‘Prisoners’ Spoilers Discussion

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Prisoners Movie Spoilers Prisoners Spoilers Discussion

While our readers are already talking about this movie in the comments section of our Prisoners review, this is the place where you can discuss Prisoners spoilers without concerns about ruining the movie for people who haven’t seen it yet.

If you’re posting comments here, assume that anyone in the conversation has seen the movie – if you haven’t seen the movie, we would recommend you don’t read the comments here until you have.

We’ve set up a poll below where you can rate Prisoners for yourself. Other than that, feel free to discuss the film and all its surprises!

[poll id="679"]


Prisoners runs 153 minutes and is Rated R for disturbing violent content including torture, and language throughout. Now playing in theaters.

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  1. Picture of door-peeker: “Look, it’s a Peeping Tom”! (“Better hide so we don’t have to give out candy…I see trick-or-treaters coming up the street!”)

  2. Best movie of the year so far. It’s haunting, direct, imaginative and scary. The lead character being whisked away in the dead of night with no explanation seemed trite but once we learn that he is simply one among many it really starts to hit home that this paradise is anything but. the use of numbers for names serves well to de-humanize the population and gives you a sense of the terror everyone is feeling. The twist ending when you realize who the actual “warden” may be gave me chills. Not for the faint of heart. The giant bubbles terrified me as I have a fear of being caught by them and bounced of a cliff. five stars *****

    • Uh…are we talking about the same thing? I believe this is referring to the movie with Hugh Jackman about kidnapped little kids, not the British TV show from about the 60s or 70s!

      • :O

    • What the hell are you even TALKING about?? Get it together dude.

  3. The one thing that bothered me in the movie ( just saw it) and I need an explanation for is how did the little black girl get away ? All of a sudden its announced she as ” found” and we next see her in the hospital with her mom and dad and the other kidnapped girls parents show up to try and get information. Just how did the little black girl get ” found” ? Also I could not hear what she ( the little black girl) said to Jackman in the hospital that made him tear out and head to the culprit’s ( old lady) house what did she say to him ?

    • She said, “You were there!” “She put tape on my mouth!”

      • Thank you !

      • Yes I don’t understand that part. I saw it last night. Could you explain to me why she said that?

        • Joy stated, “You were there! She put tape on my mouth!” referring to Hugh Jackman’s earlier visit to the house to inquire about the “maze”. If you recall, he showed up at the house saying “he felt responsible for Alex’s disappearance and Holly invited him in. Joy was referring to that visit. So Holly must have taped the girl’s mouths shut when he showed up. Joy and Anna recognized his voice, hence her comment, “You were there. She put tape on my mouth.”

    • The 2 little girls were kept n a hole under that mustang car but the lady later reveals she was lonely so brought them inside the house. They try to escape but the white girl is behind the black girl and she gets pulled back in to the house.

    • The old lady who kept the girls in the the hole was lonely so she took the girls inside the house with her. The little girls were able to run but the white girl was caught as you can see in the flashback. The little black girl told Hugh Jackman that he was there. What she meant by that was when he first went to go visit the old lady the little black girl heard him talking. So he realized she meant the old lady house.

    • They showed her very briefly with the other daughter, getting away from the old lady at the door…the old lady caught the blond and the other girl got away and kept running.. I wish I could read the news stories again a little longer to figure out how the guy with the snakes was related or kidnapped (I noticed on here someone called him “Taylor” so I’m guessing it may have been on one of the newspaper articles they showed-IDK- we talked about that the whole way home..and about that ending too – DANG IT..Why couldn’t they just tell us if the dad got out!!

      • The weird guy with the girls clothes was, I think, an earlier victim of the maze guy and his wife. He was recreating the trauma in his fantasy to try to reconcile it, perhaps. He had that book about the couple that kidnapped all the kids mysteriously, which I took to be a reference to the maze guy and his wife. He also had that “if you solve the maze you can go free” book which, I think, we also saw at the old lady’s house.

        • ok look, the guy who got shot himself is a victim. he is the first guy who was able to solve the puzzle and because of that he was traumatize. keep having that image of the maze. stealing victim clothes, meaning he start to become the kidnapper mind. now about the black girl, she was able to run away when the old lady was duct tape them and tried to move them (both littles) into the hole when Keller (Hugh Jackman) was visiting the lady. and at the end, Keller become a suspect (or a jail time if he comes back) because he kidnapped Alex and tortured him. now for final End. of course the cop found Keller because of the whistle. it’s also mean, the research is done the next day, because Keller would have die from the lost blood of shot.

    • She said to him in a whimper-”She duct-taped us”!(the old Lady)The just show in flashback the girls running away from someone but never said who.Joy tells Keller in whimper the old lady duct-taped them.

    • She finished the puzzle. Throughout the whole movie they talk about mazes. If you finish the maze you can go home. The little girl finished the maze so they let her go.

      • No, no, no, no – please don’t ever have a job where figuring anything out might make a difference to anyone, dude.

        • Haha!

      • No actually the last maze was impossible to solve but I guess the girls just found a way to escape.

    • The little black girl escaped when the old woman moved them from the pit to the closet. The police were poking around and the old lady was getting worried. A car probably saw her and took her to emergency.

    • The old lady said she had to move the kids from the hole when police came around. That must have been when little black girl escaped.

    • She said, “You were there”. At first you think he is somehow involved but realize she heard his voice at the aunt’s house.

    • There was a brief flashback of wht happened to Joy. Apparently, she managed to run away and ran to a busy street. An onlooker saw her, who was almost hit by an oncoming car, and grabbed her in time. I think it is safe to assume that the onlooker brought her to the hospital and that’s when they police etc identified her as one of the missing girls. Hope this helps

    • Joy (the little black girl) got away. Perhaps the aunt left the door unlocked. After all she is old, physcotic, and has a habit of not locking doors (remember near the end of the movie when the detective found Ana in the aunts house ; the door was unlocked! :p) Anyways Joy got away but Ana was recaptured by an unknown hooded person. Then as Joy was running away, on the street and such, a lady found her helped her, brought her to the hospital etc. This was all shows in Joys flashback at the hospital. And Joy said to the father “You were there. She put tape on our mouths.” AMAZING FILM!!!

  4. I’m trying to understand what the connection was with the man who shot himself. Was he kidnapped by the same serial killer as a child? Both boys had the mazes in common, so am I left to assume that both boys were kidnapped?

    • Yes, he was kidnapped as a child. Did he still have ties to the woman or was he just totally messed up like the other guy?

      • I am curious too how that guy that shot himself is related to the granny and alex jones.. He had the kids clothes and hid them with pig blood and etc.. I don’t understand how he’s related to the whole kidnapping thing…

        • “Protecting your family” is on a higher level of the peoples in the town ‘plot’ protecting their secret…Loki is orchestrating all the kidnappings, thats why there is never any evidence, and when it starts to unravel he has to kill off (or let them kill themselves with his gun) the people whove been helping him…’believing ‘ in him….the woman believes everyone has to suffer…she did when she lost her child, so now she is involved…loki had ‘maze’ tattooed on his fingers, they show it so briefly, they dont want most people to notice it…the director wants some viewers to think its been solved, and others on another level, know that the detective loki is behind it all…thats why we dont get to see him ‘rescue’ jackman at the end…he probably wont……he hunts people down because they will ruin the towns secret of

          • umm i think you’re reading too much into it.. Loki is badass..
            now can someone explain to me how that guy that shot himself is related to the granny and why he steals the kids clothes and puts snakes and pigs blood over it..?? someone explain please??

            • The guy that shot himself was kidnapped by them as a kid and remember granny’s husband had the maze on his chain, that’s why the guy that shot himself was always talking about mazes and drawing them

              • I was thinking that the old lady possibly forced the guy who shot himself to steal the clothes so he looked guilty. If it looked like he killed them then they wouldn’t be snooping around her house as much, and she would be off the hook.

