Too close to home

Posted September 25, 2013 at 1:23 pm

BABBLING BROOKS column–Express Editor Kim Brooks

This past weekend, a major film hit theaters, starring major actors, about a too-close-to-home topic.

“Prisoners” stars such names as: Jake Gyllenhaal, Hugh Jackman, Terrence Howard, Viola Davis and more.

The basis for this much-anticipated move: child abduction.

When I went to see “Lee Daniel’s The Butler” in theaters during its premiere week, the upcoming movie previews were all pretty dark movies, but one stood out, “Prisoners.”

I make it a point of getting to the theater early just to watch all of the new movie previews. Like the movie I paid to actually view, the previews are also a highlight for me. Can you imagine getting paid to sit in a theater and watch nothing but movie previews? How sweet would that be?

So “Prisoners,” like many Hollywood hits, is based on news stories taken right out of the daily news, nationally and locally. Two neighboring families spend Thanksgiving together in a small town. Their young daughters go outside to play together and when one of the father’s goes outside to retrieve the girls, they’re nowhere to be seen. What ensues is a determined hunt for the kidnapper and the young girls, headed by the police and the families themselves. Sound familiar? It should!

In 2012, two Evansdale, Iowa, cousins went missing, Lyric Cook and Elizabeth Collins. Five months after their disappearance, hunters found their bodies in a wooded area. The person (or people) responsible have never been found or identified.

These young gals were just out riding their bikes around a pond in the small town of Evansdale when they were reported missing. This news story was picked up by news stations and publications all over the country, not just blasted on the local Iowa news stations.

In May of this year, three young women, who were all kidnapped when they were just in their early teens, were finally released from hell after more than 10 years in captivity. Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight were kidnapped on their way home from school in various years and were holed up inside a prison of a house for a decade, or to them, what probably seemed like a lifetime.

A prison, you say?

The movie “Prisoners” very well got its inspiration from these various real life stories.

The ones I mentioned are just two of the many, many kidnapping stories we hear about every day, every week.

It’s sad that Hollywood has to take these devastating stories, the hell the family members and loved ones go through, and exploit it. (This sentiment coming from someone who loves movies.)

It just so happens “Prisoners” was the top-earning and top-ranking movie over the weekend, bringing in $21.4 million as of Sunday evening. So are people flocking to see this film for its unnerving plot line, its line-up of famed actors or something else?

I’ve seen quite a few talk show appearances by the film’s actors recently, and they all said the movie’s plot brings to light the idea of keeping an eye on your children because you never know what will happen if you turn around for just a second. Many of them parents themselves, the actors said the subject matter was close to heart and made them hyper aware of what could happen.

Another side effect of the movie: copycats. The breakdown and inside information as to how the presumed kidnapper got the job done is basically laid out in great detail in this movie.

While I usually jump at the chance to go and see the latest thriller or action/drama movie, I have to say “Shame on you, Hollywood!”