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Our first culture clash takes place in northern climes and its cold. This is another one that is based on a book and its a wild ride right from the start.

What seems like a simple story of a child killed by wolves and then a hunter coming to shoot the wolves evolves into a macabre tale that skirts paranormal, or maybe its just psychosis. There are several possibilities for the culture clash, which is partly what makes this such a great movie to start our season 03 with.

One of the great things is that this is only available on streaming. Why? Because a movie like this may not have been greenlit in the traditional movie theater. Its a chance to see something we may not have gotten to see otherwise.


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[00:00:50] Stephen: Let’s talk about the first episode for season three. Hold the dark episode

[00:00:56] Rhys: one cold dark. Yes. This was a us made film. It was released in 2018, as far as a classification for the movie. It’s literary nature based horror. And I, I can hear arguments about this really. Isn’t a horror movie.

[00:01:14] Stephen: I, yeah, I was gonna mention that this is way outside the normal horror.

[00:01:19] Rhys: Exactly. I would put this along the lines of Cujo where, okay. Yeah. You have something horrific that is happening to someone or a group of people. And especially in the movie, there’s this slight undertone of perhaps something magical about it.

[00:01:36] Stephen: Yes. But it never completely comes out as that. It there’s correct.

There’s a lot of questions that really never get completely answered.

[00:01:47] Rhys: And because of that, now I’m going to be perfectly upfront here. I have a tremendous love affair with the state of Alaska. I’ve never been. And mostly as I tell my children, I’m afraid that I’ll go and never want to come back. And if you’re Alaskan viewers slash listeners, you’re like, oh, this place sucks as much as the next place.

I’m sure it does for you, but that’s going to kind of color it for me a bit. And I believe this movie does a really nice job of kind of capturing that feeling of being in Alaska in the winter.

[00:02:24] Stephen: Yeah. Yeah. We got a buddy that lives up there from high school. Um, there were some shots and scenes, but looking at the landscape that reminded me of the RevNet with Leo DiCaprio, just because of the long shots with the scenery

[00:02:39] Rhys: as the mountains and the forests.

[00:02:42] Stephen: And this is a Netflix movie, which is, I think our first only streaming movie

[00:02:49] Rhys: it could be yeah. Thinking through it. And there’s actually, I think, three on this, in this season. that are Netflix three or four Netflix movies in here. So that

[00:03:02] Stephen: would be a good discussion for a bonus episode. How streaming services have altered or changed the realm of horror movies with stations like shutter and stuff.

[00:03:12] Rhys: Yeah. And I think, yeah, we’ll talk about it some other time, you

[00:03:15] Stephen: know, that’s, that’s a whole nother discussion. Yeah. We get sidetracked and never come back to, I could be the academic presentation talk somewhere. Yeah.

[00:03:23] Rhys: Yeah. That cuz that’s definitely happening. All right. I loved the tone of the movie and it was mysterious enough that when I did some research, I found out this was based on a book by an author named William G Aldi.

Yep. I, so I got the book and for the first time least in this podcast’s history, I read the book. So I actually can compare the book to the movie. Nice.

[00:03:51] Stephen: Wow. You’re really stepping up your game.

[00:03:54] Rhys: Yeah, look you there. And the novel is incredible, but it reads less as a horror and more like a study of what delineates between humanity and bestial nature.

And I think one of the main reasons is in the movie, they focus on a character named core, who is an aging hunter. And in the book, they focus on the Sloans Vernon and Madora and takes away all of the mystery and the magic, especially when you get to the end. And there’s the twist at the end of the book.

And you’re like, oh my gosh. And that answers like, it answers things like why did she do this kind of thing? Which the movie never really does come right out


[00:04:38] Stephen: address. That’s interesting. We always seem to be opposites of the ones we, how we evaluate ’em because what you just said, I totally got out of the movie.

I totally saw all that. And the twist I expected it. I saw it come. I saw multiple layers of the whole culture clash, cuz it’s not just one culture that you could pull out of it.

[00:05:01] Rhys: This movie’s, uh, horror, lasagna worth of culture clashes. They’re all over the place. yeah. And in fact, in my notes, the culture clash in this film is threefold.

You have differences between the up pick and the modern world. The UPIC are the indigenous peoples of rural Alaska. You have massive differences between the civilized and the remote world because you have a Sheriff’s detective who comes from the city. Yeah. and that made me chuckle. Yeah. And then you have the people who actually live out in the Bush in, in Alaska, and it’s a very different life between the two of them.

And then you have this difference between human society and loop in society, the wolves. Yes. And. Oddly enough, they draw parallels between the two as you go through the movie. Yeah. And

[00:05:53] Stephen: even the little bit over in the middle east desert area that you can see, this is a definite movie. Again, this isn’t for everybody.

If you are the Jason slasher type, you are not gonna enjoy this, but if you like something that’s different and a little deeper, this is one of those movies that really warrants a second viewing.

[00:06:16] Rhys: Yeah. Oh for sure. , I’m laughing. Cuz I was reading reviews for this movie and one of those one star it’s like yada, yada people get shot.

People drive around. What’s the point of this movie? I was like, oh OK. If you wanna boil it down to that, I kinda get it. Jeremy Soner directed the film. I, I did some research into him, heard some interviews. He was in, I was not overly impressed with him in his interviews because he talks like a director.

All the new, all the Hollywood kind of jargon,

[00:06:48] Stephen: BS, kinda like the stereotype in a comedy movie.

[00:06:52] Rhys: Yeah. Yeah. and he’s, and it’s funny because Aldi, I listen, I listened to some interviews with him and read some interviews with him and he wrote this novel, which reads fast. It for me, Steven King is like a, a quick read just because I get into it.

And it just moves fast. Aldi’s book is like that. But when you hear him talk like in literary circles, the guy speaks so far above my head. I really don’t even know what he’s saying because he’s referencing famous authors and different kinds of literary movements that if you’re not an English major, you don’t know what he’s talking about.


[00:07:35] Stephen: So both of those, my other

[00:07:36] Rhys: podcast yeah, if you could, he, uh, he works with Boston university. He does like a literary newsletter out there. Oh, wow. Okay. So Jeremy Soner directed it. He’s directed a total of nine things since 1998. He’s not a prolific kind of director, but he’s worked on of the nine things he’s worked on.

I’ve seen four of them. Now, one of them’s a horror comedy called murder party. It’s very entertaining. He did blue ruin and he also did green room, which is probably the biggest draw of the mall because Patrick Stewart’s in it and it’s about punk music and bassists in Oregon. So

[00:08:18] Stephen: that’s a very common topic for movies.

Yeah. It’s a whole niche by itself with one movie

[00:08:25] Rhys: that’s right. The film was based off after all these’s book and the screenplay was worked on by a guy named Macon Blair. And Macon Blair has worked with Sonia. In other things, he was worked. He was the actor in murder party and he acted in blue ruin in green room.

And in hold the dark, he plays Chan the guy who patches up Vernon after he gets shot, he’s more, it seems like more of an actor than a screenwriter from what I’ve come across. But, and now we’re to the cast, Jeffrey Wright plays Russell core. He’s been in 77 things dating back to presumed innocent in 1990.


[00:09:01] Stephen: yeah, I recognized him, obviously the

[00:09:04] Rhys: young Indiana Jones Chronicles impair, everybody shows up in that apparently some point in time.

[00:09:08] Stephen: Yeah. Yeah. It’s one of those nexus

[00:09:09] Rhys: things. Yeah. He did a version of Hamlet. He was in casino, Royal quantum of Sola. So he did a couple James Bond. He

[00:09:18] Stephen: was Felix lighter in the James Vaughn movies.

