Hold the Dark (2018) Movie Review

Director: Jeremy Saulnier

Writer: Macon Blair (Screenplay) William Giraldi (Novel)

Starring: Jeffrey Wright, Alexander Skarsgard, Riley Keough, James Badge Dale

Plot: After the deaths of three children suspected to be killed by wolves, writer Russell Core is hired by the mother of a missing six-year-old boy to track down and locate her son in the Alaskan wilderness.

Runtime: 2 Hour 5 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Messy and Confusing

Story: Hold the Dark starts when a young boy becomes the latest victim of the wolves surrounding an Alaskan town, his mother Medora (Keough) writes to a hunter an author Russell Core (Wright) in hope that he will come and destroy the wolf that took her child.

When Russell heads out into the darkness that covers Alaska, he sees the wolfpack and believes he sees another child taken by the wolves, leaving him to deal with the police who were waiting for any suspect to fall into their laps and after Vernon (Skarsgard) returns from Iraq, he looks to get revenge on the wolves that took his son, only there is a biggest conspiracy being covered up here.

Thoughts on Hold the Dark

Characters – Russell Core is an author and wolf expert that gets called to help hunt down the wolf which has been killing the children of the local area, only to discover a much bigger problem going on in the town. Vernon is the solider that has returned from war to find his son dead, he wants to work getting revenge on the responsible one. Medora is the woman that calls in for the help, while we also meet cops that are looking to get to the bottom of the killings.

PerformancesThis is a film where you don’t want to say anything bad about the performances, because it is more of how the movie is made that makes anything bad, Jeffrey Wright does make his character feel distant, while Alexander Skarsgard does show the grief, otherwise nobody gets to do anything more.

StoryThe story here follows an author that is called to look into a string of deaths involving children and wolves and soon finds himself in the middle of something much deadlier. Well I think this was the story, it isn’t shot very well to show the story unfolding, it seems like there is a lot more going on, but it didn’t give us enough information, looking to create a more shock filled moment with plenty of blood over creating an idea to what is going on.

Horror/MysteryThe horror does come from seeing how people are reacting to losing their children, which shows the panic, only for the mystery to try and take over, without giving us enough to work on as an audience member.

SettingsAlaska should be a wonderful setting, it does show the darkness that would be felt there at certain times of the year, but doesn’t take us into the environment enough.

Special EffectsThe effects are used to show the injuries the people suffer, with the shootout being the one scene with the most going on within it.


Scene of the Movie – Shootout.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Hard to follow.

Final Thoughts This is a disappointing outing from a director that has usually done wonderful things, it is slow, confusing and messy to keep up with.

Overall: Disappointing throughout.

ABC Film Challenge – 80’s Movies – K – The King of Comedy (1982) Movie Review

Director: Martin Scorsese

Writer: Paul D Zimmerman (Screenplay)

Starring: Robert De Niro, Jerry Lewis, Diahnne Abbott, Sandra Bernhard, Ed Herlihy, Lou Brown, Loretta Tupper

Plot: Rupert Pupkin is a passionate yet unsuccessful comic who craves nothing more than to be in the spotlight and to achieve this, he stalks and kidnaps his idol to take the spotlight for himself.


Tagline – Nobody knows Rupert Pupkin, but by 11:30 tonight, the whole world will know he’s . . . THE KING OF COMEDY

Runtime: 1 Hour 49 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Brilliant

Story: The King of Comedy starts as we meet aspiring and unsuccessful comedian Rupert Pupkin (De Niro) who always tries to meet the more famous comedians at the stage door, with the man his idolises the most being host Jerry Langford (Lewis) who he ends up following home believing he will get a chance on the show.

When Rupert tries to visit Jerry, getting his assistant, trying to get his material to Jerry, while Jerry’s stalker Masha (Bernhard) is waiting for her chance to get to see Jerry to, as the two have always been competing for his attention, which eventually forces Rupert to finally break and go to an extreme level to meet his idol.

Thoughts on The King of Comedy

Characters – Rupert Pupkin is a struggling comedian who has yet to take his gig to the stage and wants to go straight to television working with his idol, believing meeting him will open doors, only for the dreams to be dashed, forcing him to team up with Jerry’s stalker to take his chance on the big screen. Jerry Langford is the most famous comedian on the television, he is used to dealing with obsessive fans, which includes Masha and Rupert, he has gotten into a stage of his career where he will say anything to get the people to leave him alone. Rita is the girlfriend of Rupert’s, he has promised her the world, while she is happy to be a woman with a job, that will find love in life, she learns just how corrupt Rupert is, getting embarrassed by his action. Masha is the stalker to Jerry’s, she has worked with Rupert to try and get his attention in the past, now they have come up with a plan to get what they want from him.

PerformancesRobert De Niro is fantastic in the leading role, proving he can give us comedic performance with ease. Jerry Lewis leads the supporting cast with ease, with Diahnne Abbott and Sandra Bernhard both being wonderful, proving the main four stars of the film are truly enjoyable in this film.

StoryThe story here follows a struggling comedian who goes to extreme levels to get his time in the spotlight, showing just how far somebody will go for stardom. This is a story that could still be relevant today, with the idea of having fans willing to do anything to either work with or be with their celebrity idols. The idea that somebody could well believing what they are doing is all working as part of a legal plan before learning the truth. The way this unfolds shows how everybody is prepared for this situation and how Rupert and Masha’s plan unfolds shows how they are desperately nervous.

Comedy/CrimeThe comedy in the film shows us how Rupert is in his own world, letting De Niro get so many laughs in the film through the film. The crime shows just how far people will go to get what they want in life.

SettingsThe film is set in New York where the crowds will always have a few people that are not stable in life.


Scene of the Movie – The cue cards.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Nothing.

Final Thoughts This is a brilliant comedy that shows just how impressive De Niro is in comedy and gives us a story that could easily work in any generation of celebrity.

Overall: Essential Watching.