Blue, green, dark? Dark isn’t a colour Jeremy Saulnier! HOLD THE DARK is relentlessly miserable and pointlessly vague. I get that Saulnier doesn’t seem to have much faith in humanity, that he is depicting real monsters whose actions could never be rationalised here, but there’s got to be something that gives us a handle on the characters. Jeffrey Wright is good in the lead, a typical Saulnier lead in a constant state of physical and psychological suffering, but this is yet another film that makes me doubt Alexander Skarsgard’s range. I respect the uncompromising bleakness, the effective use of wilderness locations and attempting to explore what living in such a place does to a person’s mind, body and soul, but the characters are more frustrating than interesting and much of the time the darkness (actual, not tonal) just makes it hard to see anything. Squint and you can make out people’s outlines, not their motivations. SSP
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Writer and film fanatic fond of black comedies, sci-fi, animation and films about dysfunctional families.
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