Yeah. There

[00:09:23] Rhys: you go. Yep. He was in house. He was in the last of the hunger games, films. He was Beatie in the hunger game series. He’s done voiceover for venture brothers, BoJack horseman, Rick and Morty. The last of us, part two and Batman, the audio adventures. It’s a podcast. He plays he’s the voice of Batman.

Oh, that’s cool. And the Sandman podcast, he does the voice of destiny. Oh, he was in no time to die. He was the voice of Hutu. And what if, and he was in Westworld the new version. And he was also in the movie of the Batman. He plays commissioner Gordon.

[00:10:00] Stephen: Yes. Yep. Yep. And again, this could be the whole discussion going back.

That’s a, he’s a pretty big name. He’s been in some big films and yet he’s doing a movie on Netflix and it’s a movie that probably would not have done well in the theater. Something that most people would’ve never heard of. So I it’s just the whole culture with the streaming now is so interesting to look at culture.

[00:10:24] Rhys: Yeah. Culture. Yeah. And I think it’s one of those kind of things where he was excited about doing the project. And in one of the inter in one of the interviews, he was talking about how he loves to challenge race stereotype, because in the book it never mentions anything about core’s race. And so having seen the movie first, having him be African American didn’t seem anything at all to me until he mentioned it.

And then I’m like, yeah, okay. I can see that, you know, that might not be where people first went when they read the book. So he also is portrayed in the movie a lot older than he is in real life. They aged him up a bit for the movie. Riley Kia is Elvis’s granddaughter and she played Madora Sloan. She’s been in 38 films, including the runaway, the good doctor magic Mike, a Justin Timberlake video, mad max fury road.

It comes at night, not a big fan of that one and the devil all the time, which I haven’t seen yet, but so she’s been in a few more recent things and she is the eldest of Elvis’s grandchildren.

[00:11:32] Stephen: So interesting. Huh? Nice.

[00:11:34] Rhys: Alexander scars guard plays Vernon Sloan know him. He read the script and then just stalked Soer because he loved the character of Vernon and really wanted to play him.

[00:11:45] Stephen: He does seem like one of those actors, like he, he only takes parts that he’s going to find fun and interesting, regardless of popularity. Yep. He has gotten some big popular parts, but he does definitely this fits his style a lot

[00:12:00] Rhys: in an interview, heard with him. He said that he was haunted by Vernon and he was gonna be haunted by Vernon until he got the chance to play him.

So he just kept stock. He’s been in 66 films. He started 1984 in a movie called ake in his world at age eight. He’s Swedish. So a lot of his films are Swedish films. You wouldn’t know his father was an actor. So he started young

[00:12:24] Stephen: father was in MCU. Yeah. His brother is the it clown. And is now going to be the new Crow.

[00:12:31] Rhys: He was also in Zoolander. He was in the paparazzi video for lady Gaga, straw dogs, battleship eastbound, and down true blood. The legend of Tarzan, drunk history, big little lies, the stand Godzilla versus Kong. And now the north man. That’s why you’re seeing him around and about on talk shows and stuff, which we

[00:12:51] Stephen: should talk about north man sometime off podcast air.

Okay. Cool.

[00:12:56] Rhys: James badge, Dale plays Donald Miriam. He’s been in 49 other things, including a load of the flies. 24, lots of different CSI shows. The black Donnelleys world war Z, the lone ranger. And he was in Ironman three. Okay. Yeah. There’s the bald henchman who like is glowing all the time and blowing stuff up.

That was him. Nice. Okay. He plays a policeman in this one though.

[00:13:23] Stephen: I thought I recognized him, but couldn’t

[00:13:26] Rhys: the mustache throws you off. Yeah. Yeah. Julian black antelope plays. Chian he’s got 45 credits to his name. Amazing job in this movie. A lot of the credits he has are like native based things. So you might not have seen them, the stuff that you might have seen him in.

He was in penny dreadful, Blackstone, the north Lander, true fiction, the secret history of the wild west. And he had a role in the WBS, the flash. Oh, okay. So the film was shot in Calgary, which is ironic. And they started shooting in February in Calgary in 2017. And they wrapped in April. Sonia’s very big on being authentic in his wor work.

And he hates using CGI for anything. So he didn’t want like the breath clouds being edited in post the movie apparently was just as cold to make as it looks like it is as you’re watching it. That that’s

[00:14:24] Stephen: what happened on hath with empire strikes back. They had to go where the, uh, Toons were and where they could get some WPAs that wouldn’t get too hot.

Yes but it was cold. I heard they had to put the camera in the doorway of the hotel. So it wouldn’t freeze while they were trying to film the scenes. Yeah.

[00:14:44] Rhys: It, this movie was nominated for and won the one award it was nominated for, and it was the caca awards for best costume design and the contemporary film.

[00:14:53] Stephen: Really. That’s cool. That’s an interesting award for this


[00:14:57] Rhys: It is, it was released at the Toronto film Fest and the budget and the gate for its film for its festival tour. You can’t find that stuff anywhere. So you don’t know how much it costs. You don’t know how much it made, but again, it wasn’t really made for the theaters that was just gravy money on the side.

It was made for the streaming. Yeah. You don’t get that with all the streaming. Yeah. And the movie seems to run the gamut. If you’re looking at like reviews for it, people either loved it or they hated it. There’s very little in the middle with this movie. I can see that. Definitely. A lot of the criticisms you find about this movie are people who like live in Alaska and are bitching about stuff that’s not authentic to being in Alaska.

So for instance, apparently where they’re shooting in Calgary, like those mountain scenes that. That mountain range is so popular and so famous that if you live up there, you recognize it right away. So the people in Alaska are like, that’s not Alaska, that’s Calgary. There’s some guys driving by with a snowmobile and they have an elk on a sled.

There’s no elk in Alaska. And there’s this one scene where co has to stop and wait for a Buffalo across the road. No Buffalo in Alaska, either when this took place. so it’s a lot of stuff like that people are complaining about. But

[00:16:13] Stephen: yeah, we, that’s funny cuz you get that with everything, baseball, movies and cop movies and computers and

[00:16:21] Rhys: yeah.

And it’s funny cuz if the nitpicks are really which’re going after then you can’t really have too big of an issue, I suppose. Yeah. The movie opens really intimately with this establishing shot of the town of Keyt it’s a small rural community hidden way up in Alaska. There’s a boy playing alone in the snow.

There’s a Wolf in the distance and it looks at. And then the scene cuts to the cabin interior as Madora is making tea. She’s the female lead. She looks outside and sees the snow her son was playing with, but he’s gone. And there’s this voiceover cuz she sends a letter to core talking about how wolves in the area have taken children from the town.

And now her son has gone. She wants him to come and find and kill the Wolf that took her son and return his remains. She’s read his book and she knows he’s hunted wolves before and has respect for them. And then while this is all happening, there’s this establishing scene of who core is it’s playing in the background.

You see. He has a life. It’s a very mainstream, contemporary life, but it looks very lonely and he’s been painting wolves in his own time. She says her husband’s at the war. And when he comes home, she must have something to show him. And we see core on a plane on its way to Alaska to help her. Yeah.

[00:17:43] Stephen: The beginning is very mellow and that’s the mood throughout the whole thing.

Even when there’s bodies discovered and there’s wolves coming in, it still has a mellow somber feel about the whole thing. It reminded me a little bit of parts of let the right one in or even the witch, the witch had that same type of feel.

[00:18:04] Rhys: Yeah. I think they achieve it like tonality. Everything’s very blue.

