Hold The Dark is a slow-burning, bleak thriller set deep in the Alaskan wilderness. With the feeling of a Greek tragedy, the Jeremy Saulnier-directed film verges on art-horror. It excels in its moments of brutal action that at times feels like a waking nightmare, the best of which is a jarring and prolonged shootout between local police and a suspect. All the shots and stunts were meticulously choreographed. “There was nothing that was random or not considered except for a couple of vehicles that didn’t react how they were meant to on the ice,” explained Wright to Metro.
But, no matter how diligently you plan a scene, there is always some improvisation. Though this might not be the improvisation most people had in mind. The accidental misfire resulted in Wright accidentally shooting a cameraman. Don’t worry! No one was actually hurt.
According to Saulnier, the entire scene was shot without CGI, instead favoring more traditional forms of filmmaking by using “all real stunts, pyrotechnics, a real machine gun.”
While filming the action-packed sequence, Wright unintentionally fired his shotgun at steadicam operator Fernando Moléon’s foot, releasing a large blast of air. The action looks real, but it’s not that real! There’s a lot more movie magic between filming and the final scene we had our eyes glued to over the weekend. Moléon was completely unhurt, but that didn’t stop Wright from being extremely apologetic. “It was just a deep, heavy blast of shotgun air,” said Wright. “But I was still deeply embarrassed by that. Aside from that, we all came through it untouched.”