Denis Villeneuve’s Prisoners (2013), rich in compelling narratives and stellar performances, is a dark thriller touching upon the questions of religion, guilt, vengeance, and grief in its story on child abduction in rural Pennsylvania. The movie is replete with symbolism, with each character having a different meaning behind them. One such character is Bob Taylor. If you mean to find more about Bob’s character, this is the article for you. In this article, we will be discussing Bob’s enigmatic character.
Bob Taylor In Prisoners (2013)
Everything about Bob felt weird and creepy to most of us, like getting so involved in the case to the extent of admitting to being the murderer even when he had absolutely nothing to do with it. Bob was attracted to children’s toys and clothing. At the candlelight vigil, we saw him gently stroking a teddy bear, almost like a child. He bought children’s clothing at the mall and even stole them after breaking into people’s houses- the creepiest part was that he soaked them in pig’s blood. Bob was even obsessed with mazes and had snakes in his house. But why was it so? Why was Bob the way he was?
What’s Up With Bob Taylor In Prisoners?
The trauma Bob had to go through accounts for how he turned out to be. Bob Taylor was kidnapped several years back by Holly and her husband in the same way as Alex, Anna, and Joy. But Bob managed to escape before they could kill him, and the reason he was so deranged was because of the traumatic experience he had back then. The entire occurrence left deep scars on his soul from which he could never recover. The damage was so great and inexplicable that he couldn’t process it properly and became obsessed with what had happened, to the point of recreating the conditions. Fascinated by those serial killers, mimicking them filled him with some sort of satisfaction. He pretended to be the murderer because it was something that he was obsessing over his entire life.
As a result, he worked himself further and further into the fantasy of kidnapping children himself. That was the reason he bought and stole children’s clothing, smeared them with pig blood, and buried those boxes full of dolls in his garden. He was imitating the “Invisible Man”, pretending to have kidnapped and killed the children, even if not ever doing it for real. Maybe, this even went up to the point where he believed he had done it for real. It might also be one of the reasons he shot himself in the interrogation room. According to my understanding, the snake thing could have something to do with the religious motifs in the movie. It is also possible that the Jones used snakes to torture their victims. In the last scene of the movie, when the CSI people were leaving, there was a little chat between one of them and Loki, which pointed to the possibility-
Loki: You all done for the night?
CSI guy: Yeah, the ground’s frozen solid. It’s gonna take weeks to excavate the entire property. Just found some dead snakes and shit.
Similarly, he was obsessed with mazes because Mr. Jones, who once kidnapped him, was also obsessed with them. Bob was himself presented with this strange imagery and sentences like “if you solve the maze, you can leave” when under Mr. Jones’ possession. As soon as he got his hands on the book Finding the Invisible Man, written by an FBI agent about a mysterious maze-loving kidnapper, he connected the dots. All those memories broke through, and he started to recreate those kidnappings, possibly up to the point of pretending to be this maze-kidnapper himself. It explains his obsession with mazes to an extent.
To sum up, Bob Taylor did not ever participate in any kidnapping, apart from his own, where he was the victim of the same kidnappers that got Alex, Anna, Joy, and all the unknown others. And it was that kidnapping that put him in a deranged state and ultimately drove him to play through fantasies of kidnapping and child murder, though never doing it for real. So Bob, whom we saw as creepy, was nothing more than a broken person with severe trauma who could not escape years of systematic torment he underwent as a child himself. Bob might have been on the wrong track, but he ultimately helped Loki figure out the entire picture.