Yes. In the mil, in the movie. And then the music for. Is very ambiguous sounding it’s it doesn’t have a whole lot in the way of rhythm, but it’s got a lot of tones that are layered on top of each other. And strange sounds like, like a drumstick across a symbol head

[00:18:25] Stephen: kinda thing. The music never attracted from the movie.

It never stuck out a whole lot. It’s definitely nothing. You’re going to be humming afterwards

[00:18:33] Rhys: for sure. But it definitely adds a, a, a specific tonality yeah. To the film as it’s going, he drives to Colu passing only a logging truck, a bison, and a dog sled on the way up there. Um, the citizens of Colu aren’t friendly.

They like note his passing as he pulls into town. But they’re not mean to him, either curious, maybe, but that’s, it Madora meets him at the door. She’s holding his book and she’s comparing his photo on the back to him to make sure it’s actually him, which is a strange thing to do when you live in the middle of nowhere.

If someone pulls into your driveway and you’ve invited someone there. You would think that it’s just going to be who you invited, not some random person, cuz you are literally in the middle of nowhere. He says, he’s sorry for her loss. She didn’t think he would actually come. And she pushes him to see if he’ll kill it.

And he Dodges the question saying he came to help and to explain if he can’t, she said she’d kill it. If she could. And she went looking for it and core points out. That’s not a good thing that you couldn’t find it because the wolves are over a hundred pounds. They run in a pack. They’re elite killers.

You don’t wanna just stumble upon them. He then looks at the wall and introduces this vaguely supernatural element in the film because there’s an indigenous mask hanging on the wall and he just notes it, nothing said about it. He just looks and the camera pauses on it. So you see it’s

[00:19:57] Stephen: there. And unlike a lot of, uh, other horror movies, it doesn’t glow it, it doesn’t do something.

And that weird wavy effect coming up of his, the music incentivized, but that. You gotta things like that in a movie like this, if you’re going, because you want that blow. And oh my gosh, it’s magical. It’s possessed. It’s whatever. Now there’s arguments that the mask had ancient spirits about it. It possessed them.

There’s all sorts of things you could argue. But again, that’s one of the, you and I could probably sit down over a couple beers. We could probably talk about this movie for a very long time. Yeah. Get Bob involved and we’d be up all night just because there’s all these little things like that in there.

You gotta be ready for it or enjoy those things. Cuz I could see a lot of people. My father would never enjoy this movie whatsoever.

[00:20:47] Rhys: I think that’s one of the nice things about this movie is it’s a super realistic horror movie in that the supernatural elements are so subtle that you could argue that they don’t exist or you could just accept that they do.

Yes. And that’s the kinda thing that happens to us all. You know how many times you’ve been driving along and somebody just misses you and you’re like, oh, your guardian angel was protecting. Or statistically, the chances of hit me were pretty slim. It’s that kind of thing you can choose to believe it or not.

[00:21:17] Stephen: You can’t prove either of ’em completely. Yeah. And I will say the mother is so weird and it doesn’t stop. And that’s another part of the whole argument.

[00:21:28] Rhys: Yeah. It’s it is. She’s very disconnected throughout the

[00:21:33] Stephen: whole thing. Oh, that’s the perfect word I was looking for exit. Exactly. Like she’s in a perpetual

[00:21:39] Rhys: shock.

Yep. She’s in shock constantly. She asks co if he has any children, he says he has a daughter who wanted to be in Alaska and she teaches in Anchorage. And Maddo says that city is not Alaska. And there’s your culture clash right there. If you live in the interior of Alaska, that stuff where Mike lives in Fairbanks and stuff, that’s not Alaska.

This is Alaska out here in the middle of nowhere. They had these long language shots of everything. He just, he lets the camera. He does a very good job of letting the camera soak in the natural beauty of where they’re at. Yes. She looks out and she says, do you have any idea? What’s outside those windows, how black it gets, how he gets in you.

And then she goes to show him where the children were taken and she criticizes his boots says, so those are the only boots you have. He says, yes. So she gives him a pair OFS right

[00:22:29] Stephen: now that line, how it gets in you, that actually is so important to the movie. That’s almost a theme of the movie right there.


[00:22:38] Rhys: So it’s, and it’s an ancient theme, right? Yes. Joseph of Conrads the heart of darkness. That’s what we’re talking about here, where you have this natural violent world. And if it gets in you, you are just as natural and violent as

[00:22:53] Stephen: it is. And again, you could go back to the whole spirits and the ancient spirits of the Alaska argument.

[00:23:00] Rhys: They’re walking through the forest, there’s this discussion of how long she’s known Vernon. And she says forever. She’s never, doesn’t have a memory that he’s not in. And he left her to go to the war alone with a sick child. And as we go through all of the flashbacks that involve Bailey their child, none of them make him look sickly, but she perceives something else in him.

[00:23:21] Stephen: And this comes up, this is another argument theme of the movie right there too.

[00:23:27] Rhys: Other children have been taken throughout the winter. And the town has actually taken to having people escort the children to, and from school by armed adults and Vernon’s friend, Chian had a daughter who was taken poor asks if he could talk to Chian.

And she says, no, I don’t suppose you could . Yes. And once you meet Chian you understand, we find out that he did kill a Wolf at one point in time and he felt horrible about it. And he points out that what happened there was very rare. And then she replies with this perfect answer to that. What happened here happened to me.

So, no matter how rare it could be, it did just happen to me. And so I feel I have strong feelings about it. Yeah. She mentions that there’s hot Springs and it’s a good place. It’s a place of warmth and a good place to get clean. It comes up in conversation, cuz he’s talking about San Diego or some place warm with water.


[00:24:22] Stephen: He’s talking about, yeah. Somebody going by and warmth and stuff. She’s never warm

[00:24:28] Rhys: and it get, and that slight mention becomes important later on because that’s how they end up tracking her down. When we cut to the evening, she’s fed him his daughter’s estranged and his wife is better off without him in the book you find out his wife actually has severe dementia and is actually hospitalized.

So he will sometimes go and visit her, but she never even recognizes him half the time. She doesn’t even wake up when he’s there. So he’s is as alone as this movie kind of portrays him as. He’s sleeping on the couch and he wakes up to hear Madora asking, is he up there? Is he down there? And she’s just repeating these questions over and over again.

She’s in the bathtub like violently scrubbing her bank almost in a kind of fugue, state. Yeah.

[00:25:13] Stephen: Like she is like her whole state, the

[00:25:15] Rhys: whole movie. Yep. She gets out of the bath and walks to the window, looking out at the darkness. Then she comes down and lies next to him on the porch, on the couch. porch, a little cold to be laying down on the porch out there.

She takes his hand and she puts it on her neck and he’s like struggling to, she wants him to strangle her and he’s struggling to not, the entire scene is played out with this sinister underlaying music to tighten the tension. And if you thought she was sleepwalking, she’s silently weeping and blinking the whole time.

So she’s actually conscious during this whole time. And she

[00:25:51] Stephen: starts off with the mask on. And there’s the possession thoughts. And again, that’s really, as far as it goes, the whole movie could have evolved around these spirits from the mask and habiting people and possessing them. And it could have been a completely different movie, but it really wasn’t.

It was that hint and it, so it’s are they choosing this? Are they honoring the ancestors or something like that? There’s a lot of questions you could bring up philosophically with it.

[00:26:21] Rhys: And I note in here, unlike a French movie that can take almost anything and somehow make it sexy. Here you have Elvis’s granddaughter naked climbing onto a couch with a reclining man, and it is not sexy at all.

It’s actually jarring. Yeah,

[00:26:36] Stephen: exactly.

[00:26:38] Rhys: You’re right. And then just to add the cherry on top for being disturbing outside Chian is smoking, looking through the window, watching the whole thing happen.

