Prisoners – More Shocking Than Any Horror Movie – Review

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Photo Courtesy Warner Brothers

All of those horror movies think they know how to shock and scare you, but they have got nothing on Hugh Jackman’s new movie, Prisoners!

As families across the country are celebrating Thanksgiving, Keller Dover (Hugh Jackman), Grace Dover (Maria Bello), Franklin Birch (Terrence Howard), Nancy Birch (Viola Davis) and their families are about to experience an unthinkable horror.  Their two little 6-year old daughters, Anna (Erin Gerasimovich) and Joy (Kyla Drew Simmons), have gone missing after taking a very short walk from one house to the other’s on this quiet, Northeast Pennsylvania street.

Loki (Jake Gyllenhaal) is the young detective who catches the case, but this one is turning out to be more difficult than any of us could ever imagine.  The prime suspect, Alex Jones (Paul Dano), doesn’t have any evidence linking him to the crime, and, when the accused man is released, Keller decides to take matters into his own hands (Wolverine-style!).

You think you know where this is all going?

You think you got it figured out?

Believe me, you have no idea and just when you think Prisoners is about to end, IT GETS BETTER!

Director Denis Villenueve and writer Aaron Guzikowski enrapture the audience with a quietly intense movie that’s part morality tale, part criminal procedural, part character exploration, and almost 100% awesome (Howard could step up his game a bit, and Davis deserves more to do here).

It’s a gut wrenching situation (with some shocking visuals) that frightens anyone in the audience, whether you have kids or not, but when Villenueve and Guzikowski start taking us down that twisty turny road of a plot, you are going to be amazed at every revelation, and be shocked you have no idea what is happening next.

Sure, the studio is playing up the whole morality aspect of Prisoners, which gives Jackman his moments to frighten us with his rage and brutality.  It wants to make us question, would you be willing to do the unthinkable to find your missing daughter?  Would you be willing to disregard the law to protect your family?  The entire movie is designed to have you and everyone you see it with debating the conundrum as you drive home or grab a cup of coffee after the show.

But, Prisoners is best when it is a mystery.

Alex doesn’t have any evidence linking him to the crime, but Guzikowski gives us plenty of reason to wonder if he was involved and the cops are screwing up.  As Loki discovers the town’s ugly hidden history, we have to wonder if it will link to this case.  And, do we have another suspect?

I challenge you to dig through the clues and occurrences to figure what has happened, but I don’t think you will.

4waffles_sml4 Waffles (Out of 4)

Prisoners is rated R for disturbing violent content including torture, and language throughout

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