              • You Guys are completely wrong. The so-called “maze guy” was actually the son of the aunt and the victim that was found in the priests seller. The Aunt had mentioned earlier in the film that her son had died of cancer. It appears that “Maze guy” had escaped and was reliving the fantasy of what he had seen at his parents house-the kidnapping and taking of children.

                Additionally, did everyone noticed that Alex had originally parked his RV in front of his former home?

                I found the ending white good. It was reminiscent of the ending and the “Sopranos” where the viewer can complete his or her own ending. Are the best movies I’ve seen in the last six months and certainly a contender for Academy award honors.

                Another point. did anyone think that Lokki was a kidnapped or child abuse victim. He did make a reference to this obliquely in his confrontation with the priest. Also, I was unable to read the tattoos on his fingers. Did anyone get a close look at that?

                D. Mallo

                • no, you’re wrong. really? you tell everyone that they’re wrong and you yourself miss an obvious point in the movie.
                  The man in the Priests basement was her husband. She said they had an argument and he never came back. He had an argument and went to confess to the priest. The Priest then tied him up and left him to die so he couldnt harm children anymore. So she believes he left, but really he was a PRISONER himself and died.

                  • I agree. That’s the way I read it. One thing bugs me. Keller watches Alex walking the dog. He purposely lifts the dog by the neck and briefly chokes it. We all know many serial killers start by torturing and killing animals. Keller mentions this not at all to anyone. Is this a red herring? Or was it a telling look into the mind of a killer? Thoughts?

                • Yeah, poor Alex went home for Thanksgiving. And no one was home.

                • The tattooes on Loki’s fingers were western zodiac signs. Twice we see him talking about the chinese zodiac. He also has a Christian cross on his hand, and we all recognize his name. And he scoffs at the priest’s mention of someone waging a war against god. I’m been mulling over this, and I think Loki somehow represents inclusiveness of all religions, without acceptance on any one. His role in the story is of goodness, action, and order. The order part seems contrasting with his name.

                  I feel like there’s more meat in the many symbolisms around his character, but I can’t sink my teeth into what’s there. Also, snakes are one of the chinese zodiac animals. They represent malevolence, cattiness and mystery, often have a good temper and a skill at communicating but say little.

                • the tattoo said MAZE

                • The Aunt explains all of that at the end of the movie. She said they had kidnapped so many kids she forgot about the Taylor boy’s escape until his name came up in the paper.

              • Alex Jones Aka Bill was one of the Conyers Boys that was kidnapped,the one who bought all the clothes and had the snakes was the other Conyer Brother that the aunt kidnapped from the mother.

          • Is there any significance to Loki having a toy sized RV on his desk?

            • When Loki first went to Alex Jones’ house and searched his room, Loki picked up the toy RV and put it in his pocket.

            • Oh yea I forgot about that…and there should be, the way they lingered on that shot…but maybe not.

            • I believe that was the toy that was taken from Alex’s drawer when he visited his home earlier in the movie.

            • I thought that the truck held some significance. Like when Loki was distraught after the suicide of Bob Taylor- it was supposedly Loki’s fault because he took a gun into the room where Bob Taylor was – after that Loki was sitting at his desk looking at the truck and it fell to the floor. I was hoping that there was something inside the truck that would fall out leaving a clue. But nothing like that happened.

              • Isn’t the significance of the toy RV that when Loki was distraught and rolling it on his desk the toy fell and landed on a photo of the mummy from the priest’s house? This led Loki to discover the necklace worn by the mummy had maze symbol pendant.

          • then why would he so desperatly try to save anna?

          • Oh my gosh–this is awesome. I had that same thought that Loki was somehow behind things-he had a perfect crime solve rate, told his boss to eff-off all the time….this makes total sense to me. I was convinced the whole movie that the Dad had done it, but now you really have me thinking……..

            • Why does that make you think he’s the killer? If anything, I’m almost certain he has MAZE tattooed on his left hand, proximal to his MCP joints.

              • Loki has a maze tattoo?

          • Just saw the film; thought it was great! i was wondering why they showed tatoos on Loki’s fingers. I wasn’t sure what it said, but this reader who says Loki has maze on his fingers and he’s behind it all, well, I tend to believe him…Great movie….Who are the real prisoners though?? The kids that were abducted or Hugh Jackman who has made his own ‘prison’ of darkness when he kidnaps that kid. Or also because he WILL go to prison for that abduction..

          • what do you smoke when wacth a film??

          • Woman I had something similar!!! Great post

        • He was the 2nd child abducted.

        • The Aunt explains all of that at the end of the movie. She said they had kidnapped so many kids she forgot about the Taylor boy’s escape until his name came up in the paper.

    • same here! was he mentioned in one of the newspaper articles and I couldn’t read it fast enough??

    • Yes! They were both victims of the lady and the corpse/guy in picture.The guy was a victim but solved the mazes except for the one he kept drawing,which was the key to finding out who was behind everything.

    • She finished the puzzle. Throughout the whole movie they talk about mazes. If you finish the maze you can go home. The little girl finished the maze so they let her go.

      • I don’t think the little girl finished the maze. The last maze was unsolvable. They showed her waking up out of a haze with the soda and maze book lying around her. Both girls were trying to run out, Anna was caught.

        • I agree Mary. Sorry David, you’ve been sipping the aunt’s jungle juice. The maze was unsolvable. No one goes home.

    • Alex was the first and the guy buying clothes was the second and escaped and became fascinated with his abductor.

  5. Wow, just saw it…first half is exceptionally good, but the second half is absolutely terrible. All kinds of stupid things happening for the sake of creating suspense.
    Detective Loki bringing a gun into the interrogation room, Loki driving the daughter all the way to the hospital when an ambulance would’ve got to the house quicker and helped her on the spot in the van, to Loki refusing to call backup whenever he is on a suspect.
    And what is up with the snakes in the containers resting on childrens clothing? Other than creating fright, it added nothing, just random. It would’ve been more frightening and more true to the character if the
    creep had mannequin dolls all over his house with childrens clothing on.

    On top of it all, a major crime like kidnapping becomes a federal case,
    in a real situation an expert from the FBI would`ve taken over. They could have easily made Gyllenhall`s character an FBI agent coming to town.
    Too many stupid things, the film had such promise too.

    • The beginning of the movie sets up that Loki is sort of anti-social, seeing as he has nobody on Thanksgiving, so he has the whole “lone wolf” thing going for him. He brought a gun into the interrogation room, I’m assuming because he’s a human being and made a mistake, he flew in there without thinking because he obviously has feelings involved in this case.
      It explains in the movie that Taylor became obsessed with his captor when he was young and was trying to recreate what he had remembered so he could solve it. i.e; going through the houses to get their clothing, the obsession with mazes, the pigs blood and the mannequins.