[00:26:47] Stephen: Yeah. And that’s not the only time, something like this. Somebody’s watching through the window either.

[00:26:52] Rhys: There’s observers throughout this whole movie.

Now we cut to Vernon in the war. He is an M 60 gunner on an armed vehicle, and he’s good at his job. They’re driving along, tracing a Chuck full of insurgents, unlike his companion. Who’s the driver of the vehicle. He’s just literally doing his job. He’s emotionless, he’s effective. He is great at killing things.

And this is where he should be. He is just, he is a stone cold killer war is like the perfect situation to find him. And he’s unlike his driver who, when the whole thing is done, he’s oh, you’re a killer. And he walks over and takes a selfie with the bodies and the burning in the book. He walks over and cuts an ear and a tongue out of the people as a trophy to, to take back with him.

Vernon wants nothing to do with that. He’s just here to do a job and he does it. And that’s.

[00:27:42] Stephen: And actually I thought this scene probably would’ve been better earlier because they’re talking about the boy disappearing and the wolves taking him and they got word to the father. And so his emotionless reaction at first, I was taking it as his reaction to hearing about his son.

And he’s just in shock upset. And the, he overreacts with shooting that gun all over the enemies that it was a reaction to that. So that threw me off a little bit until I realized no, that’s how

[00:28:15] Rhys: he is. And it’s important to note that this actually happens before he finds out. Okay.

[00:28:20] Stephen: I thought he had already found out.


[00:28:22] Rhys: doesn’t find out until in a second. He goes into town, he’s walking through town. He hears this sound of distress and he finds the driver from the previous scene. Raping a village girl. And he very quietly, he takes a cigarette out and sets it on the window sill, which is class. And then he sneaks in and stabs the guy on the side.

Then he takes the knife and hands it to the girl and walks away. This is your right. Go ahead and do what you’re doing. And then she does. Yeah. She kills the guy a lot. Yes. As he’s walking away, he’s walking through an alley, he gets sniped in the neck. It’s a deep grazing wound, but it’s still a grazing wound and he ends up going to Germany to recover.

And that’s where he finds out about his son, but they left that

[00:29:12] Stephen: part out of the moon. Okay. Okay. Yeah. I thought he had already found out, so that’s cool, but it

[00:29:16] Rhys: does show you that he’s an incredibly effective killer. He’s not afraid to do what he feels needs to be done. And he’s got like this set of this moral code that he knows about.

And he’s willing to enforce it.

[00:29:30] Stephen: And they’re definitely making the parallels between a Wolf pack and what he’s doing. And that’s the foreshadowing hints for later.

[00:29:39] Rhys: Yeah. We go back to Alaska. Amador is packing things up for core, and she’s asking him to find it and kill it. And she stands on the porch to see him off.

As he disappears off into the morning, as he’s walking out, there’s a UPIC woman standing by a fire pit and she tells him he is going the wrong way. If he’s going for a Wolf’s tooth, she says that girl knows evil. She’ll tell you. And Cora is polite and claims that Madora knows grief. Um, and she tells him to go back the way he came now he’s walking away and he is.

Set of snow shoes on it. The back of his, those were snow shoes that the actor had and they put him on the pack and they thought that looked good. Once he got out there, he realized the snow was so deep and light that he needed the big snow shoes. So the little ones, he was actually walking through waste deep snow, cuz the small snow shoes don’t lift you as much as bigger surface area.

So yeah,

[00:30:34] Stephen: I was wondering why they were on the packing. He wasn’t wearing them, but he

[00:30:38] Rhys: walks out into the remote reaches of the area. First he comes across the hot sway Springs that Medora mentioned earlier and eventually like a good tracker. Who’s an expert on wolves. He finds the Wolf pack and he does so by howling, that was actually the actor making that howling noise.

And when he would do it, when he did it for all those takes by the end, the actual wolves in the area were howling back to it. that’s beautiful is pretty cool. He travels to where he finds the actual tracks. He spots the pack, but he doesn’t see any signs of Bailey having been eaten. They’re presently eating their own pups.

Yeah. Which from biological standpoint, that’s called savaging. I found that out from him, mentioning it, then

[00:31:20] Stephen: he falls now, wait, before you jump to that, he has, ’em lined up to shoot. He’s watching him meet the pups. And he obviously knows about Wolf behavior, Wolf culture, because he realizes what’s going on.

But I like this because he didn’t just shoot. He probably could have taken out two, three of ’em easily, even with that rifle. But he doesn’t. And it’s, it was almost that hunter in the movie trope where he admires his prey, he admires and you know who he’s hunting and that’s a pretty big trope, but he understands them also.

And that’s important too, because that’s what leads to the stuff coming up near the end a lot too.

[00:32:01] Rhys: Yeah. In the book, they point out that. He did hunt down and shoot a Wolf and he felt horrible about it forever. That’s why he started painting wolfs as some sort of way to try and Toone for it. So he never had any intention of actually shooting the Wolf.

He was hoping to come out and find maybe an ill one or a sick one that he could take back and be like, Hey, here it is. But they don’t, they don’t explicitly explain it in the movie and it works because yeah, as you’re pointing out, he respects the wolves and you get that from the movie. You could

[00:32:34] Stephen: see it in his face.

That a pretty good job of portraying that in the movie by him. And they are beautiful animals. It’s hard to watch this and imagine somebody joyously wanting to go, just shoot them. Yeah.

[00:32:48] Rhys: Fill the comments. All of you ranchers out west.

[00:32:50] Stephen: Yeah. Yeah. I’m not saying there’s not a reason, but just. And the whole pup being eaten, pay attention.

That’s the next little theme metaphor for the whole thing too.

[00:33:02] Rhys: He falls, he like falls down this slope and that was actually the actor. He did fall. They like recorded it and he like got up and he is like, is that good? And they’re like, yeah, cuz they were afraid he would actually get hurt if he tried to do it again.

Oh wow. the pack takes note of him and they SCR and he gets up and scrambles to get his gun because the pack is coming, they’re coming running, but they stop short. He gets his gun, he gets his shot lined up, but he can’t do it. And the wolves leave him be he and he, as this hunter of wolves is basically defeated by his own morality because he can’t, he had the shot, he couldn’t do it.

And you could

[00:33:41] Stephen: argue some of the paranormal in there too. They detect one of their own or something along those lines. Again, the movie shot in a way that it’s very ambiguous in a lot of things.

[00:33:54] Rhys: He heads back in the darkness that he left key LD in and he returns to an empty cabin. It looks as though someone’s packed in a hurry.

He’s looking around from Adora. He finds the door down to the root cell and goes down to the root cell and finds the body of a strangled boy wrapped in plastic. And here is Bailey he’s in a state of shock. He stumbles outta the cabin, crying for help. Chian is the first one there. And he runs into the cabin that old you pick woman is out there and she’s, and he’s, you knew he accuses and she says, leave us to the devils.

And she walks away. Once you go back inside into the root cell Chian and the other you pick are down there having a conversation in their native tongue. You don’t know what they’re saying.

[00:34:38] Stephen: Which I thought was interesting again, too, because most of the time you would get the translation to hear what they’re saying, subtitles.

Yep. So you have to pick up on it, but the choice to not let us English speaking people know was an interesting one. Cause I even stopped and I looked to make sure the subtitles and checked it cuz I’m like, that’s a weird, but that’s how it

[00:34:59] Rhys: was. Yeah. And I think it’s because you don’t see what happens when they’re down there until core shows up, he comes back down the stairs.

And so he’s standing there listening to them speak and has no idea what they’re saying. Just like we’re standing there listening to them, speak and have no idea what they’re saying. Chian asks core where made is, and he doesn’t answer. And the, you pick all leave leaving core to stand in the cellar with the body of the boy.

