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Make sure they cremate me; I don't want to be buried in some box.
~ Holly's last words before shooting a gun at Detective Loki, which leads to her death, because he also had a gun.

Holly Jones is the main antagonist of the 2013 thriller film Prisoners.

She was portrayed by Melissa Leo, who also played Sally in Oblivion in the same year.


Once a loving and religious woman, both Holly and her husband's minds soon took a twisted turn when their son died of cancer. Blaming God for not saving him, they sought to make others feel their pain. The pair began kidnapping children to turn the parents into 'demons' as they called it, forcing them to lose their mind and faith like they did.

In their reign, there were only two known survivors, Bob Taylor and Barry. Both suffered greatly to the point where they could no longer speak properly. Bob some how escaped, but the memories kept him from telling the police. Barry was kept by Holly, where she renamed him Alex and told him she was his aunt.

At one point her husband left her, presumably feeling guilt for their crimes. He confessed his crimes to a local priest, who later killed him and threw the body into the church's basement. Even with her husband gone, Holly doesn't stop and abducts Joy Birch and Anna Dover. Though she is not suspected by the police, Alex is, as the girls were seen playing around his RV before the capture. Alex is taken into custody, but is quickly released due to his IQ being the same as a ten year old. Anna's father Keller is however convinced that Alex is the culprit, and soon takes him hostage, torturing him for information.

Meanwhile, Bob appears as a new suspect in the case. This is due to the detective leading the case, Detective Loki, finding what he believes to be evidence in Bob's house, finding blood-stained cloths, making it appear that he'd murdered the girls. Declaring it likely that the girls are dead, the parents and Detective Loki all but give-up when Bob commits suicide. A forensic inspection of the cloths however, reveals that the blood belonged to a pig, and then Joy suddenly wakes up. She reveals that she heard Keller while she was captured. Keller soon realizes that Holly was the real kidnapper.


Holly with Barry/Alex

Armed with a hidden gun, Keller heads to see Holly, but she soon learns he knows she kidnapped the girls and prepares a gun which she quickly aims at him upon arrival. She forces him to drink a drugged liquid, causing him to feel faint. She tells him that her and her husband have been waging a war on God and shows Keller where she hid Anna. She brings him to a hole underneath a car, forcing him in, shooting him in the leg and leaving him there. She heads to where she is hiding Anna and plans to kill her and taunt Keller by throwing her dead body into the hole with him. But Loki soon arrives at the scene and catches Holly before she can kill Anna. Holly secretly pulls out a gun, and fires at Loki, skinning him near the eye as her aim was a little off, and the detective shoots back, killing her with a quick head shot. saving Anna and killing Holly, ending the terror.


Holly was once a genuinely loving and caring woman. Since her son's death, she has become a cold, deeply disturbed and depraved human being, wanting nothing but for others to feel her pain. She has no problem with killing or torturing, even children as per her M.O., and seems to embrace this side of her. She clearly loved her son so much since his death broke her sanity and stripped her of any morals.


  • Holly Jones is also the name of a ten-year old girl who was kidnapped and murdered in Toronto in 2003.
  • To play Holly Jones, Melissa Leo wore a grey wig and a foam rubber posterior prepared by Costume Designer Renée April in order to "ground" her character. Leo also requested the props assistants to avoid cleaning her glasses after each day's shooting.
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