Why the Last 30 Seconds of ‘Prisoners’ is Perfect Storytelling

An original OPS/FSR video essay.

Denis Villeneuve’s 2013 film Prisoners, written by Aaron Guzikowski, is a taut, labyrinthine thriller that doesn’t really resolve itself until the last 30 seconds before the screen goes dark. But I believe those last 30 seconds are an example of pitch-perfect screenwriting and cinematic storytelling, and just why deserves to be explored, which is exactly what I’ve done in the following video essay: break down the individual elements of the film’s final moments to reveal how they satisfy all the dangling plotlines and character arcs in one succinct, largely silent scene.

Naturally, spoilers abound, so if you haven’t seen Prisoners, a) for shame, and b) go do that then jump back here for some supplemental education. Then for more of our original videos, visit our Vimeo page.