And then the police show up headed by detective Miriam core is in a state of shock. They talk about time. Because CORs, it’s gotta be midnight. And he’s now it’s 3:30 PM. Or the sun goes down at 3:30 PM. It’s seven o’clock.

[00:35:38] Stephen: And right by here, I was like, yeah, it has been dark a whole lot throughout this movie.

So I kept waiting for the vampires to show

[00:35:44] Rhys: up 30 days a night, both cor and Miriam are confused by Madeira’s actions. Co goes to a motel and Miriam tells him to stick around in case they have any questions. CORU suggests he speaks to the villagers, but Miriam informs them that they did. And then he reads their responses.

The you pick claim that Madora was a torn knock or a Wolf demon. Her blood is cursed and she can slip her own form. And Miriam is writing this all off a superstitious mumbo jumbo, but here’s the supernatural element. What if they’re right? Yeah. He asked core how he knew Medora had done it and he tells him about Wolf savaging.

And if it’s a bad time, that’s what they’ll do. They’ll kill their own. Basically for the benefit of the rest of the pack. The sheriff says, we’re not talking about animals here, Mr. Cor and cor replies, if you say so. Yeah, maybe we are talking about animals

[00:36:44] Stephen: and again, there’s some of the culture clashes like several right there, the city boy, who’s actually living up there as opposed to the hunter who’s from somewhere else and understanding that, uh, animal culture, you know, it, again, this is somebody should take this movie for their senior thesis or something.

[00:37:08] Rhys: Yeah. You ha you have core who understands the culture clash between human and Wolf, better than the people who live up there. And then you have Miriam who understands the clash between the people in civilized and the remote areas. And then you have Vernon who understands the clash between the UPIC. And the actual non-indigenous people who are in the area, right?

Yeah. So there’s a flashback and Vernon is talking to Bailey after Bailey killed his first deer. And then Bailey accuses his father of killing a person before which Vernon does not say, doesn’t say that wasn’t the case. Bailey says, his teacher says that’s bad. And Vernon says that sometimes it’s necessary to protect what you love and what you need.

Vernon says, this Vernon says, when he goes away, he’ll always be with him. And Bailey says, don’t lie. So the kid already is showing like this kind of very mature fatalistic outlook on life. Yeah. At what was he ate maybe. Yeah.

[00:38:08] Stephen: Yeah. And it’s an uncomfortable scene overall, but yeah, that part with him saying sometimes it’s necessary when the boy says don’t lie.

What part of what was said is he accusing his father of lying about, again, you could argue that. It is everything his father does in the army or are they hinting that he killed someone some other time.

[00:38:30] Rhys: He did kill someone some other time in the book, they talk about it. Some drifter came through town was like hanging out at their house and just late one night, Vernon went out and killed him and he, and Shean went out and buried the body.

[00:38:43] Stephen: Oh, okay. I thought that in the movie, but it was again, could it be, could it not?

[00:38:49] Rhys: Yeah. Hinted at, and the book confirms Vernon is now in Alaska. He’s at the airport and Chian meets him there. And without saying a word, hands him, a buck knife, and they walk outta the airport together. In fact, they drive to the police department in the dark silently, and they’re sitting together at the morgue silently.

They don’t speak they’re old enough and close enough friends. They don’t need to, they can just be, yeah. With each other. Cora is sitting opposite of them and Vernon asks him if he’s wearing his boots. This becomes a big deal because there’s always that thing about walk a mile in another man’s boots.

[00:39:25] Stephen: Oh yeah.


[00:39:27] Rhys: yeah. And throughout this movie, Cora is constantly wearing Vernon’s boots all the way up to the end. He’s still

[00:39:35] Stephen: wearing Vernon’s boots. And he’s the one that understands him the most throughout the movie. Yep. Oh man. I didn’t pick up on that one. That’s good. Cor

[00:39:43] Rhys: says, yes, I’m wearing your boots.

Vernon asks if he was the one who found Bailey, the cops are telling him how they’re gonna track her down and she’ll answer for it. And Miriam introduces core to Vernon asks, if you any questions for cor and he says, can you raise the dead? Cor says no. And then Vernon’s like, then I have no questions for you.

He heads back with Miriam to ID the body and it’s this sad touching scene. But again, that ominous musical overtones to it makes it sad and touching. But also this is the flood GL floodgate bursting right here. Yeah. And he tells Bailey he leans down and whispers to Bailey to remember him.

[00:40:21] Stephen: Yeah. Which again, talking to ancient spirits or whatever you could, it’s so good in how the little subtle things they keep adding in.

[00:40:31] Rhys: Yeah. And I, I think it’s really fascinating how the cops are all we’re gonna get her. We’re gonna track her down. We’re gonna make her pay for what she did. Vernon account. We’re on your side. Never considering that. Maybe Vernon’s not really interested in you tracking her down. And in fact, Vernon won’t shake Miriam’s hand when they go to leave, but he calls core Wolfman and walks over and shakes his hand and Miriam takes core back to his hotel.

Then we go back to Chian and the cops, and they’re making this small talk and then Vernon pulls this gun out and shoots every cop there and super efficiently, super cleanly, right? Yeah. One in the head, one to the head, one to the head chest walks in. No, none at all. Walks in kills. The coroner kills. The coroner takes the investigative investigative file and Bailey’s body.

And he, and Chian drive off into the night. They bury Bailey’s body in the snow and ice inside this wooden box. They cut open Vernon’s arm and use his blood to trace symbols on top of the makeshift coffin. And then Chian takes him back to the cabin and drops him off, tells ’em where to find a vehicle and says, go on, brother, I’ll buy you before they part ways Vernon says

[00:41:44] Stephen: that was a pretty intense couple moments there with what they’re doing.

But again, this movie treats it completely different than some more action based horror movie. You. Yeah. Oh, it definitely had a completely different feel about it.

[00:42:00] Rhys: It’s almost an after. Like the drawing of the room on top of the, on top of the coffin, it was just like, yeah, this is what happens. Yeah, exactly.

This is what happens all the time after you kill the coroner and steal your child’s body. Yeah, of course. You’re gonna put a ruin on top of his thing. Vernon says, he’s sorry about what happened to Chi’s daughter and it’s not right. That he didn’t have her body. And I love ch on’s response because when Chian is in this movie, he seems standoffish and cold, but dedicated, and his response, even to his best friend, Vernon follows that trail.

He’s that has nothing to do with anything. And Vernon knows it. And so that is just who Chian is. He is just this very cold guy, very matter of effect. And don’t try and sway him with any sentimentality, cuz he knows it’s all BS. Vernon goes into the cabin, makes a sandwich he’s reading through the police report.

He grabs his bow, a knife and her picture and heads out only pausing long enough to burn the police report. And to notice that the decorative Wolf mask from the mantle is missing before he leaves key, though, he stops to see the old you pick wise woman. And he walks in completely sound. Doesn’t say a word sits down and she knows why he’s there.

She knows things like the fact that he should have died in the war, but came back. And she tells this story from her youth that when the white people came, they brought influenza and they killed half the village. And they moved the bodies away from the village into an IGL on the hill. And that drew wolves who came and ate the bodies that she says is why Keila is cursed Vernon.

Doesn’t say a word. He just stands up and kills her. Yeah.

[00:43:46] Stephen: and scars. Guard’s really good at this unemotional efficient yes. Character. Yeah. He, he does it in several things. I’ve seen him in.

[00:43:55] Rhys: Yep. CO’s in his hotel room. He tries to call his daughter, but she’s not in, so he leaves a message and he lies in bed trying to sleep.