      • When did they show/ explain Taylor being kidnapped please- thanks everyone for helping piece some of this together… fir the maze guy kill 16 kids? Didn’t the priest say the maze guy was a pedofile? Why the pigs bloodand snakes?? So many questions

        • So I have read thru all comments. Love that so many had questions walking out and so interesting to see how different details stood out to different people. it is like some saw a completely different movie than i did. Here is what i saw – I remembered the corpse’s necklace from the beginning. To go back and watch the scene where Loki finds the corpse will show, I think, that it was obviously placed there to stand out against the corpse. As soon as I saw the mazes in Taylor’s (think thats the name of pig blood boy) house I knew there was a connection so I watched the rest of the movie w that in mind and wondering why in the world Loki wouldn’t remember such a detail. He only sees it after he has a complete breakdown at police station after suspect kills himself.
          The toy RV was just part of what he confiscated from Alex’s room. Doesn’t anyone remember the scene he went to question the aunt? No one was with him to observe so no reason for him to pretend not to know her. Plus the picture on the dresser that he sees of her husband the first time was conspicuously placed with clear attention drawn to it and we don’t get to see the detail in the picture until he comes back to the house at which time e he has made the connection w the maze medallion so then he puts it together that the corpse was her husband…
          The newspaper article at the end has pic of earlier missing boy, same one abducted from the house where the RV was parked at the beginning, and the one that Loki goes to speak w the mother, and pic of adult Alex. He was that kidnapped boy and must have driven back by that house in the girls’ neighborhood bc some part of him was still drawn back there even though his LSD addled brain couldn’t remember why. Of course the damage he has from being tortured and beaten is a whole other topic.
          There is one scene that I haven’t seen ANYONE remember and I think it is crucial!!!!
          When Loki is “interrogating” the priest after he first finds the corpse, he says something to the effect of “I grew up in a boys home” “do u know what that means?” Then he says something about how much he would enjoying doing something to hurt the priest. It is a short few seconds but I think it gives all we need into Loki’s backstory. Anyone who thinks he was behind the kidnapping only superficially paid attention. He may well have been an abuse victim and had his own demons but being involved in these kidnappings wasn’t one of them.

          • I believe that Loki was abused in the Boys house. There is so much about his character that I think they set up this way to have another movie. He has a lot of demons that he is dealing with, as well as the ticks, eye blinking, can be signs from his abuse. So many tattos, that have to have meaning.
            I think we all can agree that they find Kellar, but my family HATED this ending. I think that it was a good ending, shows the whistle that he always had his daughter wear to protect herself was what he saved him in the end.
            Very thought provoking movie to say the least.

            • No, that doesn’t make in a great ending at all, whatsoever. a great ambiguous ending is made by causing or forcing the viewer to realize they have to make a choice between two compelling endings that will determine the ultimate context and facts of the story, as in the ending to Inception… Not whether the dad will be saved, when pretty much every last viewer definitely wants him to be saved! Duh.

              • I loved the ending, how they didn’t show what happened, but were able to convey it all just by implying.

              • Of course he was found. After all of that do you really think that Loki would just let that go? I don’t think we really needed a scene that showed him being found, it was unnecessary.

              • Presumeably! But no! You’re presumptuous because he was a man who’ll do anything to rescue his daughter but that’s precisely the problem in this movie! Look what he did to poor childbrained Alex! It’s appalling! His friends were not really happy to go along with him but he distinctly said THAT IS THE ONLY CHOICE THEY HAVE! I mean Hannah’s a child who doesn’t deserve such experience but the directors were aiming for fairness in that if he was going that far to find his little girl then this was a guy who was ready to do anything even if he has to die trying to get his girl!

            • Yes I totally agree with you…….Loki definitey heard Keller blow the whistle…….and Keller was definitely found. I wonder what happens next…..I am assuming he will go to jail for what he did to Alex……I have a lot of other stupid questions though, which I guess I am not supposed to think about but I always go beyond the obvious ending….1. What did they do with all of Taylor’s snakes? 2. What happened to Mrs. Jones’ dog? 3. Who got Mrs. Jones house after she died? 4. Did Mrs. Dover have to sell Keller’s old building to pay for his lawyer???? I know, all stuid but I cant help but wonder. lol

            • Did anyone see the ending as maybe Loki hearing the whistle but ignoring it on purpose?

              • ERM think. Why would Loki ignore the whistle? He follows the rules even when he thinks the suspect took the kid. Also how would Loki not know it wasn’t some other child? Or just someone random needing help? How can you say there may be 2 endings? Obviously the only ending is that he is found, which is stupid as fading out an ending should be used when you are to make up your own mind. Terrible movie, a total joke of a movie.

          • When I heard that part, I thought he was relating to what the prisoners would do to a pediphile when he would be locked up.

          • Yeah I heard his remark. He said for 6 years he was in a boys home and that’s why he could hurt the priest. The priest had to be a registered sex offender which is why detective went there. I didnt think detective was in on it…

        • I have not seen the movie as of yet because of one reason and one reason only: Do the girls live? If not, I don’t think I could watch it all the way through, however, it sounds fasinating!! Thanks to who ever replies and it is ok to spoil it for me, I asked for it! :)

          • I shall spoil it for you. Everyone else, look away: the girls live. :)

        • There wasn’t any evidence for the maze killers molesting the kids. They most likely loved their son dearly, and the old aunt did a lot to take care of Alex, even though they were the ones who messed him up so badly.

          The priest was likely a pedofile and I find it interesting that they had a pedofile trying to stop a murderer. Of course it didn’t work, because the wife was still out there.

    • The movie was meant for entertainment not to be used as a CSI case,Get a grip!This movie was great the way it was,and we need to think of how it could have been solved differently,not how things are really handled in rality.Your analyzing this way too much!

    • The snakes and clothes were because the guy had a twisted worship for his abductor. He wanted to mimic the man and be like him in role play.

      • I don’t think he wanted to truly mimic his abductor. He surrounds himself with the snakes (which apparently the maze killer had) and the dead child’s clothes, and the dead children/mannequins buried in the backyard, because he can’t stop reliving what happened to him. He can’t move on. He keeps copying the maze over and over again because he wants to escape. He reads about the invisible kidnappers and breaks into the parent’s homes not because he wants to hurt anyone but because he is desperately trying to understand and figure out what happened to him and who kidnapped him.

        • I think you have the best explanation yet on that. Thanks. That was the only part I couldn’t understand. I knew he was messed up in the head. But wasn’t sure where the book came from. Now I remember it being in the room with the girls on the floor. they left alot of details out for us to just figure out. I’ve seen it twice and we stood in the parking lot for 30 minutes both times discussing it afterwards.

    • Yes. And why no siren when driving the girl?

    • The snakes were because the old coupe former former religious fanatics….he probably handled snakes in church and the kids were probably traumatized by them.

      • The Aunt did indicate that she and her husband where deeply religious…so when i was trying to think of the significance of the snakes, I thought her husband was a pentecostal “snake handler”. The snakes could have been cotton mouths (not sure)…but I was surprised at the lack of concern that Loki moved from container to container without too much worry if the snakes were poisonous or not, which “technically” they should have been.

    • I agree that it got difficult to believe in the end. The Little girl who escaped would have told an officer that she was held at the old ladies house before send Loki over there alone. He is always alone and often needs backup, I guess it adds to suspense. Lastly, not only Keller tortured Alex but the other parents helped and knew about it. That is a crime too. They don’t address that these parents will likely go to jail as well once Alex tells what happened.

  6. So what happened in the end, did Keller die or what? Did the detective concretely hear the sound made by Keller’s whistle?
    The ending is totally surprising, I guess it let you imagine what is happening next and I think that Keller died because the detective only think he heard something but do not notify it. And you what do you think?

    • The person I went to the movie with thought the cop went on to find where the sound of the whistle was coming from and found the guy in the hole and saved him. I on the other hand had the opposite view- I feel he died there in the hole and it was just kind of cosmic justice met out since he had brutalized the innocent guy. Funny how people think differently about things based on their personalities :-)

      • That guy wasn’t innocent, he kidmapped the kids
        Also, no one noticed, gyllenhall (Loki) hade “maze” tattooed on his fingers. I think he has been doing it and that’s why the crime scenes are spotless, and why he doesn’t call for backup, and he has to play the cop when it all starts unraveling, that’s why he asks about the whistle, and why he has to shoot the woman who has been helping him, and why he lets the guy take hos gun and shoot himself maybe. Thr detective is executing the whole thing!

