By Thomas Puhr
In his fourth feature film, Jeremy Saulnier applies his interest in elemental storytelling (simple motifs of darkness vs. light, revenge, etc.) to a much larger narrative canvas. Famous wolf tracker Russell Core (an understated Jeffrey Wright) travels to Alaska for a job and is embroiled in a sometimes overstuffed plot that tackles parenthood, Native American identity, mysticism, and war in the Middle East, among other things. Perhaps a bit overambitious for its own good, Hold the Dark (2018) nevertheless has its fair share of mesmerizing sequences, especially a remarkable shootout that showcases all of the director's compositional and tension-building finesse.