And when he does, Madora appears in his bed next to him and tells him that there’s something wrong with the sky. And then of course he is just imagining it, or he is falling asleep, but he’s been journaling the whole thing. And as he’s writing, he thinks about the old woman in kelut and he tries to get ahold of Miriam, but the line gets cut.

So he decides to head back to kelut Miriam. On the other hand is at the coroner’s office, investigating the dead people and the missing body of Bailey. And now he’s headed to, kelut bringing all the police with it. Now, just one or two, he is bringing all the police. He gets Corey gets there and goes in to see the old woman finds her body stumbles out of another Keyt cabin and starts to throw up.

And he’s looking for help from the police. Who’ve all pulled up and surrounded Ion’s house.

[00:44:51] Stephen: Yeah. And putting vests

[00:44:53] Rhys: on. Yeah. Yeah. And putting vests on Miriam decides he’s gonna try talking to Chian about this, and you can hear Chian running a drill in the loft as he’s approaching, he knocks and Chian opens the door and Miriam shows him that he’s unarmed.

And the conversation between them is verbatim lifted from the novel and the way they do it is so well done. It’s civil but hostile at the same time. Yes. And basically the gist of the conversation is Miriam saying, look, this doesn’t have to get ugly, just come with us. And Chian saying you’ve never done anything for our people and dead cop around here’s reason for a party.

And so, you know, this is not going to end well. Gion makes this statement about how cores, about how Miriam’s hu wife is going to get that call. She’s gonna get that call today, chief. And it talks about the whole scene. The whole conversation talks about the massive cultural differences between rural citizens of Alaska and the city folk, how they brought bathrooms to them.

They brought power to them and there’s no moving ch on from this. And so core walks back core, Miriam walks

[00:46:04] Stephen: back and we’ve seen this type of exact same type of thing with still the people that live in the mountains down south, as opposed to city folk, it’s that exact same type of feel to it. What

[00:46:18] Rhys: follows is this extended gruesome shootout, which accurately depicts the power of an M 60 when you have it rooted down, because you see all these cop shows where they’re hiding behind car doors, that’s not stopping these

[00:46:32] Stephen: rounds.

No. And you saw it go right through the vest a couple times, right through

[00:46:36] Rhys: the body armor. There’s nothing short of an engine block is gonna protect you from that kind of firepower or a granite rock or a granite rock. That’s right. Chian just starts mowing the police down. And the only thing that saved Miriam at the start core shows up and he warns him when the door opens.

And so Miriam dives for cover the violence is so brutal and accurate. It lessens a lot of similar scenes in other films.

[00:47:02] Stephen: Yes. And it’s not the action scene. Like you seen a lot with people, ah, and yelling and stuff. It’s almost quiet except for people getting hit and hurt and the gun. There’s not a lot of yelling and the Brava of this action scene.

Yeah. It’s definitely.

[00:47:20] Rhys: Yeah. Yeah. And even at that, the first guy who gets hit in the head and it’s not like his head explodes, like it would in like your typical kind of action film, it just like rips off the bottom half of his jaw. And you’re like, Oh, that’s pretty graphic, but that’s like fairly accurate of a depiction.

That round is not gonna slow down. It’s not gonna ricochet. It’s just gonna go it gonna take stuff with it. Yep. Um, Marion makes this plan with a rookie and he and the rookie go behind this rock and the rookie fires at Chian and Miriam runs to the back door of the cabin and it shows his poise under fire.

Like he makes sure that the guy double checks his ammo and has him repeat back the instructions he gets to the back door. He cautiously lets himself in bypassing booby traps that are set up around there and he quietly makes his way up the status. And you gotta think that’d be a crazy difficult thing to do with all of the mayhem that’s going on.

Knowing every second is another thousand rounds out the barrel of that gun. You contrast that with a rookie who is behind the rock and decides he’s gonna come out and be a hero and help a downed officer only to get himself shot. And then Chian does that thing where you keep shooting the same guy in non-lethal locations.

So he screams to try and bring out people to rescue him. So you can take out more people, cor can’t stand to see him doing that. And so cor takes a shotgun and being an experienced hunter. He doesn’t come out just blasting. He takes a well aimed shot in fires. It’s close enough that Chian backs off.

[00:49:04] Stephen: I was gonna say that even with all the cops shooting, he was just sitting there shooting back and stuff, but then you get the hunter that comes in and he’s ducking and AVO trying to avoid it.

[00:49:14] Rhys: Yep. He only takes well aimed shots at his target and he gets to the kid and he starts to drag the kid clear. Miriam gets up the stairs and it Chian turns around. He knows he’s there. He turns around, he looks like he’s been hit a couple times maybe, and they continue to have this kind of passive aggressive conversation, but it’s only Chian talking and he is, looks like your wife avoided that call, but it’s coming and he can see he’s got a gun.

And he says, boo. And when he says, boo Marion unloads into him. Yeah.

[00:49:47] Stephen: And I like, when he’s falling out the window that they show his leg getting hit, they that’s something, they normally wouldn’t show. And it was, as he’s fallen, his leg gets hit by another bullet. I was like, wow, that’s just a little thing that doesn’t really mean a whole lot that I can tell, but it just felt different added to the whole scene.

And you gotta

[00:50:08] Rhys: think that the cops on the outside when the gun stops and he turns. They’re gonna be cautiously checking to see if they can poke their heads out. And as soon as they get the chance they’re gonna unload, whoever’s left. And I think that’s what you’re seeing there. It cuts the afterwards scene and you have the wounded and the dead cops being brought into the ER and Miriam sees his wife.

She’s pregnant. It’s really interesting to me. The filmmaker made a point of making her native yeah. In the book. She’s just some girl of Irish background, but by making her native in the movie, it draws Miriam more into the culture that he’s trying to serve. True. Yeah. We now cut to Vernon who arrives at this old mining post and he is looking for information on Madora and he stops at this kind of motel of the camp and claims he was there as a child.

The woman at the desk blows off his questions about Madora and eventually he’s persisted enough. She L and says that she would been there two nights ago. She’d been there to see the Indian hunter who she points out is an Indian. He’s just been around for a long time. She shows Vernon into the room and he sniffs the bedding, like some sort of animal tracking his prey.

And then he goes off to see the Indian hunter, the Indian hunter. Again, he is not really Indian, but he is been in the area forever. The novel actually does a really good job of kind of vilifying the guy and the movie doesn’t do that at all. Which makes Vernon seem just a little bit colder in this scene yeah.

Than he is in the book.

[00:51:40] Stephen: But again, there’s whole thing with him killing. You could look at it. If he was a Wolf in the Wolf pack, it was something like that he’s taking out loose ends or the weak end stuff in his mind at least. Yeah. Again, there’s parallels throughout the whole thing.

[00:51:58] Rhys: Before we go back to the Indian hunter though, we cut back to this scene.

They’re at Miriam’s house. Cora has joined him and his wife for dinner. She’s pregnant. There’s this dining room scene. That’s very nice. And they talk about parenthood and regret and reflection. It’s basically core saying having kids is amazing and you think you’re doing all the right things and you look back on it.

You really weren’t. You were really just going about your life and makes you sad as you look back on it. And I think that’s a good standing point for aging in general, back at the Indian hunter camp, he says, he knows why Vernon’s there. He feeds him some stew and he remembers seeing Vernon as a child.

And he tells this story of how Vernon’s father had brought him up there seeking Wolf soil, because Vernon was unnatural and he wanted to cure him. Vernon asked when Medora went and the guy said it wasn’t his business. She left her mask. So her mask is sitting there and he’s got a bunch of other masks.

