“Prisoners” is missing some pivotal story details, but has more than enough hauntingly superb assets to deliver a highly successful nightmarish experience.
It’s Thanksgiving and the Dovers are celebrating with their good friends and neighbors, the Birch family. After dinner, their young daughters, Ana and Joy, beg to head outside. Under the impression that they’d ask their older siblings to escort them, Keller and Grace Dover (Hugh Jackman and Maria Bello) and Nancy and Franklin Birch (Viola Davis and Terrence Howard) give them the OK. However, when the parents realize Ana and Joy never brought Ralph and Eliza (Dylan Minnette and Zoe Borde) along, they know something is terribly wrong. Panic turns to devastating dread as the hours pass and the girls fail to return home.
Detective Loki (Jake Gyllenhaal) is put on the case, confident he’ll maintain his pristine record and find Ana and Joy. He manages to pinpoint a suspect who was in the area at the time of the girls’ disappearance, but he isn’t able to accumulate enough evidence to keep him in custody. Outraged by the local authorities’ lack of progress, Keller opts to take matters into his own hands.
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It’s one thing to remake a film years after its release, but writer-director Matt Reeves faced one heck of a challenge making an American version of the fantastic Swedish film, Let the Right One In. Not only is Let the Right One In one of the greatest vampire movies ever made, but it only came out two years ago. Reeves’ version, Let Me In, may not quite validate giving this story another go-around so soon, but that’s not to say it isn’t a wildly enjoyable and astoundingly well-done film.
Kodi Smit-McPhee is Owen, a 12-year-old boy living with his mother in Los Alamos, New Mexico. It’s 1983 and Owen’s only salvation from his parents’ divorce and the bullies at school is the time he gets to spend alone at night in the courtyard of his apartment complex. One evening, his privacy is invaded by another 12-year-old (more or less), Abby (Chloe Moretz). Abby just moved into the apartment next door, but informs Owen right from the start that the two cannot be friends.
Regardless, Abby and Owen continue to meet in the courtyard and slowly begin to build a relationship. Owen introduces Abby to the Rubik’s Cube, candy and Morse Code, but she offers little in return for she’s hiding a secret. She can’t stomach the candy, is immune to the cold and must be formally invited inside before entering Owen’s home. To top it all off, Abby needs blood to live; she’s a vampire.
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