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1.) Was Alex and Keller trying to protect the woman who kidnapped them? 2.) Why did she kill all the other children but keep Alex and Keller alive? 3.) Was Alex really just being stubborn or was he really just mentally challenged? 4.) Why would Keller bother going to the candle service? 5.) Why should he have to go to jail for torturing Alex when Alex was clearly helping? 6.) Do you think he was found in the hole while blowing the whistle? 7.) Will the girls mention the hole so they find him? 8.) What was the deal with the snakes? Did the husband collect them? These are the things that confused me...
lilkitten87 lilkitten87 26-30, F 9 Answers Sep 22, 2013 in Movies & TV

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A little late in answering this - but I did see the movie until this year! Saw in several times and it was a very complex movie. Here are my answers:

1) I don't think you meant "Keller" in these questions. You probably meant Bobby, the guy who kills himself, yes? Anyway, I asked myself the same question until I realized that they were both under some sort of mind-control after years of abuse my the aunt. Alex wasn't aware of too much. He of course saw the girls at some point, but he was just unable to answer the question plus he was probably afraid of his aunt. Bobby escaped years earlier but was initially under the same kind of mind alteration (the drinks her husband concocted) and part of the mind control was tied in with "mazes" which was why he was so preoccupied with mazes and desperately trying to solve it (so that he could get out). Remember the book that says solve these mazes and I will let you go? The mazes were insolvable which messed with their minds in addition to the concoction that altered their minds.

2) At first, I think she kept Bobby because as she once said in the movie, she was lonely. But Bobby escaped and Alex eventually took his place to alleviate her loneliness. When Alex ran away (or so she thought), she brought Anna & her friend back up from the hold because she was lonely after Alex disappeared. He said it herself to Keller.

3) Bobby went to the candle service because as the police guessed at later, he was trying to relive what her went through and did what he could to get out of his head. He was imitating a book's behavior.

4) Alex was just mentally challenged; no stubborness. He was out of his mind due to his aunt's abuse altho he did give out hints not knowing that he did.

5) Alex was totally innocent. As his aunt said, Alex never touched the girls and they cried when he left them in a moment of clarity. It seemed to Keller (and us) that Alex DID have something to do with this. He was there but he did not really help his aunt so he was made a "prisoner" like Keller's girl was. One is never allowed to take the law into their own hands whether they are innocent or not. He was sure Alex was guilty (so was I for awhile), but his aunt was the villain here. Alex was traumatized enough; then Keller kidnaps him and ultimately traumatized him so much more not understanding what was wrong with him.

6) Of course Keller was found after he blew the whistle. Loki freed every single prisoner in the movie. I thought the end was brilliant because in my mind, the moment he was sure he hear the whistle - he new Keller was there and probably found him. And, he probably went to jail ending up as he being the final prisoner of the movie.

7) I doubt it. They were probably drugged when in the hole and probably had no idea where they were.

8) These people were weirdos. There is some symbolic meaning to snakes, but yes her husband collected snakes and Bobby continued the thing with the snakes and the mazes. Bobby took the girls clothes to make it look as if the girls were dead. All part of his imitating his way of life that scarred him forever. He was reliving his past so he, himself could be found.

Most complex movie I've seen in a long time. I had all these questions too. But after seeing it 5 times, I got more & more of it.

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Another question- why does Bobby sneak into both houses and take clothing of the 2 girls, buys a pig head, puts the blood on the clothes, then puts them in the crate with snakes. It's like he was framing himself. Yet Holly said she had forgotten about Bobby, who got away. So he wasn't helping her.

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I thought Holly said her son died from cancer.

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I'm confused as well.

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but i don't get it why are they kidnaping children from the start is it because they want people to lose faith in god as she said she wants to drive the parents crazy ????? why is she doing it what's the point or is it because her child (Holly) disappeared ? and that scene when alex was hurting the dog while peeing wtf was that ?? i don't get it then he just left him,,, and what about when they found joy and keller was talking to her in the hospital and she told him you were there what did she mean then he just left running out of the hospital ? what did joy mean u were there ??? plz some explains :( and shouldn't alex hate holly how could he live with her as an aunt ?

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The 'aunt' and her husband (the body in the priests house) had set out on this 'quest' "against God" for the very reason that their own son died from cancer.. something they blamed God for, never got over and sought revenge against god for this

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HAVE YOU ACTUALLY WATCHED THE MOVIE? it sounds like you've seen just a half of it.... o_O such stupid questions! for God sake... She (Holly) was doing it because their son died of cancer and they lost faith (THEY EXPLAIN IT PERFECTLY IN THE MOVIE) and wanted other people to loose faith too. Alex hurting the dog: isn't it obvious? HE IS TOTALLY STOCK IN TRAUMA! When Joy says that he (Keller) was there, she obviously means that she heard his voice at Holly's house when he went to talk to her (it's clear when she has a flashback...) and that's why he leaves running out of the hospital and goes straight to Holly's ... next time you should watch the hole movie, and if you did, watch it twice!! it's not possible that you didn't understand that things.

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When Joy Says "You Were There" It's Because Dover Was At The Aunt's House Talking With Her At The Kitchen Table Where He Saw That Newspaper Says Bobby Had Committed Suicide In The Interrogation Room; Even Though Joy Was Drugged In The Other Room, She Heard Dover And Knew He Was There.

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If you Google "understanding Prisoners" there is a great esoteric explanation of the whole movie and will answer a lot of questions for you. I read it before coming to this site and it helped me interpret this movie in a very different way.