        • Photo of his tattoo or it never happened

        • I don’t agree with this at all. At most, he was an earlier victim of that couple. You don’t see him acting in the interests of anyone but the kids throughout the movie.

          • Completely agree. I don’t think Loki was involved at all

        • Yes!!!!! I totally agree with you!!!! At first I thought it was the Dad but then I started thinking it was Loki-this makes total sense to me!

          • I think Loki had his own personal demons and that is why he wanted to work on child cases. I thought he had signs of the zodiacs on his knuckles. Not maze, that would of tipped off the cops right away when they found the book in the clothes guys house. Loki looked like a tweeker or had PTSS. His killed himself and maybe he was just messed up over it.

        • The tattoo on his thumbs looked like western zodiac symbols.

          I don’t agree at all that Loki was one of the adductors. He was desperate to see Annie saved. But I can see where the people subscribing to this theory came from. His actions in trying to stop Dover could be construed as preventing Dover from finding out information from Alex.

        • Crap. It’s plain to see that when he walks in on the lady he tells her to drop her weapon and doesn’t want to shoot her until she draws on him. If he had to get rid of her, why would he wait like that abiding the law? Why would he even need to get rid of her? Why try and make such conspiracy theories that don’t add up.

          • Anyone thinking Loki or Keller had anything to do with the abduction was drinking lsd juice during the movie. Loki’s emotional outburst when he wiped out his desk and knocked the rv toy on the floor shows he was overwhelmed he couldn’t save the girls. Keller was with the family during the abduction. Alex took them. Auntie, although she was not his aunt, decided to keep them for a while.

        • LOKI had NOTHING to do with the maze killer. Please read this!!! http://www.thewrap.com/prisoners-writer-aaron-guzikowski-on-the-kidnapping-thrillers-twisted-road-to-theaters/
          A lot of people who are commenting obviously did not pay attention to the movie because a lot of it is explained and shown.

      • He was not inocent! He is the one who kidnapped the girls. It was the aunt who then took over.

        • What are you all saying?! The aunt said she made alex take them for a drive. That she was the one in the rv. what movie were u watch?!

      • I’m frustrated with the lack of attention on some of these comments. It’s film. If you’ve seen enough of them you’ll figure out that leaving the audience in the dark after the whistle blows AND Loki’s facial expression CLEARLY shows that he heard it and would continue on to see where it was coming from, is just a an artsy filmmakers tactic.

        When your medium as an artist is film, you can use all kinds of tricks to “IMPLY” something without having to tell the audience everything. Not necessarily to have you reading all kinds of nonsensical scenarios into what happened but just a clever way to let you know what the filmmaker DID mean.

        Sometimes this is NOT the case and things are left open ended on purpose but this was not one of them. Period.

    • I believe they didn’t show the ending because the Dad played an important role in solving the riddle but if the Detective would’ve rescued him!! he had to arrest him in the beating and killing of the captor!!! so it left you with feeling that The Dad was the Hero!!!

    • I read online that Keller was never found, and was thought to run away so as not to get locked up. It was winter and he would not live in that kind of weather with a gun shot.

      • The whistle was blowing, so Keller was alive.

        But….did Loki turn him in after he found him? Loki is a cop and his role in the movie is one of order but when he found Keller, would he turn him in, or help him safely get help without being found and arrested.

        Maybe that’s why his name is Loki.

  7. He definitely hears the whistle but we don’t see him rescue the guy because some viewers think he will, but he wont since he is behind it all…otherwise they’d show a rescue. And the little girl looks at loki and raises her right hand slightly but looks at hom real eeird. Like when loki looks at alex the first time. They are working together.

    • I think that even if he did go on to save the Dad they still wouldnt have shown it. The point of the ending wasn’t to end the story, it was to let the viewer decide what the movie ends with. This is similar to “Inception” (SPOILERS) where the movie ends with the top spinning. It’s not as if the top keeps spinning because we dont see it stop, it lets the person watching decide whether or not the top continues to spin. So, to reiterate, just because Keller isn’t shown being saved by the cop doesn’t necessarily mean that he wasn’t saved, it means that you can decide if he is saved or not.

    • youre wrong to think loki was in on it

    • The little girl doesn’t respond to Loki because she recognizes him as one of the abductors… I still don’t subscribe to this theory, but I’m starting to see where you guys are coming from.

  8. One of the things that totally bothered me is the fact that the viewers were cheated out of seeing a happy reunion between the parents and girls when the latter were found. ( Never mind how Joy escaped; that is not revealed). But I was anticipating seeing sobbing-for-joy parents hugging their little girls and soooooo very happy that the kids were found alive. But No. Nothing like that ever happened. I mean, the entire movie is about a father heaping revenge upon a guy who he thinks killed the daughter he loves so much…..and we don’t even see the happy reunion???? Yes, I know, the dad was busy elsewhere at the time. But I don’t care. I still feel cheated.

    • Actually, they show a flashback of Joy running away from the “maze” family and Keller’s wife finds her.

      • Keller’s wife didn’t find her. Some lady on the side of the highway got her before she ran into the road.

        • I swore she looked similar to Keller’s wife.

          • The woman who stopped Joy from running into traffic had brown hair, not blonde like Kellers wife.

    • Does anyone think that there might be a sequel since they left us hanging in the end?

  9. Anyone remember what the dead guys necklace in the basement of the priests house was of? A maze? If so was he the original serial kidnapper? Also how do the clothes specifically the main dudes daughter end up in that one weird ass dudes chest with the snakes?

    • The dead guy is the original kidnapper the lady’s husband who she said walked out 5 years ago and never returned and that is because the pedophile priest kills him and he is tied in the chair and you see the maze medallion. The clothes end up in the chest because the weird guy who shot himself at police station went into the 2 lil girls house and took their clothes. We see him go into both of the girls families houses. Remember the mom hears a noise and he jumps out the window later to find detective Loki sees the other matching sock and foot prints where he jumped from. The guy was simulating the actual kidnappings. They mention a book he was following or reading. The guy who shot himself was aware of kidnapping but didn’t orchestrate them. It was the guy with medallion then the woman. I just wonder where the other children’s bodies were.

      • Me too. That was a big body count to not get a lot of attention. The police seemed like the whole thing was just a pain in their butts and did not put alot into the case.

      • Yeah, the lack of the other children’s bodies gets me. I guess CSI guys just weren’t able to get very far or deep because the ground was frozen.

        Wait, wait, wait. The second boy, pig blood boy, Taylor I believe, he was feeding pig meat to his snakes, and emulating the kidnappers in several ways. Did the kidnappers feed the children’s bodies to the snakes? Though that wouldn’t explain why Taylor was also burying mockings of children’s bodies in the backyard too.

        • It’s mentioned by the aunt that Alex has a fear of snakes from “Uncle” growing up. I’m assuming he was probably tortured by them and Taylor remembers them.

    • The clothes get into his house because he took clothing from Joy and Anna’s houses when he snuck in there. It was just a sock that Anna’s dad identified.

  10. I just got back from the movie. Basically it’s a family run kidnapping. The old lady whose husband left 5 years ago was the same guy found in the priest who is a pedophile basement and has a maze necklace medallion on the dead body. The wife and husband kidnapped the first kid who is the autistic weird young man in rv. Now the guy who was recreating the kidnappings. I have two theories one he was the son of the old lady who told detective Loki her son died of cancer or he was one of the kidnapped victims that grew up to kind of mimic the fathers maze kidnappings. Hes a real weirdo pigs blood on child clothes. The guy who shoot himself at police station would break into the childs house who was missing and steal their clothes. Because the real clothes were on the child or he would go buy them. He buried mannequins in his backyard. It was a whole family in on it. Deceive Loki had so many tattoos of star on his neck and cross on hand. Some stuff on fingers but couldn’t really see it. I never had the feeling detective Loki was in on the kidnapping because he seemed to be really involved in the case. I wish the ending we would of known if the whistle he really heard and the father was saved. Also he did call for back up a few times throughout the movie. At a crime scene at end when the 2 guys in white outfits digging up were listing to music that is unrealistic because knowing that children could be trapped or buried there they shouldn’t have had music. But then all goes quiet and detective Loki absolutely hears the whistle. The whistle was symbolic because that is why the lil girl goes to her house to get and basically saves her dads life in the end.