And if Vernon wants one, he can have one. And so Vernon walks over. He doesn’t take Madera’s. He picks a Wolf mask off the. Wall and puts it on and then proceeds to commit a violent act, killing the Indian hunter. And from here on out every violent act that Vernon’s gonna commit, he’s wearing

[00:53:16] Stephen: that mask. So you get back to the argument, is it possession and yeah.

Or channeling the spirits and doing what they want, the Wolf spirit or something there again, a lot of arguments could be made.

[00:53:28] Rhys: Yep. He takes off the mask, returns to his truck only to end up getting shot by the lady who runs the hotel. And she does an awesome job of it putting one through his shoulder while he’s driving away.

[00:53:40] Stephen: Yeah. Yeah. So I must say throughout the movie, these Alaskan women are pretty damn tough. Don’t mess with

[00:53:47] Rhys: them. No. In fact, the wounded Vernon ends up going to ground at a garage, run by his friend, Chan, who is played by the screenwriter, Macon Blair. We’re introduced to Chan as he’s doing Coke and watching the news about Chian and Vernon and the whole mess.

Here’s this noise in his garage and heads out to investigate and finds a barely conscious ver in the garage and lets him know that ch on’s dead. Then he proceeds to patch him up and he’s so who shot you? Vernon’s like a woman and chance says who ain’t been shot by a woman like, wow. Okay. Apparently it’s a very different kind of situation up there cuz I don’t know that I can think of anyone.

I know personally who’s been shot by a woman,

[00:54:26] Stephen: so I wouldn’t put it past Chan if she really got mad at ya, maybe buckshot,

[00:54:32] Rhys: but we go back to Miriam. As he and core are doing the dishes core compliments, Miriam on how he handled himself. And Miriam says we gave him what he wanted and Miriam’s not sure that answers exist for all this stuff that’s happened.

And court tells him they do whether or not they fit in our experience is another matter. And there you have the culture clashes again, because what you might see is some act of bism. From a different side of that coin that might actually have some meaning.

[00:55:02] Stephen: Yeah. Yeah. And, and I think that’s, I love that because I’m not an expert in any way, shape or form, but there’s a lot of times I hear people saying things and it’s no, it’s an animal.

It’s oh, let’s go feed the deer. But now you’re making them come around people. So someone’s gonna hit it with a car and cause damage and possibly kill a person or, or just, there’s all sorts of things like that. No, that’s not what you do. That’s not actually understanding them and being nice and taking care of them.

[00:55:33] Rhys: yeah. Cora says, Madura seemed to want to have wanted to fix Bailey, to save him from the darkness, almost like chemotherapy, where you do damage to save living tissue. He thinks she wanted a witness to tell her story and to punish her. And that’s why she wrote to him Maram mentions going on a Caribbean vacation and that trips, cores memory about the hot Springs.

Oh. Now we cut to this memory of Vernon and Madora going to the hot Springs and having sex. And if I had to guess, that’s probably where Bailey was conceived,

[00:56:04] Stephen: probably. And this is one of the least like intensely romantic sex scenes. Yeah. It’s not at

[00:56:12] Rhys: all. Yeah. She says we can stay in this place forever.

And this, it turns out was Vernon’s dream. As he’s waking up from passing out from his Chan, stitching him up. He wakes in over here, Chan talking to the cops on the phone and Chan’s talking to the cops because he’s been busted for having drugs. And he wants to turn Vernon in, in a way of good civil obedience to hope you get a lighter sentence.

So Vernon comes outta the bedroom, wearing the Wolf mask. Shannon kind of begs for his life saying I was gonna let you know, so you could get away, but whether or not Vernon believes him, it doesn’t matter. He puts a knife directly into the top of Shannon’s head. Yeah.

[00:56:55] Stephen: Is it really that easy to stick a knife for someone’s skull?

That’s a little scary.

[00:56:59] Rhys: Depends on how sharp it is and how much force you’ve got Maram and cor the next day are getting into Cessna. And the funny thing is they were talking about doing the stunts and the guy who played cor was talking about, they were so careful that even when they were doing the interior shots of the Cessna, the plane was on the ground and the crew was on the outside, wiggling the wings back and forth.

So it looked like everything was moving and he didn’t think that this was like a high risk kinda film.

[00:57:28] Stephen: It’s the old star Trek lean. Yeah,

[00:57:31] Rhys: exactly. it doesn’t look cheesy as you’re watching the movie, but I watched for it after I saw that interview. I’m like, oh yeah, check that out. They shoot it so that you can only see sky.

You can’t see the hanger in the background. Miriam is gonna fly it. And the two of them are headed out to the hot spring core. Doesn’t seem too big on the idea. It also happens to be the solstice, which again, with the whole mythical connection. Yeah. The solstice, the darkest time of the year, it was marked by ancient peoples is an important time.

There’s this seemingly unrelated shot of two people who I look like trappers on a snowmobile, they hear the plane and they look up and watch it fly over core notes. Them Maram asks if they’re the people they’re looking for. And course’s like, no. And they head down to the hot Springs and Maram puts the plane down on the ice of a pond, which

[00:58:21] Stephen: you would think, wow, that could be a little scary, but it hasn’t been above freezing for months.

So you probably got seven, eight inches of ice there. Feet.

[00:58:30] Rhys: You’ve got feet of ice. You probably. They land on the ice, that they start hiking towards the cave and core finds new tracks of four Wolf prints. As they’re looking around core thinks he sees something up on the Ridge.

[00:58:41] Stephen: Now let me, here’s another supernatural argument there.

Yeah. The Wolf print is that the Wolf pack or is that burning and his wife that there’s Vernon Meor transformational thing going on it again, it left it very open, but I was like, oh my gosh, you could argue that. Yeah.

[00:59:00] Rhys: And they were two wolves, about a hundred pounds each and he imagines, they were heading for wherever the, whatever the den is, where the rest of the pack was.

Yeah. I don’t know. Yeah. He’s looking around and he just makes out Vernon with the Wolf mask on and a composite bow. And just as he’s about to say something, this arrow goes flying and goes straight through Miriam’s neck. Yep.

[00:59:24] Stephen: Not, and they show from the back too. It doesn’t go just through his neck. It’s at an angle.

So it comes out middle of his back. I was like, wow. And the strength for that arrow for the distance. Geez.


[00:59:35] Rhys: gotta consider the pull on those because they’re used to hunting large animals, not elk, obviously, but like reindeer and that kind of thing. So you’ve gotta have a whole lot of force behind that arrow.

It did yeah. Core drags him to cover Vernon just walks away. Cor was never the target and Miriam dies right there in the snow. Yeah.

[00:59:56] Stephen: Yeah. There was no choice. There

[00:59:59] Rhys: cor takes the gun fires a shot into the woods,

[01:00:02] Stephen: which that’s the one part I would argue if he’s that professional of a hunter, would he have just shot wildly into the woods without seeing a target?

[01:00:12] Rhys: So that’s what I was wondering. It turns out it’s super important. He did that and we’ll come back to it. Why that’s so important. But from his point of view, I’m thinking he fires a shot into the woods in the hope of getting himself some cover. Okay. So if he fires a shot into the woods, Vernon can’t necessarily see him cuz he’s firing from cover and just a bullet coming at you is enough to make you a little more cautious.

This, this is so if you’re standing there poised, you might take a step back.

[01:00:45] Stephen: Yeah. But this is an army guy who is sitting on top of a Jeep with a gun and a shield and didn’t flinch at all when they started shooting at him. So poor doesn’t wouldn’t know that. It just seems

[01:00:57] Rhys: I, I, it seemed uncharacteristic.


