Have you ever… seen Prisoners?

Have you ever? is a short look back at anything you might have missed from all over the pop culture world.

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Pre-2013, my record for the longest time I could hold my breath was about 3 minutes, give or take 30 seconds. After a quick google on how to increase this, the internet suggests practicing deep breathing; purging the lungs of CO2; holding your breath for a 90 seconds and repeating. I disagree. My current record as of 2017 is 153 minutes which, coincidentally or not, is the exact run time of Prisoners. (Did you like that flawless segue?)

I went to the cinema with my sisters not really expecting much – albeit not knowing much – about this thriller set in rural Pennsylvania and left with a pre-order on Amazon already set up. As I always seem to say: the premise is simple. A man called Dover (played by Hugh Jackman) and his wife and two kids attend a family friend’s house for Thanksgiving. During the evening, the two youngest children travel back to Dover’s house to get a whistle and never return. When the families go out to search for them, a motorhome which had featured in an earlier scene with the girls, has gone and the two girls are nowhere to be seen. I am neither confirming nor denying that the motorhome is linked to the girls’ disappearance but it sure is suspicious.

Choosing to recommend this is a shot in my own foot really as there is such a little amount I can actually say without spoiling what will happen. I will go so far as about 20 minutes into the film. The whole neighbourhood goes on a search for the two girls, spearheaded by Detective Loki (Jake Gyllenhaal) and, unofficially, Dover who gets more and more desperate as the film goes on. The levels of his desperation are actually shocking as the films go on (not to say I don’t sympathise with him – I mean, the man has lost his kid!). The owner of the motorhome is played by Paul Dano, whom you may or may not know, but the performance is so fantastic that is has affected every film I’ve seen him in since. That is including Love and Mercy, in which he plays Brian Wilson from The Beach Boys (also a great film) – the two characters could not be more different.

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In fact, I think everyone does an impeccable job in portraying their character and sucking the audience into the story. I hold this film in such high regard, that anytime someone asks for a thriller recommendation this films beats Shutter Island to the forefront by a mile. Don’t get me wrong, Shutter Island is great but it seems like all the best parts are at the end and you have to look back to see the greatness, whereas Prisoners is fantastic on the first play through and you don’t have to finish it and remember it to think “oh yeah that was good actually”.



If you’ve already seen Prisoners and have managed to get back to a normal heart rate, why not check out these other thrillers?:

Shutter Island, Lovely Bones, Identity


Oh and don’t forget to let us know what you thought of the film! Give us a tweet, we look forward to hearing from you!