    • He was not autistic or retarded. The kidnappers gave him lsd lased drinks which made him that way!

    • I took the little girl’s reluctance to speak to Loki as potential brain damage. The little black girl may have it too. Alex and Taylor are messed up because of the emotional trauma, but I think they may also have so chemical brain damage too. I think whatever that conception the maze kidnappers cooked up in the coke bottles was causing it. Keller may be found, but he maybe cognitively damaged too.

      • For all of you non lsd takers. ( i grew up in the 60′s) it’ a 6 – 8 hr high. If taken over and over it can scrabble your thoughts even longer and for some have lasting effects. A serious giveaway of lsd use is totally dilated pupils. I didn’t see that here. I think Alex is either autistic, yes they can drive, or lsd fed every day. The little girls would be stoned for hours and wide awake. You can’t sleep on this stuff. It takes an hour or so to kick in so Keller would have been fine until well after being put in the hole. What about the dog people?

    • The whistle is symbolic, yes, but the one that Anna is seen wearing while in the wheelchair after she’s rescued was bought / replaced by her mother, presumably after Anna has been rescued. The mother clearly says this, but adds that Anna had been insistent that Joy had helped her find it. From this, we can deduce that the whistle Keller finds in the hole, and presumably uses to get Loki’s attention, is Anna’s original whistle that Joy helped her find but she subsequently dropped in the hole.

    • THANK YOU! Someone actually paid attention!!!! And remember in the hospital where he asks the mother about the little girls whistle and she says it wasn’t found she went and bought her a new one. At the end when he hears the whistle he should know that it is the dad just from that so I am sure he saves him

  11. Okay yea thought he had on the same maze necklace as the original dude in the pic but couldn’t remember. So he’s definitely the original kidnapper. And that’s a good theory of the weird ass dude being the old ladies son. But still he specifically snuck into their homes and stole items. That they never rly identify or clarify wether the girls were wearing the same items the day they were abducted? Also maybe the old lady forced him to to throw off the investigation? Send them for a loop and plan the whole thing on him? He could just be another one of her pawns. Yea not sure if Loki rly had “maze” tatted on his fingers.. Couldn’t make it out. Maybe someone will watch it again soon and clarify?

    • The weird guy who shoots himself we never really see an interaction with the old lady. So it leaves us to ponder. The girls were abducted but the clothes that were found with pig blood are not the girls clothes they were abducted with. The weird guy broke into their homes and stole some clothing items. Anna little white girl he stole 2 socks with the bunny face on them but later on detective Loki finds the other sock under the window where the weird guy jumped and his boot print. He could be a pawn. There is a connection between the old lady, the maze medallion and the weird guy. Because before he kills himself he is drawing the medallion maze. I just don’t know if the weird guy is actually involved or doing this on his own. Cuz he was burying mannequins and pigs blood on the clothes and some of the child’s clothes had tags on them meaning he bought them at a store, he was recreating the kidnappings and murders. The snakes symbolize evil but also the old lady when talking to Dover says her husband loved snakes and since the snakes were found maybe the weird guy really was involved with them and it was a family kidnapping. Really a great movie.

    • The clothes guy was the second child abducted and got away. He worshipped the man doing the killings and role played what was happening. The real child died of cancer and that made the couple snap. They were LSD users and hated god for taking their son with cancer. They wanted others to feel their hate of god and killed children to do it. They waged their war. A book was found in clothes guys house called “The Invisible Man” about the child killer and it also had the maze on it. Lack of proof made the book a conspiracy

      • Finally, someone actually understands and carefully watched the movie. Remember, the aunt confessed she had forgotten about Bobby Taylor (the crazy guy with the snakes and bloody kids clothes)? I guess he was one they decided not to kill and somewhere along the way he escaped and was acting out what he remembered. Alex was the little boy of the woman whose son was kidnapped from his front yard in broad daylight 26 years ago in the same neighborhood as the girls where he was parked in the RV at the beginning of the movie. And yes the priest was a registered sex affendor which is why he went to vist him in the beginning of the investigation when they had to release Alex and he then discovered the man, who turned out to be the uncle, who had confessed to killing 16 children and wanted to stop so the priest tied him up in the basement. Not sure how he died there if it was suicide or the priest did it.

        • The priest told Loki that the uncle (the guy who went to him for confession) was “boasting” about having killed 16 kids and was NOT willing to stop, that’s why he tied the uncle up and stuck him in the basement to die.
          (I suppose pedophiles also differ in ways they would love to “protect” or “love” little children….)

  12. I kept wondering about the significance of the name “Keller”. I wondered vaguely if the Jackman character would end up being revealed as a killer. But “keller” is the German word for cellar and I believe that Keller Dover was not rescued in the end. He was left to die in his “cellar”.

    • I agree about the name if the names are searched you will find they fit the characters. Not a coincidence, a clever writer.

      • And ‘Loki’ is loosely referred to the deceiving Loki in Marvel’s universe. So…

      • Yes, and Taylor is basically a “tailor” for dressing up the mannequins.

  13. Also, was I seeing things when Loki was looking through what looked to be an old newspaper online? There was a pic of a man. Wasn’t it an article about a suicide? And the guy’s last name was Dover?
    I don’t mean the suicide of Taylor.

    • Yes in the newspaper article relieved to Loki where Keller had been going everyday which is where he was keeping Alex. The guy that commuted suicide was Kellers dad who lived in those apartment buildings which Keller used to torture Alex

    • I thought it was Loki’s father, I really messed up.

      • I read it wrong and was getting confused at that point. The father was a prison ward right ? I thought he killed himself over his drinking problem.

        • Keller’s father was a prison warden? Damn. I wonder what the meaning behind that is. Perhaps, it’s because the apartment building becomes a prison, and Keller’s dad was the previous prison warden, and now Keller becomes the new prison warden.

          • I think they mean Priest when they refer to the father here.

  14. Does anyone think that loki could have been an escaped kidnap victim obsessed with finding the maze kidnapper?Probably not considering the following information—- Loki’s role as a deceiver made him the prototypical “con man” in Norse mythology. In many Eddic accounts, he is depicted helping the gods resolve issues that he was often the cause of in the first place. Some illustrations of this include the myth in which Loki shears Sif’s hair and then replaces it, or the kidnapping and then rescue of Idunn, which he orchestrated and accomplished.[5] In carrying out his assorted schemes, Loki is aided by his ability to change his sex and form at will. For example, he was able to become a salmon, a mare (which eventually gave birth to a monstrous colt), a bird, and a flea, just to name a few.[6] His generally coarse disposition, as well as his hostility toward the other Norse Gods, is well attested in Lokasenna (“The Flyting of Loki”), an intriguing skaldic poem that describes one of Loki’s fateful visits to the hall of the Aesir, where he proceeds to insult, mock, and defame all of the deities in attendance with unrestrained bile.[7]

    Describing the Sly God, the Icelandic writer Snorri Sturluson (1178-1241 C.E.) states:

    Call him Son of Fárbauti and Laufey…Father of the Monster of Ván (that is, Fenris-Wolf), and of the Vast Monster (that is, the Midgard Serpent [Jormungandr]), and of Hel…Kinsman and Uncle, Evil Companion and Benchmate of Odin and the Aesir…Thief of the Giants, of the Goat, of Brisinga-men, and of Idunn’s apples, Kinsman of Sleipnir [Odin's eight-legged horse which Loki was the mother of], Husband of Sigyn, Foe of the Gods, Harmer of Sif’s Hair, Forger of Evil, the Sly God, Slanderer and Cheat of the Gods, Contriver of Balder’s death, the Bound God, Wrangling Foe of Heimdall and of Skadi.[8]
    These varied titles make reference to Loki’s numerous thefts, deceptions and his pre-meditated murder of Odin’s son Balder.(New World Encyclopedia,2013)

    • Damn. I am telling you, I am not a subscriber to the Loki is the real killer theory, but you guys are finding some excellent, excellent points. I applaud you.