They kidnapped children to make other parents into demons just as they had become when their child died of cancer. Wierd, yes. There's a lot of symbolism to this question.

I also wondered by Alex abused the dog just before he walked him - and there is a known pattern of people being abused or having their brain altered by something they tend to want to abuse other things even when they don't think they are. It's part of the disease but I forget the name of it just now.

When Joy said 'you were there' - the girls were in the house (drugged) when Keller came to visit the Aunt the first time to tell her he was sorry that he scared Alex with an alterior motive - that is to follow up the only thing Alex said about "mazes". The girls probably heard the father talking to her because right after she said you were there - she says "we had tape on our mouths". You have to listen carefully to hear that. So - he knew they were there and could not speak but at this point, he still was targeting the aunt - until the next time he visited.

Mind control - that concoction (whatever was in it) can be a powerful thing.

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I agree with your answer, but it also took me watching the movie carefully a few times to try and understand what was going on so there's no reason you should make fun of people asking these questions. This movie WAS complex and there's probably more to it than YOU think. Google "The esoteric explanation of "Prisoners" and it will give you further and deeper answers.

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2 More Responses

How is everybody forgetting about the woman with the video tapes.<br />
Her son was abducted.<br />
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If you look closely to the newspaper at the end, it says "son and mother reunited" <br />
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Alex is that son

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watch it again. its pretty self explanatory …..if that doesn't work then research stockholm syndrome. it becomes the norm for most kidnap victims.

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That's what disease I was trying to remember ... not just kidnap victims but abused and drugged kidnap victims. I wondered the same thing until I looked it up. This movie is very complex and requires concentration. For instance, I could not hear what Joy said after she said "you were" ... then she said something else and I played it over & over but couldn't quite make it out. When I read somewhere that she just said they had tape on their mouth; then I realized why he stormed out of there because he knew where he had been. Too bad he didn't let Loki go to the aunt's house after talking to Joy. On the other hand, if he did, it might have been too late.

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I won't pretend this is a perfect film, but it is far better plotted than people are giving it credit for, if perhaps a little more complicated than needed:<br />
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1 - Alex and Keller? If you mean Alex and Bobby, then no they are not trying to protect anyone. Alex is damaged through the abuse and drugging, and he is mentally challenged. There is one moment where he harms an animal, which is intended not to suggest, as some would have it, that he is accomplice, but rather to show a learned behaviour; abused can often be turned abuser and this is a hint at that. Bobby is essentially driven mad by what happened to him and his own inability to reconcile it, hence his behaviour and obsession with the unsolvable maze he was told, as were all the childen, that if he could solve it he would be released.<br />
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2 - Alex is her "son" and a good tool for luring children. Bobby escaped.<br />
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3 - Answered in question 1<br />
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4 - Really kind of answered in question 1<br />
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5 - Why go to jail for torture? Really?<br />
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6 - What do you think? That is what the film ask us<br />
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7 - Who knows? Do they remember?<br />
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8 - One of the most obscure parts of the film, certainly, and whilst unnecessary, it is, for a careful viewer, still something that makes sense. Recall the story about the accident their son had with snakes? How her husband kept them? How they found dead snakes all over the place at the end? Now think about the answer to your questions regarding Bobby. Why might he have snakes? You should have your answer now :)

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Good answers Toolman.

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Keller is the name of Hugh Jackman's character. The name of the young man with the snakes is Bob (or Bobby). <br />
1) Alex was abducted as a child and was given so many spiked drinks as a captive, he lost a lot of mental capacity. As they say early on, he has the I.Q. of a 10 year old. Bobby was only captive for 3 weeks, as he escaped. He was also drugged for the majority of his capture, causing him to not remember the entire incident. This is why as an adult he collects childrens clothes, buries child dolls and draws mazes all over his walls. He is trying to reenact the kidnapping. If you notice, all the mazes he draws are only half complete, referencing his ability to only figure out half the puzzle. This is why the incident goes unreported. <br />
2) She (Holly) kept Alex alive because he was the first child her and her husband abducted, and he was to replace their son who either died or just went missing. He became their new son, telling everyone he was a relative whose parents died unfortunately. Holly did not keep Bobby alive, he just escaped after 3 weeks. <br />
3) Alex was really mentally challenged. This is explained in the end of the film by his constant intake of the spiked drink, causing him mental problems. <br />
4) Bobby went to the candle service because throughout the movie he was fascinated with his abduction, constantly trying to reenact and be involved. He could never figure it out, but was haunted and probably also mentally disfigured by it. <br />
5) Regardless of Alex helping solve the crime at the hands of Keller, it was still very illegal what he did, and everyone is equal under the law.<br />
6) We don't know for sure whether Keller was found at the end of the movie. I personally think they left this open to us for our interpretation. The theme of the entire film is that everyone is somehow made a prisoner, no matter how good the motives are, you are always imprisoning another. Example, Holly and her husband's child goes missing so they think it is right to kidnap other children because of what happened to them. They imprison the children. Keller imprisons Alex, which he thinks is the right thing to do. The priest imprisons and kills Holly's husband, which he thinks is the right thing to do, and in the end the Cop imprisons Keller, which he thinks is the right thing to do as he is a man of the law.<br />
7) We don't know if the girls will mention the hole. They were also heavily drugged while in captivity. We know that is a possibilty, but we don't know what happens to Keller.<br />
8) The only thing I remember from the film about the snakes is that Holly says her real child, the one who went missing, had an accident involving snakes. It might have had something to do with her husband. This one im unsure about.

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