love it. It’s perfect for watching horror movies, or just cozying up in bed with a good book. One would almost think that I am a vampire or something, however as far as I know that is not the case. But at certain points in the world the sun is hardly seen at all during winter time. Now that might be taking things a little bit too far I guess. Alaska for instance has some places where the darkness settles in after barely three to five hours of sunlight. Now just imagine that if you will. I think a lot of people might simply go nuts as it takes some getting used to. That said though, those barren winter landscapes makes for some amazing imagery. It also serves as a perfect backdrop for some great movies as we have seen for instance in The Revenant starring Leonardo DiCaprio. Last week a new movie came out over on Netflix which also utilises this cold and harsh environment. Is it a good film though? Well, let me talk you through it.

Hi honey, sorry I’m stuck in traffic. I will be late again….

Hold the Dark takes places in the year 2004 in a very small village called Keelut deep in the Alaskan wilderness. Something truly dreadful has been happening there lately. Three small children have disappeared and are presumably dead, as their captors seemed to have been a pack of wolves. Medora Slone, the mother of the last child that has gone missing, calls in the help of a retired naturalist called Russell Core. This man who is an expert in wolves heeds the call of the grieving mother and soon arrives in the village. Meanwhile Medora’s husband, Vernon, is serving a tour in Iraq and is having his own share of troubles. He is as yet unaware of his son’s disappearence and his wife has so far not been able to share the horrible news with him. Russell has set off in search of the boy and to track down the wolves that are responsible for his capture. However not all is at seems. Darker and more sinister secrets are about to be revealed, and Russel finds himself in the middle of something that he simply did not expect to find…

Trick or treat came early this year.

Did you ever watch a movie and when it ended you did not quite know how you felt about it? This was one of those films. Well, at least for me it was. I’m not saying this was a bad film, because really it wasn’t. But it’s also a movie that I felt could have been more, although I can’t quite put a finger on it what that more might just be. But let’s first get into the positives. One of the main selling points of this movie is once again the majestic and very cold landscape. It’s all shot beautifully, and adds to the sense of dread that this film is trying to achieve, and at which it also partially succeeds. You can’t help but feel very uneasy during most of the run time of this two hour movie. Hauntingly bleak visuals combined with a melancholic score certainly seem to capture the effect of what this movie was aiming for. The pacing of the film though was uneven. It was at times a rather slow film, and setting the tone for a creepy atmosphere can only get you so far.


The performances in this film though were also definitely worth seeing. Jeffrey Wright who played the role of the aging Russel managed to create a very sympathetic character. It’s nice to see someone who really isn’t this macho superhero, but a more subdued and normal guy, who gets caught in something that is way above his head. I always like the underdog types, and Russel could definitely be classified as such. The role of Vernon was fulfilled by Alexander Skarsgård, and he made that role into a very chilling and sinister man. It’s definitely clear that the war in Iraq hasn’t left him without a few mental scars, as Vernon was an emotionless and very, very dangerous individual. It was a terrific part, and Skarsgård played it to perfection. Lastly James Badge Dale, who had a relatively minor role as a police officer also left a lasting impression. Even though he isn’t a very well known actor, he really rises above himself with an impressive performance.

Jeffrey Wright in the new film Hold the Dark. Photo credit: Netflix
I don’t know but shouldn’t those goggles be on your face?

Hold the Dark is a bit of a strange movie which is also pretty hard to classify. The story certainly has a number of shocking twists, and for lack of a better term WTF moments. But at the same time it also has trouble in finding out where exactly it wants to go. Is it a thriller? Is it an action film? Or even a drama? It’s pretty hard to say to be honest. Some of the scenes, especially in the beginning of the film just dragged on for too long. And I feel that if the film would have had a bit of a shorter runtime it might have been a better movie. That said though, there is still enough in this dark film (pun intended) for me to recommend it to you. The story is very interesting and has some pretty gruesome moments. Add to this some great actors, a tense and foreboding atmosphere and the beautiful landscape and it’s a movie that I feel is still worth your time. If you are not a fan of slow movies though, you might want to skip this.

I give Hold the Dark a 7 out of 10 score.