      I’ve been musing on Loki’s name, especially since he’s a police cop and an agent of order. I thought perhaps it was meant to represent that was an unpredictable cop. I know Loki’s history in Norse Mythology, but I just didn’t want to make this instigator and solver relationship to our benevolent Jake Gyllenhaal character.

    • And Loki also waged war against the other gods, just like the maze killers waged war on god. Urgh, I don’t want this theory to be true, but it falls together so well.

      • Loki doesn’t represent order at all. He conducts illegal searches, beats up on people who are already in police custody, walks right into a place if no one answers the door, etc. That’s probably why he’s named Loki. There’s no way he could be involved. He saw the necklace picture, connected the dots, and went to the aunt’s house. None of that would have happened if he was involved. The look on his face when he made the connection wasn’t put on for anyone else. He was the only one there. Same thing when he saw the picture of the aunt’s husband and then drew his gun. If he was in on it, why would they act like they don’t know each other when no one else is around? Why would he shoot her? You guys are really overthinking this.

        • It’s becoming fairly obvious most of you have never envountered the police they do more illegal stuff then a crackhead does so stepping in to a potential child molesters house or beating up a child moleater really is t that bad

  15. the weird guy everyone is talking about, the guy that “eats a bullet” in the house with the chests of snakes and kids clothes covered in pigs blood. my theory on this guy is almost totally explained in the movie. the book called the invisible man which the guy who read it said is full of mazes, the last of which could not be solved, its about a guy who back in the day threw off a whole investigation by misleading police with fake clothes and stuff, and that the weird guy was mimicking him. i might have missed something here, but i’m satisfied with my take on that scene, the one where loki goes back to the weird guys house while the other police are there cleaning up and seraching for evidence, the other cop says he found this old book in the attic.

    • It sounds symbolic, to eat a bullet, to take the bullet for someone else for example. I like your comment.

    • Yes I agree he is mimicking kidnappings. But he has to be in contact with the old lady because he goes and steals clothes from the little girls house Joy and Anna. Maybe to throw off the cops if he is pinned. And the book makes sense. I a, just wondering his connection to the old lady and her husband who is the dead guy found in priests basement. Was he kidnapped also like the sick boy driving the RV.. Because he knows which 2 little girls house to go into a steal clothes to put pigs blood on it. Or did he happen to ponder on the vigile candle lightening the first time we see him and detective Loki goes running after him. It all makes you think.

      • I thought he was their 2nd abduction and got away. He role played the killer because he thought of him as a god like being. They used LSD on him and the guy who was retarded.

      • He could of got the info from the news broadcast. After the father jumped him, it was probably all the news in the local area. Also maybe a Amber Alert got clothes guys attention.

    • I thought the book was about the man doing the killings and because of lack of real fact, it was considered a conspiracy book. I like your take on the scene, thanks for the info.

  16. I think people including myself are thrown off by detective Loki appearance and deposition. He doesn’t fit the typical detective persona. He is very bad boy rugged with tattoos all over. I love Jake Gylenhall. He did a great job. I never had the feeling he was part of the kidnapping or involved.

    • Loki grew up in a boys home. He is a private guy and into zodiac stuff. He probably was rebellious as a teen.

  17. Can someone tell me why did the news paper article that loki was searching on the internet, mention about someone call dover?

    • This is how he found Kellers apartment (which was originally his fathers apartment). Kellers farther killed himself there.

      I also saw the maze tattoo on Loki’s hand. I was so confused when I saw that!

    • It was a suicide story. I think Loki was related somehow. It was hard to hear in the theater. My opinion is clouded.

  18. I knew the Aunt was in on it the whole time… but never gave thought to the uncle/husband being the one tied to the chair in the priest’s basement. My first theory was that the “priest” wasn’t actually the real priest… he was tricking everyone and he was the real kidnapper and the original priest was the one tied to the chair. THAT would have been an awesome story.

    Here’s the other thing I don’t quite get… and maybe someone can help…

    when Joy (little black girl) is in the hospital bed- she looks in HORROR at Keller (Hugh Jackman) and says “You were there! You were there!… You (or maybe she said she?) Put tape on our mouths!”

    So, what I’m gathering is that Keller was there when the girls escaped, but couldn’t get Anna home? He could only take Joy? If he knew where they were or whatever… why not keep going back for Anna??? Why stop? It seems like, in the quick flashback, that you saw him usher the girls out of there (never shows a face, but a man in a hooded rain coat much like the one Keller is wearing throughout the movie…

    And also… very interesting theory about Loki being in on it… he did have the words “maze” written on his hands. Always seemed to be twitching his eyes and blinking a lot, but I thought that it was just a product of whatever he went through as a kid. He could have been kidnapped and molested as a kid too…

    His actions throughout the film don’t really “fit” into any theory that he was in on it though.

    • Regarding: (1)Joy looked at Kelley in HORROR and said “you were there.” These were young children. When Keller visited earlier they would have heard him talking. To a child he was the hero and would save them. Just like in all the children’s stories they are read. The look of horror comes from a child’s perspective that she couldn’t believe he didn’t save them then, the look was not that she was afraid of him. (2) And I don’t think she said “you” or “she” after that. I think as a drugged child she whispered a phrase not a sentence, “tape on our mouths” as an explanation as to why she could not call out to him. And without the pronoun it adds to the suspense of the storyline. (3)It probably wasn’t Keller we barely see on the screen when the girls try to escape. That was the old lady. Why else would she have a towel over her “burned hand”. She knew since Joy got free that he or some others on the case would be coming back. Also, didn’t she wear a brownish coat when out in the cold? thus the brown coat we see n the blurry picture of the escape (4) The tattooing on the knuckles: were those letters or symbols of some type?

      • I saw it as a side effect of long term anti-psychotic usage. What that means? I have no idea. That’s just what I suspected the tick to be attributed to yet they never explained it.

      • I saw the twitch as a side effect of long term anti-psychotic usage. What that means? I have no idea. That’s just what I suspected the tick to be attributed to yet they never explained it.

    • i noticed him blinking alot too… but isnt that what hedid in source code too?

      • I was thinking Loki was a tweeker or had PTSD.

        • Yeah, I was wondering if he was on drugs, or just without a lot of sleep. If he had been one of the kidnapped boys (I’m not so sure he was, but some people do) then it’s possible he was exposed to LSD and other drugs himself and suffered some damage. If he was one of the killers (I’m really iffy on this theory, but I understand where some people are going with it), and he was working with the kidnappers (doesn’t seem likely) than he may have used drugs like they did.

          Man, Jake Gyllenhaal is on fire with these deep symbolic movies. Donnie Darko, Prisoners, Source Code. I haven’t seen Zodiac, but I assume that one is pretty layered too.

  19. Can someone explain this

    When searching through the newspaper, it is revealed that Alex is actually the boy who was kidnapped from the mother Keller visited at the age of 10, which is the reason for his 10-year-old IQ.

