Prisoners (2013) Review

A happy Thanksgiving day turns into a nightmare for the Dover and Birch family when there young daughters go missing and everything points to the strange RV parked near the houses and a very strange young man named Alex. But when Keller crosses many lines in trying to find his daughter, detective Loki must try to keep it together to solve the case.

I went to see a preview of this film last night and I was looking forward to it after the trailer has been attached to so many films over the past couple of months, so that always builds up more suspense and makes you want to see a film. Which I guess is the general idea of the trailer, but with this one it has had you thinking about it all. Who took the girls and will they get them back, this is still something you are wondering throughout the film and obviously I am not going to spoil the ending.

Everything is based around a father being determined to get his daughter back and will not stop at anything until he gets answers. He takes matters into his own hands when he does not believe the police are doing everything they could have. Especially when it came to Alex Jones, who does not seem to be able to speak very much at all. This leads Keller to abduct Alex and lock him away, trying to force him to talk.

As a viewer it is difficult to accept whether Alex really does know something or that he is innocent and you would love to be able to try something yourself to get him to at least speak and say what he knows. Eventually just to stop the torture he has been suffering. Some of these scenes are frustrating but do keep you guessing about how much he actually knows.

This is not the only story line that is going on in the film we have another couple of possibilities and very strange characters. Not forgetting Detective Loki seeming to have his own battle with himself in the pressure over the case (must mention the strange blinking Gyllenhaal put into this role, it got rather annoying in the end).

My main problem with this film is the running time of 2 and a half hours, it’s a very long time for a film which takes ages to build things up and by the end you aren’t really paying much attention anyway. Due to the slowness of the parts and wanting to find out things quicker, I think if this had happened I would have enjoyed the film more as it felt like too much of an effort to watch towards the end.

It was full of very good performances from all actors in the film, the emotions were flying at times especially with the parents showing their grief of losing a child and not sure whether they are going to see them again. So that is a big plus of the film, but does the running time and slowness take the edge of this? I will let you decide that one when you see it! Paul Dano really does have brilliant ability to be extremely creepy not sure if that’s a good or a bad thing.

I will admit that I did guess the two “twists” if that’s what you want to call them quite early on (which never, ever happens) I usually end up getting it so wrong. But just picked it up in this one, for some reason cannot really explain how or why especially as I am not going to spoil anything about the film. But it will be interesting to see how many people guessed at least one of the twists. The ending is another talking point too!

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