In September 2015, it was announced that Saulnier would direct a cinematic adaptation of Giraldi's novel penned by Blair. In January 2017, Netflix acquired distribution rights to the film. By late February, Jeffrey Wright, Alexander Skarsgård, James Badge Dale, Riley Keough, and Peter McRobbie. At the same time, principal photography commenced, and wrapped in late April. Filming took place throughout Alberta, Canada.
The film stars Wright, Skarsgård, Dale, Keough, and McRobbie. Wright is flat-out awesome in the role of the wolf-obsessed writer, and will undoubtedly be the selling point of the film. Skarsgård is splendidly sinister as Medora's American soldier husband, while writer-director Jeremy Saulnier certainly knows what he's doing.
Smart, rough, brutal, gnarly, utterly unpredictable from one nail-biting moment to the next and completely unforgettable, this movie is unlike anything you've ever seen before, or are likely to see again. The film is savage genre filmmaking, but behind the maulings and murder is intelligence and quiet morality. This film proves again that Saulnier is one of the most dynamic and interesting filmmakers working today. The film makes the most of its isolated settings, choosing to make a more visual impact using gruesome violence rather than witty lines and flashy stunts. The story conceptualization is strong and beyond believable, and thanks to a gritty no holds barred authenticity, is resonant, frightening and fun. It is a film that deserves to be rewatched. It's really hard to articulate how well-made this movie is. I've watched it at least five times and still want to come back for more. The film is a survival thriller that understands the importance of constantly establishing the stakes, raising them higher, and letting people enjoy watching characters try to get out of the increasingly small corner they've put themselves in. It is an uncompromising survival film which, aside from that easy descriptor, defies expectation at every turn and feels like something audiences have truly never seen before. The film is a ruthless tale of savagery that will excite and shock audiences. What takes this film to the next level is that it has all these traits while also having substance.
Simon says Hold the Dark receives:
Also, see my review for Green Room.