    • Hey, I read that off of Wikipedia, too! Remember their was an old lady in a house in the countryside? She had a tape of her son and claimed she watched it every morning after breakfast because it was all she had of him? That’s who they are referring to. I cannot recall if it was Keller or Loki who went to visit her. That was Barry’s (Alex’s) ACTUAL mother. I had the exact same question and have been racking my brain since 3 today when I read that what it meant. Barry was abducted from her at 10, and after being treated so badly, he never developed past that point. So, the newspaper article at the end was explaining that Barry was reunited with her after 26 years. That makes me happy now, haha. If you understand what I’m explaining, you’ll probably agree whoever wrote that into Wikipedia wrote that sentence very poorly. Hope I helped!

    • 10 yr IQ was from snakes scaring him and LSD.

  20. Why was no evidence found in the RV?

    • Because Alex did not complete the abduction by himself. His “aunt” would have been smart enough to avoid evidence being left.

    • The Aunt said that he only gave them a ride. And when the police had finished going through the RV the lead investigator said if there was a struggle there would of been evidence. Kids are too trusting and literally thought they were going for a ride.

      • I don’t think Alex (the guy beat up and held in the bathroom) drove at all. The aunt was in the RV when parked in the neighborhood, just waiting to grab a kid. The driving skill of Alex is shown when he goes backwards towards the cop cars and then plows right into the trees. He doesn’t know how to drive.
        Side note: Why didn’t the cops look into Alex’s past…birth certificate, who his real parent where…why do the cops take the Aunt’s word for “we adopted him after his parents died.”.

  21. Here is an interesting tidbit: The name “Loki”, the detective’s name is an odd one and is actually the name of one of the old Norse gods. Loki was the “trickster” god, who sometimes hurt and sometimes helped the other gods and I suppose, humanity in general. Is this intentional? I would think so. Therefore, one might draw the conclusion that Detective Loki was somehow criminally involved, although his behavior, notwithstanding his tattooed fingers, depict him as an honest, caring detective.

    • I would like to think that Loki was a good guy. At the beginning of the investigation Anna’s mom ask/states to Loki that he has solved all his cases. At another time he says everything is a clue. So at the end when Anna’s mom is asking Loki if he can find her husband, she and Loki talked about the whistle so I think he hears the whistle and knows its the father and will get him out.

    • I’ve been dwelling on that as well. Detective Loki is a good guy, surrounded by various religious symbols, and his role in the movie is walking the right path, and as a source of order. Why on earth does this character have the name Loki?

      As I’ve gone through this forum, there’s been two possible reasons I could come up with.

      One, is that Loki is indeed the bad guy. This is taken straight from Gravity’s comment, “In many Eddic accounts, he is depicted helping the gods resolve issues that he was often the cause of in the first place.” I personally don’t subscribe to the theory that Loki is secretly the bad guy, but if it was true, the name would fit.

      The second reason for his name, and this one will take some describing, is that he is a cop that doesn’t follow the straight path. I can’t think of any strong moments in the movie that show this. I only thought of it while discussing the ending, when he hears the whistle. I had assumed that he found Keller, took him to the hospital, and later arrested him. Another commenter claimed that somewhere it’s said that Keller was never found. If that’s true, then it’s possible that when Loki found him, he didn’t arrest him. Either left him there, or much more likely, he took Keller to a hospital and helped him remain anonymous. This would be Detective Loki not following the order during a pivotal moment that we don’t see.

      I want to see other people’s theories for why his name is Loki.

  22. For the most part, I find the movie to be dark with a terrific performance from Hugh Jackman, great cinematography, and a plot with twists and turns. However, I did feel the ending was a copout. Im not talking about whether Loki found keller or not (I believe that Keller was still alive.) but im talking about after a plot that gets darker, they had to show the girls alive, just like most films or tv shows that involve missing kids.

    Call me morbid but in real life, missing kids are not found alive almost all the time unlike the movies. I just felt it was a typical hollywood ending for an otherwise personal thriller.

    • I strongly believe that the little girls, and Keller, probably suffered damage from the conception the aunt made them drink. Maybe that adds a little bit of darkness to the ending?

  23. He dosent save Joy. Obviously they were being held in the back room where Anna was at the end of the film when she almost got poisoned. I think Joy was just able to hear him and maybe was able to catch a glimpse of him. Because she says you were there , she put tape on my mouth. Then she kind of has a flash back and you see her trying to escape then someone does put tape on her mouth but it happens so quickly. So I figured she escaped somehow but now not so sure. (Main reason why I have to see it again and can’t wait for DVD too many little things that could have been important but hard to remember everything) pretty sure 100% now after someone verified to me that it was the maze necklace on the dude in the priests basement which is now clearly the original invisible man, the old lady’s ex-husband, whom we finally get to see near the end when Loki looks at the pic and you see a man with longer hair in front of an rv with the same maze necklace on. Which I assume is some dead head from the 60′s who took entirely too much acid and became obsessed with figuring out this undoable unbreakable maze, the reason he kidnapps kids and forces them to chug LSD in order to try and complete the maze (the last one on the last page of the book found in the weird ass dudes house, prob same maze on the necklace) I also think the book was written by one of his first abductees that he kidnapped and forced to try to complete the maze then let go, in which he grew up and wrote a book about it. Now here is another theory i am thinking ; possibly The weird ass dude might have just been obsessed with figuring it out as well, maybe he was another victim that was let go or escaped and became obsessed with figuring out the maze, because he’s obviously delusional, all the maps/mazes scribbled everywhere. And maybe when he heard the girls were abducted in the same way he has a creepy obsession of taking a clothing item of that child’s to role play sort of what he went through play acting with the roles reversed as him as the abducter. Either that or he is/was just like Alex and forced by the old lady to carry out her plans. Loki in my opinion obviously is just a badass detective but if he does have the word maze tatted on his hand which I am still not 100% sure about cause I honestly couldn’t make it out, it would make things really interesting. However probably just to throw viewers off, get them reading too much into it create a buzz or as someone posted earlier could be a victim himself obsessed with finding the maze killer/kidnapper. Can’t wait to go see it again.

    • I think the tattoos on Loki hands were Zodiac symbols. The one on his index finger was an M which is the sign for Scorpio. I believe the guy with the snakes was a victim of the kidnappers. They didn’t kill all of the children. Like Alex some survived. He was clearly messed up and trying to process his own abduction. Don’t forget these kids were drugged to the point of becoming vegetables. I’m not sure the two little girls will ever be “normal”.

      • the tattoos on loki’s fingers also looked to me to be zodiac symbols.

        • They were. I turned my head sideways to see it. Not normal letters. The irony in Loki/Gyllenhaal having zodiac symbols. His character in Zodiac couldn’t find the Zodiac killer. This movie he has the symbols.

  24. I believe the guy with snakes (who kills himself) could be the son of the kidnappers. The “Aunt” mentions to Keller that her husband was obsessed with snakes, and that Alex was bit or had an incident with one when he was younger. Seems interesting that this kid is also obsessed with those two things. He could also be a victim that was allowed to live or escaped, but you would think he has a family looking for him? Could not make out the tatoos on Loki’s fingers – looked like Zodiac symbols to me too, will have to wait for the DVD!

    • He also had a ring from the Freemasons.

      • The ring was of the Freemasons? That’s another religious symbol floating around this movie. I’m trying to figure out what they all mean, but I’m not sure. Something about the good and evil people commit, and whether they’re influenced by religion or not. I thought maybe they were trying to say Christianity drove both the maze killers and Keller to commit horrible things, but I honestly don’t think that adds up. Not to mention that Loki, who is very much a good guy, is surrounded by various religious symbols.