[01:01:00] Stephen: exactly. Just a wild shot into the woods without seeing the target considering earlier

[01:01:06] Rhys: super important thing to happen though. And you’ll find out why I decided, oh, okay. I missed. Okay. And this starts out on a run to the hot spring. And just as he gets there, you hear a Wolf. How in the distance, it was just this nice little detail they threw in there just as he gets to the hot spring.

He heads inside and his eyes are adjusting the darkness and he sees Madora and he warns her that Vernon in’s coming. And then he takes an arrow in the shoulder. Now the arrow’s perfectly placed, cuz it could have very easily just killed him. And it was a light pole cuz the arrow doesn’t go all the way through.

Yes. The mask Vernon walks in right past core, just ignores cores. He slumps down to the ground and starts to strangle Medora and at first she’s not fighting him. It’s that punishment thing that Cora was talking about, then she reaches out. It’s funny to say how you want punished until you’re actually being punished.

Then she reaches out and flails around and she takes the mask off of him. And as soon as she does, he stops trying to kill her and they start making out even seemingly going as far as having sex while Cora is lying on the ground, bleeding out,

[01:02:13] Stephen: that would be a weird way to die in a hot spring cave. As you’re bleeding out in this hot spring cave in Alaska.

Yeah, it sounds like it should be a card in cards against humanity. Vernon comes

[01:02:27] Rhys: back later as Medora is packing everything up. He removes the, does it like this? Not being mean. He like takes the arrow, head off, puts a hand on the wound, pulls the out, gives co a cigarette and core says, they’re looking for you.

And Vernon says like the whole thing that encapsulates the relationship between the two of them, he says, but you found me. Yeah. And the respect between the hunter and the killer is right there. Just depicted Vernon. And Medora just leave. Then Medora asks him, if he, now he understands about the sky and she walks out, here’s your supernatural thing, because she didn’t say anything about the sky, except for in that dream he had in the motel, right?

[01:03:11] Stephen: Yeah. So, yeah. Is she of the spirit world or is she just following the instincts of, not again from the human world, it looks like they’re killers and crazy, but. And real quick, I wrote down a line. This is another, it was earlier after Vernon shot the cops. There was a line. He said where sometimes you need to let the Wolf out a little.

That’s another good line. The Indian hunter. Yeah. Yeah. Sorry. We missed that one. Go ahead.

[01:03:43] Rhys: No, it’s a good, that’s a good catch core manages to crawl outta the cave, stumble a few steps across the snow before he collapses and continues to crawl forward. And we can see wolves in the distance looking down at him from the Ridge and he sees them too.

And he just keeps watching them in the book. He point out that core actually wanted to be killed by wolves. And so that would’ve been perfect for him. Yeah. It’s a way of paying back for what the sin that he had committed. But then we get this point of view as the snowmobile we saw earlier shows up and the trappers load him up and take him away.

How did the trappers know to come to where he was at? Cuz they heard a gunfire. Earlier in a spot where people weren’t supposed to be.

[01:04:28] Stephen: Oh yeah. I was wondering about that. I didn’t put that together. Got it. That’s why

[01:04:32] Rhys: that gunshot was so important,

[01:04:34] Stephen: but I see, I was wondering if the wolves led them.

[01:04:39] Rhys: That could be

[01:04:39] Stephen: too, cause they don’t say specifically,

[01:04:43] Rhys: right?

The hunt, the trappers do tell him that the wolves spared him and they take him back to their camp where the native women are patching him up. And it’s inter and interspersed with shots of Vernon, collecting Bailey’s body. Also interspersed with wolves on the hunt. And we get this glimpse. See, I don’t know about this part.

We get this glimpse of an lb woman who is there with the natives while they’re patching core up. And she leaves at the end when it seems like he’s stable. We also get this glimpse of a mated pair of wolves running away. The thing. That I’m hedging on is I, wasn’t gonna talk about the twist in the book.

That lady has everything to do with the twist in the book. She’s got nothing to do with the movie at all. Yeah. Aside from that five second scene where she stands up, looks back, smiles, turns around and walks out the door. It really is like just this whole thing that the director put in. If you read the book, just tie it back to the book itself.

Let’s I don’t know. It was just really odd.

[01:05:52] Stephen: Yeah. That’s nice. But you just saying that and like you said, she never showed up anywhere else. And a little weird again, just from the movie aspect. There’s arguments, what supernatural paranormal stuff is going on. Yes. Especially the way they shot that between everybody.

[01:06:11] Rhys: The movie ends with core waking up in a hospital and his daughter sitting by his hide, holding his hand and she asks him what happens. And he says, he’ll tell her, and then it fades to black and please come home for Christmas, starts playing with the credits. Yeah.

[01:06:24] Stephen: Which they kept, I heard a couple times it’s Christmas, but that really doesn’t come across except not at all.


[01:06:32] Rhys: Yeah. This is not a Christmas movie.

[01:06:34] Stephen: Yeah. I’m gonna add it to the list right after Rudolph. Yeah.

[01:06:37] Rhys: For sure. Kind bring everything down a little bit.

[01:06:41] Stephen: It’s too joyous. We need to get real. Yeah. So there’s hold the dark and the title itself. It’s one of those that, what exactly does it mean in reference to the movie?

It could be argued that their, the mask held the dark and let it out through them that they held the dark within them. But again, if they were Wolf spirits or channeling that, is it really what we consider the dark? Or is it another reference just to the time of the year? All of us.

[01:07:10] Rhys: Yeah. And I’m gonna go out on limb here.

And did you ever see it comes at night?

[01:07:17] Stephen: It doesn’t, maybe I don’t, it’s not ringing a bell, what it’s about, but

[01:07:23] Rhys: Riley Kia was in it. The girl who played Medora was in that movie as well. I’m gonna go out on a limb and say, this was more of a horror movie than it comes at night was because it comes at night with such a disappointment.

There really was nothing to it. It was like this whole study of people in crisis and how they’ll react to strangers showing up this just had so much more overtones to it that it felt to me much more like a Kujo kind of a nature kind of, if you read the book Kujo, there is this supernatural thread that kind of happens cause things from the dog’s point of view, and there’s all this other weird stuff that happens that doesn’t come across.

If you’re just looking at it, saying it out loud, And this movie’s very similar in that matter. Yeah.

[01:08:07] Stephen: I, again, if you watch the movie, you should watch it a second time. It’s definitely a, again, it’s not one you’re like, Hey, let’s watch a horror movie for Halloween. It’s not that type of movie

[01:08:20] Rhys: at all. No, not at all.

I don’t even know that I would watch this with a group of people and not just because it’s, this is like a sit down and reflect on your life kinda movie. I

[01:08:29] Stephen: can see multiple people. I know, like halfway through the movie going. Yeah, I don’t get that leaving. All right, for sure. Hold the dark. So what’s up next for episode two of season three.

Well, we’ve got a

[01:08:43] Rhys: big name. We’ve got some big name stars in the next one. Yeah. And we call bone Tomahawk. Yeah. One of those awesome, bizarre Western slash horror crosses. They’re rare to come across, but they’re usually pretty

[01:08:57] Stephen: enjoyable. A little more. I haven’t seen this one. So, is it a little more horrific than aliens versus Cowboys?

Yes. More than wild west.

[01:09:07] Rhys: There are things you’ll see there that you’ll be like, oh my God, I can’t believe they did that. Wow.

[01:09:12] Stephen: Wow. Okay. So another good horror movie coming up next.

[01:09:15] Rhys: It’s also a little problematic. I’m just gonna throw that out

[01:09:18] Stephen: there. Ooh. Hey, you like those? Yeah.

[01:09:22] Rhys: All then. All right.