Hold The Dark: Ending Explained + The Symbolism...

Hold The Dark: Ending Explained + The Symbolism Of The Mask

Hold The Dark Ending Explained Review by deffinition Netflix

Hold The Dark is a 2018 Netflix Original Thriller Movie. The film features Wolves in sheep’s clothing, Wolves in Human clothing and there is a lot to unpack from its plot.

Throughout this video, I will be discussing Hold The Dark in full detail and there will be heavy spoilers. The film is definitely worth checking out if you’re a fan of Thrillers and the piece stands as one of the best Netflix Original Movies that are currently on the platform. You have been warned.

With that out the way, I’m Deffinition and I ruin the movie so you don’t have to.

Plot Synopsis

We follow Russell Core as he investigates the disappearance of a boy that has been taken by wolves.

Early on in the film, Core discovers the boy’s frozen corpse but that doesn’t mean the case is a closed one. We learn that the boy has been strangled by his Mother, Medora.

Medora escapes the strong arm of the law and with her husband, Vern murder many Police Officers and escape. In the films close they meet up and share a kiss and it’s here where the film’s big questions begin to rear their heads.

Hold The Dark Ending Explained Review by deffinition Netflix

The Wolf Mask

Most questions online circle around the meaning of the Wolf mask. It definitely is the movies most intriguing aspect and has a lot of symbology to it.

The mask makes its first appearance when Medora tries to seduce Russell. She forces him to nearly strangle her to death whilst wearing it which allows her to be able to embrace her Wolf mentality.

In the latter part of the film Vern too dons the same mask when committing many murders and this mask is a way for him to assume Medoras Lupine Spirit.

Masks can often force us to change our personalities in several ways and they are used often in pop culture to symbolise the donning or wearing of a different personality.

Psychologists have debated for decades whether The mask that Batman wears is his true face and many have stated that Bruce Wayne is, in fact, the mask that he dons in order to act and appear in a certain way. Similar to this Medora is a facade that hides the true face of the wolf. This dual personality could explain why she contacts Russell early on to help track down her son and appears to have dual identities.

Are The Characters Wolves?

Whilst neither characters are wolves themselves, they certainly possess the mind state that they are. Local Indians warn Russell that they are possessed by wolf spirits and in the real world this is a condition known as species dysphoria.

This condition makes the patient believe that they were born the wrong species and symptoms include believe that you have phantom wings or an animal soul that has been reincarnated as a human.

We also learn that Vern and Medora are in fact siblings and whilst we don’t get a backstory we can draw conclusions from their incestuous relationship that may have had huge effects on them psychologically.

Their behaviour too explains why Russell was the only survivor of their brutal murder spree. Russel wrote the book ‘A Year Among Them’ which documented his time with the canine creatures. Able to interact with them and a kindred spirit, the two spare him because of his respect for their species.

Jeffrey Wright in the new film Hold the Dark. Photo credit: Netflix

Why Did They Do It?

Whilst we never get concrete answers as to why Medora murdered her son, Russell believed that she wanted to spare him from a lifetime of darkness. Both in reality as the region he lived in had nighttime’s starting at 3:30pm but also the darkness that he will inherit from his ‘other parents.’

Whether the two survived we will never know but we do bear witness to them escorting their son’s coffin followed by wolves. Whether they were killed by them or joined the pack is up to the viewer but I agree with the latter.

Your Thoughts

So, what did you interpret from Hold The Dark? Comment below and let me know and if you enjoyed this video then please like it and subscribe to my channel.


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