43 thoughts on “Hold the Dark, American Movie (2018)”

    1. Thank you for another wonderful comment😊😊 I hope you will enjoy the film, it certainly is a nice movie, and pretty tense at times as well. And the winter landscape makes it even better. As they say in Game of Thrones: Winter is coming 😊

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Well, let me put your mind at ease: this is not a horror movie. It’s more a thriller to be honest, but I certainly wouldn’t classify it as horror. It’s definitely not a bad film to check out. People’s reactions to this one so far have been mixed..but overall it’s a pretty solid film 😊😊

      Liked by 1 person

  1. This movie doesn’t sound like something I would like, so I’ll give it a miss. As someone who hails from a warm country I don’t like it when it gets dark too earlier. Never could adjust to life when I lived in the UK for a few months.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Fair enough😊 It’s certainly not a movie that will appeal to everyone that is for sure.
      Yeah that’s understandable😊 As my country is pretty much always rainy weather and things like that I don’t mind it at all, but it’s different when you live in a warm country 😊

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Just read the entire article, and have to say that it all sounds pretty interesting and I don’t even think it’s very far from the ruth. Also have to admit that I’m even tempted to see the movie for a second time now, as this article puts it in a very different light. Thanks for sharing this!😊

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Nice review 🙂 It’s good that you’re looking forward to those winter nights ahead. I definitely prefer the longer days as everything just seems a little cheerier. Although I do enjoy cozy winter nights with a good show too 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s definitely not a bad movie to watch that’s for sure. It’s got a great atmosphere, and while it was slow in parts, there are some really nice twists and shocks. I hope you will enjoy it! 😊


  3. Hahahaha…. there’s a few people that would swear I was a vampire, too 😂😂 I dislike sunlight, have a grey complexion (like a corpse), a complete night owl and haven’t aged since I was 18 😂😂 We could start a WordPress almost a vampire nest hehe 😂😂

    Okay time to stop joking and get to the film. 🙂 Honestly I really like the sound of this film. It seems really dark and creepy 🙂 Perfect for Halloween 😀
    Great review 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lol…That would be a fun idea: WordPress almost a vampire nest: could almost make a fun tag post out of something like that 😂😂😂 Lol…well,I’m beginning to look like one too, spent pretty much my entire three week vacation indoors 😂😂
      It’s really not too bad of a film at all. It has a really unsettling atmosphere, although I do have to say that this is a thriller not a horror movie, but it’s certainly still one that wouldn’t be a bad watch at Halloween. Thank you very much! 😊😊

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Great review Raist. Seriously how do you manage to watch so many films? I guess, you’d ask me the same thing only with reading books. Hehe…This film’s giving me the common-thriller-mystery book vibe with intrigues and secret that always make me solve everything.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much😊 Haha: yeah, I think you read more books than I watch movies lol😂😂
      It’s definitely got a thriller/mystery vibe, you are not wrong😊It had a great atmosphere and overall it was a pretty decent film. Definitely worth it to check out😀

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Wow it sounds sinister and something that will keep us on an edge and at the same time something that will keep us entertained as well. Definitely going in my list. And I agree with you. Sounds like the perfect kind of movie to watch in the dark in the cold weather when the days are short. Here too it’s raining pretty heavily, the days are getting shorter and it’s cold. Also, you dismissed the fact that you are a vampire but since you like darkness so much I do have my doubts if you are a vampire (just joking) (no not joking I suspect you are a vampire) (nope still joking) (nope I suspect you and I will be keeping a close eye) 😂😂😂😂😂😂😂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hahaha😂😂😂 I really had to laugh at the fact of me being a vampire/not a vampire/or am I a vampire….🤔🤔 I guess I am….NOT 😂😂
      I really was a pretty good movie, and one I definitely recommend watching in the dark, it’s a film that only gets better because of the dark I suppose 😊😊 But yeah, gotta admit that I really like the fact that the days are getting shorter. Movies usually become better because of that 😊😊


  6. Ohhh, I love the setting of this movie.. well, the way it sounds anyway! Might just give this a watch some evening 🙂

    PS! There’s a way to find out if you’re a vampire- look under ya shirt- are you sparkling? If NO, then breathe a sigh of relief 😀 hahahah

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha😂😂😂 Well just checked that, and nope …not sparkling. Phew…I guess I am safe 😂😂😂 Thanks, I feel a whole lot better 😂😂
      This movie definitely is worth checking out. I really enjoyed it enough to recommend it, and there are some pretty good twists in it as well 😊😊 Hope you will enjoy it if you get a chance to see it 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Great review, Michel. I’ve seen the trailer and was curious if it would be something I should put on a priority list, but I think it can wait for now. It does sound wonderful, especially the beautiful shots, the scenery must be so exquisite. It’s one of the things I adored in The Revenant after all, but that’s another story. The director is a God in that regards hahah Again, great review, sir! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, The Revenant was a much better movie. Not that this one was bad in any way, don’t get me wrong. But yeah, that film was something really special. This one was okay. It’s certainly a good one to watch at some point, but it’s like you said it’s not one to have a high priority 😊 Thanks for the kind words as always 😊

      Liked by 1 person

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