Over the last few years Jeremy Saulnier has developed into one of the most intriguing and acclaimed directors working in American cinema.
That started with 2013’s “Blue Ruin” and continued apace with his follow-up “Green Room” in 2015, both of which thrived from being screened in the dark on the big-screen, as they were claustrophobic, intense and truly terrifying.
So it was a little surprising when it was announced that Saulnier’s third film would be released through Netflix.
During my recent chat with the filmmaker I asked him whether he had any worries about working with the streaming website, and he was quick to point out why he went with Netflix.
“‘Hold The Dark’ was a much bigger sort of scale. I usually write with a certain budgetary ceiling in mind. Being an indie filmmaker who half funds their movies, if someone tells me, ‘No,’ I want to be able to put my credit card down and say, ‘Yes’.”
Obviously Netflix’s huge success meant that Saulnier didn’t need to worry about the film’s budget. But did he have any other apprehensions about making the film for the small-screen?
“Not at all. I mean the whole thing as a filmmaker is that you seek the collaborators who give you the support you need and the resources you need to make the story you want to tell.”
“Netflix was an easy fit. This was a very challenging movie. It is not traditional in many respects. It has lots of very satisfying, traditional elements, in terms of the western genre, elevated crime thriller, horror, adventure.”
“But the film itself is beautifully odd and deep and troubling. You just don’t get studio support. If you do something of this scale it is going to be normalized, standardized, and made less appealing to someone like myself.”
“Netflix offered me the opportunity to scale up their work, to maintain the integrity of their filmography and do something even more artful, more bold as opposed to something watered down and designed for four quadrants.”
You can see the results now, as “Hold The Dark” is finally available on Netflix.