Hold the Dark was directed by Jeremy Saulnier, who is known for his atypical films with creepy and frightening plots, but Saulnier’s films are not scary with unexpected appearances or scary characters, all of this film is psychological. “Hold the Dark” was no exception, the film is classified into several genres – thriller, drama, horror, and detective story, but the main tension is not caused by the murders of small children, not by the attacks of wild animals, but by the behavior of the most cruel and prudent animal – man.
The film was released in 2018 under the wing of Netflix, which has repeatedly proved its sensitivity to taste and the ability to choose the most interesting scenarios, so the viewer is clearly expecting something outstanding from Hold the Dark. In principle, there is no need to argue here, the film is unusual and will clearly stand out among similar films, but after viewing it leaves many questions. To figure out what the meaning of the film “Hold the Dark” will have to dig a little into the plot, pay attention to some details, and only then we will see a complete picture of what is happening on the screen.
The plot & meaning of the film Hold the Dark
The meaning of the film – According to the story, Russell Crowe comes to a city located in Alaska, he is a specialist in wolves. For Russell, the study of these particular animals became not just the meaning of life, it replaced his life in every sense of these words. The researcher does not get along well with his family – he divorced his wife a long time ago (which is quite acceptable between two adults), but moreover, he cannot establish contact with his daughter (which is already a bit strange, because there is not a single hint in the film that he quarreled with her or offended, or she offended him). Thus, a person directs all his life energy to the study of only one topic, it is not necessary to talk about his sociality. Infected like an epidemic only by the topic of wolves, Russell without further thought goes to a cold small town at the request of Medora Sloane, a girl who wrote a letter to an explorer asking him to find the animals that killed her son.
Medora is also quite an entertaining character. In the letter, she says that her 6-year-old son disappeared three days ago (a very short time), but she is sure that he will no longer be found alive, and therefore the only thing she can realize is to hunt for the killer of the child and kill him himself, that is, the wolf. The girl’s behavior also seems strange when Russell arrives. In general, she talks little about her son, her conversations are rather vague, she talks about the sky, which sometimes seems unusual, talks about darkness, which is ready to devour anyone and other things that are incomprehensible to an unprepared person. Moreover, at night, Medora puts on a wolf mask and lies naked on the sofa where her guest sleeps. Nothing happens between Russell and Medora, but the behavior of the woman surprises even such an unsociable character as Russell.
In the morning, the hunter goes in search of wolves, he, indeed, finds a pack of animals, but he does not show the skills of a hunter at all. Russell watches the animals from the mountain through binoculars, but then, due to his negligence, falls from this mountain and rolls directly towards the ferocious animals, which at that moment are eating up the wolf cub.
Upon returning to the village, Russell finds Medora’s hut empty, and in the basement of the house – the corpse of the girl’s son. Probably, these two scenes: the wolves eating their cub and the corpse of the son of the main character of the film, do not follow each other in vain. The director draws an analogy between the essence of man and beast, it turns out there is no difference. People who live far from civilization, who have lost touch with the real world outside their small house, on the side where the night lasts several times longer than the sunny day, become wild, they live not according to the laws of people, but according to the rules of animals.
But what rule did Medora follow when she killed her child? It is worth paying attention to the replica of the hostess of the inn, where the girl who is running from the police for the murder of her son first stops, and then her husband, who returned from the war. The owner of the house notes the amazing similarity between these two characters – “like two drops of water”, then she shows an old photograph where Medora and her husband Vernon are sitting side by side as children. It is easy to guess that they are relatives and, most likely, the closest ones – maybe brother and sister?
Animals usually kill weak and sick relatives so that they do not burden the pack. Medora does the same – she kills the child that arose in the process of incest, even if from herself.
Remember also the moment when Russell goes into the woods in search of wolves, an old woman from the village tells him that “evil is in the other side”, she clearly hints to him that the Sloan couple is the danger that really should be feared.
The ending of the movie is also amazing. At the end, Russell and the chief of the local police track down Medora, they think that her husband is looking for her to avenge the death of the child. But Vernon shoots down an old hunter, and an unexpected family reunion takes place before his eyes. Vernon didn’t want his wife dead, he just wanted to take her back. Russell, pierced by an arrow, lies in a cave and looks at the passionate meeting of young people.
The meaning of the film’s ending Hold the Dark
The meaning of the finale of the film Hold the Dark is that these two people no longer follow human decency, only animal instincts are essential for them. Some fragments of the film resemble satanic rites, but they do not form the basis of the film, in them Verno and Medora are only trying to find the meaning of life, but it turns out they are extremely ridiculous and inappropriate.
Thus, Jeremy Saulnier’s film is about what happens to people who live isolated from society, they cease to be full-fledged members of it, succumb only to the instincts of animals – they kill a weak child who will grow up weak due to incest, they succumb to sexual attraction when they meet.
Write in the comments your meaning of the film Hold the Dark. We look forward to waiting!