    • Doesn’t the aunt say (about the guy who shot himself) “we kidnapped him and he escaped after three weeks, I almost forgot about him” so many twists I can’t remember it all. My take is the guy who shot himself was a former kidnap victim who escaped.

  25. Also, I read an interview with Jake Gyllenhaal about the movie and it was his idea to have the tattoos, freemason ring and tic that his character Loki has – it was not written in the original screenplay. Obviously they had to edit down to keep the movie at the 2.5 hour mark but the story was written with Loki being raised in a boys home with no parents, so that gave Jake insight into plaing the role that way, which makes me think he was not involved with the murders. Gives the viewer something to think about!

    • The name of the movie is prisoners. Why isn’t anyone talking about the idea of being a prisoner…in many forms? Of torture…in many forms. Seems like a political commentary intertwined in the horror of abduction.

      • Every single character is the movie was a prisoner. They were either a victim of abduction (Alex, Bob Taylor, the little girls.) Or they were grieving family members trapped and alone. By the end, Keller is a prisoner in the hole. Before that, he was a prisoner to his own emotions and to his past (alcoholism, father’s suicide, loss of his daughter). We never hear Loki’s backstory, but you get the feeling that he had a traumatic past. He makes so many mistakes in this investigation, he seems like a prisoner to his mistakes.

        • Yes and the black was a prisoner of his inability to play the trumpet

      • I agree it’s about everyone being a prisoner. It’s left to the audience to reflect on how this theme drives the characters in the story.

      • Also, Keller’s father, who committed suicide, was a prison ward or warden of some sort. While his job/commitment and the apartment building are not directly related, the apartment complex passed down to Keller becomes Alex’s prison, and Keller becomes his prison warden.

  26. Does Keller Dover die at the end?! It ended so abruptly that everyone in theatre thought there was a technical issue bc it was storming outside! If you go off title of movie and statement that excavation will resume in spring…then he dies. But, wouldn’t they have found his toolbag, phone, and dna on posion bottle?! Also, Joy meant that he was there bc she heard him talking with crazy aunt. Dead guy in priests basement was aunts husband and original kidnapper…then she and alex cont with it. She wasnt in contact w dude who ate bullet bc she states that she forgot about him until she saw paper. I guess he was just nuts? I just feel like Keller could have taken her out at the end and if he would have never taken alex then loki would have never went to aunts house to notify her of his finding and then anna would have never been found…as she was being drugged and was going to be dumped in hole with keller.

  27. I don’t think Loki had anything to do with the kidnappings. He was too involved in trying to piece the puzzle together. Plus, he saved Anna at the end. Also, I have read some interviews with Jake Gyllenhall where he says he sees Loki as a sympathetic character.
    I found the dynamic between Keller and Loki very interesting. Keller is the one who really figured everything out. Loki was always a step behind and took a while to figure things out. Even at the end, the police chief asks Loki to go to the house to notify the aunt, he says, “I don’t want to go there.” He had no idea she was involved, but Keller did. Had it not been for Keller, his daughter never would have been rescued.
    At the end, when Keller blows the whistle, my feeling is that Loki does not find him. Loki is always in the dark, never finding the truth until it’s too late.

  28. OK–dead guy tied to chair in priests basement WAS Melissa Leo’s husband. The priest said he came to confess–that must have been his argument with Melissa Leo. But exactly WHY and HOW did the priest kill him? OK, let that go, and yes-clearly the guy who shot himself is the dead guy in basements and Melissa Leo’s son. His dad was into snakes, he had a weird “incident”-he is messed up from it–and from afar, did mimic what his mom was doing, and what he had seen his dad do too. As for Loki being in on it,no-but the reference to his lone childhood sets him up to care more I think. The choice of naming the character Loki is odd i admit tho. And ambulances don’t show up immediatley all the time–I think he did his honest best to save her, although you can see she is going to be messed up too-hopefully only for awhile. Kellers dad having killed himself makes sense too…said something about him being a warden (ironically haha)–but obviously Keller had some stuff to deal with, a hard core dad who maybe tortured HIS prisoners (wonder how he raised Keller-probably a little tooo hard–gloomy–paranoid duh)-then felt guilty and committed suicide. All makes sense. And of course Loki hears the whistle and it’s been less than, or about 24 hours–he will get Keller out-of c ourse! ONE GLARING problem (besides how did priest actually KILL original guy in chair and WHY) was a shot of a news article at the end—didn’t anyone SEE this? Or did I get the timing wrong? It says Alex and ate the bullit guy, were cousins (ok yesss) but “reunited”!!! How could they reunite after eat bullitt guy was dead. THAT has been bugging me!!

    • Alex said he is not alex. Coz he was Barry, that was kidnapped 26 years ago.

      • The snakes! A small number of Pentecostal churches “handle snakes”. I think it’s to show faith that God will protect them. Same with the labyrinths (mazes). They’re use as a tool for praying and meditation. The path to the center sets you free. The kidnappers were missionaries albeit misguided. This was their cause.

        • Omg! The aunt said they were waging a war AGAINST God by stealing children it turned their parents into demons

      • so who was reunited with who? And I get that eat bullet guy is NOT the one that had a snake incident..it was Alex?Barry?
        HEYY- was Loki looking at HIMSELF as a missing kid in the paper long ago?? And thanks someone for noticing that Loki picked up the toy RV in the Aunt’s house…that’s enough for me.

      • Lokis dad was a freemason. Loki wears his ring on his pinkie finger. Maybe the name Loki was a choice for many reasons. His father might of been into myths ect.

    • The priest killed Melissa Leo’s husband (thank you for pointing out that name!) because even though he was likely a pedophile, the priest did not want the man to kill anymore children. He tied the maze killer up, or maybe the man agreed to be tied up, and left the man in the basement to die. I get the feeling this body in the basement greatly haunted the priest for the rest of his life. He may have killed the murderer as some type of penance for his own crimes. He believes he’s already going to hell, so he’s the best person to murder this murderer. It saves any other innocents from killing the maze killer. And I believe that as a priest, he couldn’t go to the cops without breaking oath. (If breaking oath even mattered to him anymore.) And as an offender himself, he may have been too scared to go to the cops. They might have accused him of being in league with the maze killer.

      Alex was reunited with his real family. The pig killer was not his cousin, the cousin was probably someone we never saw in the movie.

      And I love your points about the warden and the way his role and torture was passed on to Keller! In the very beginning we see Keller teaching his son (stepson? did anyone else this the older boy may be a stepson?) to kill dear (innocents). This sets a theme of father teaching son to hurt, Keller’s father to Keller, and Melissa Leo’s husband to Alex.

  29. quote from an interview with jake gyllenhaal re:tattoos :

    “So, what do those tattoos mean?

    Those are secret. Well, I will tell you one thing because Denis loves themes so much in his movies and trying to put them in every detail of his films. He hadn’t remembered what the ones on my fingers meant — and, in a weird way, that’s between him and me — but I told him the day before yesterday because, I mean, he had a lot other characters and things to worry about, really. And he turned to me and grabbed me by the face and he was like [impersonates Villeneuve's French-Canadian accent], “I love you,” because it ties in directly to the theme of the movie.”

    • Damn it! Now I really REALLY want to know how those zodiac symbols relate to Loki’s character!

      • Reading the majority of the comments- how do you people find your way home from the movie theatre?

        • ‘Bob Taylor’ (the man who shot himself) was continuously drawing maps everywhere to try and solve the last map that he was given when he was a victim of Holly and her husband. (the same kidnapers that took the girls) By solving it he could finally become free of that obsession. His obsession is proved by the fact he tried to recreate the scenes of the kidnap of the girls.

          The only thing which never made sense to me was the significance of the snakes. They obviously had something to do with Holly and her husband when they kidnaped children, but it is never made clear.

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