NOTE: This spoiler was submitted by Rhino Pig .
Jill (Amanda Seyfried) walks through a thickly wooded forest. She carries a map of Portland’s Forest Park, and she examines it from time to time. Eventually Jill reaches a meadow filled with picnic tables. She sits at one and opens her map, revealing that she’s divided Forest Park into several dozen grids. Some have been crossed out, and she marks off the section she explored that day.
Back at the home she shares with her sister Molly (Emily Wickersham), Jill takes a shower. Molly studies for a major accounting final in their kitchen, and Jill offers to give Molly some of her medication. Molly guesses that Jill has been exploring Forest Park again and gets upset, because Jill promised to give that up. Molly also asks Jill how she would feel if she came home drunk, revealing that she has a drinking problem. Jill admits she would be upset.
Jill prepares for work in the bathroom. Molly pops in and asks if Jill will come to dinner on Sunday with her, her boyfriend Billy, and Billy’s out-of-town cousin. Jill will not commit to dinner, although Molly thinks meeting a man might help her sister feel better. Jill says she’ll think about it.
Molly’s car blocks Jill from backing her car out of their driveway. Molly tells Jill to take her car, which Jill then drives to a boxing gym. She fights with a man, and they seem evenly matched until he lecherously strokes her cheek and tells her, “That’s it, sweetheart.” Jill launches herself at the man and beats him until the instructor pulls her off of him.
It’s night, and Jill parks her car on a deserted street. She calls Molly and tells her she will come to diner. Molly asks Jill to wake her up when she gets home the next morning, around 6:30 a.m., so she can study more. Jill promises she will.
Jill walks to the Lucky Strike, the diner where she works, and pauses when she thinks she hears footsteps behind her.
Back at their home, Molly talks with her boyfriend Billy as she prepares for bed. She’s happy that Jill is coming to dinner with them.
In the Lucky Strike, Jill serves a quiet customer who keeps his head down. A group of high school students recognize but cannot place her face. The quiet customer leaves a large tip for Jill and her coworker Sharon (Jennifer Carpenter). Jill is impressed, and Sharon explains that the quiet customer usually sits in her section. He’s moving away, so he gave them large tips.
Molly is in bed and still talking on the phone with Billy. He wants to hook up, but she protests she needs to sleep in order to do well on her big accounting final tomorrow. She eventually hangs up and turns out the light but not before smiling at a picture of her and Jill as children, sitting with their parents.
Jill gets off work and drives home the next morning. She walks in their kitchen and calls out for Molly to wake up. She begins to search the small house when she finds Molly is not in her room. She cannot find Molly and begins to panic. Jill races through the house, calling out to Molly that she’s not amused. She looks in the laundry basket and cannot find the clothes Molly wore the night before. She calls Molly’s cell phone and no one answers; Molly’s boyfriend Billy does not answer his phone either, and Jill asks him to call her ASAP. She grabs a think file, a gun she stashes in a drawer, and she drives to the police station.
Sergeant Powers (Daniel Sunjata) talks with another officer, Erica Lonsdale (Katherine Moennig). Jill finds them and tells an exasperated Powers that “he” came back and took Molly.
Powers, Lonsdale, their supervising officer Lieutenant Bozeman (Michael Pare), and a new detective named Hood (Wes Bentley) listen to Jill explain Molly’s disappearance. Molly moved in with Jill earlier that year because she could not afford to live on her own. Jill tells the detectives that, knowing Jill’s history, Molly would never leave their home without an explanation. Molly would not have gone out after Jill left the night before either because of her big exam. Jill believes that the man who abducted her the year before returned to reclaim her. He thought Jill was home, because Jill drove Molly’s car instead of her own. The detectives seem incredulous, and Jill notes they are not writing anything down. She shows them her file, which is full of posters of missing women from the area. She says her abductor has been taking them and that the police are doing nothing. Bozeman tells her to come back to the station if Molly hasn’t returned by Monday, but Jill thinks Molly will be dead by then.
As Powers, Lonsdale, and Bozeman disperse, Hood pulls Molly aside. He gives her his card and promises to pull her file as soon as she leaves. Bozeman has assigned him to Molly’s case, and he will work with her on the investigation.
Billy returns Jill’s call as she leaves the police station. Molly is not with him, and he did not see her the night before. Jill tells him her fears, about the possibility Molly has been abducted, and Billy says he will go to Molly’s exam to see if she turned up. He raises the possibility that Molly relapsed and that she’s passed out drunk somewhere. Jill doesn’t think Molly would drink again, and Billy tells her to get some sleep. “I’ll sleep when he’s dead,” Jill snarls.
In the courtyard of the police station, Powers explains Jill’s backstory to Hood. A year ago some hikers found Jill wandering through the woods. Jill claimed a man had kidnapped her from her bed in the middle of the night and had thrown her into a deep hole in the woods. Jill managed to overpower him and escape, and the police who investigate murders became involved because Jill said there were human remains in the hole. Police could never locate the hole. They did learn that, not too long before her alleged abduction, Jill lost both her parents within months of one another. Questions arose about Jill’s sanity, and she was involuntarily committed to a mental institution for a while. Now whenever a woman goes missing in Portland, Jill shows up at the police station and “busts [Powers’] balls,” claiming the perpetrator was her mysterious abductor. Hood jokes that he likes his women “a little crazy,” but Powers takes offense at the joke and reprimands Hood.
Jill and Billy (Sebastian Stan) meet up and Jill and Molly’s house. Billy sees a nightshirt and boxers like the ones Molly wore the night before in the laundry hamper. He thinks those items are the only sleepwear Molly wears and this is evidence Molly left on her own. Jill claims Molly was wearing blue-striped boxer shorts the night before, and the ones in the hamper have flowers on them. Billy has never seen Molly wear the blue-striped boxers before.
Billy drives away and Jill asks a neighbor if she saw anything the night before. She explains that she cannot find Molly and is worried her sister might be in trouble. The neighbor tells Jill she went to sleep too early to see or hear anything, but she directs Jill to the neighborhood recluse, who hasn’t slept since his wife died many years ago.
At first the recluse does not want to talk to Jill. She tells him that she’s investigating the theft of her bicycle the night before. The recluse finally admits that around one in the morning he heard a car honk several times. When he looked out the window he say a van with a locksmith’s name parked in front of Jill’s home.
Using the recluse’s description of the van, Jill finds the company on Google. She grabs a stack of money from a drawer and takes off to find the locksmith.
Jill finds and follows the locksmith’s van in downtown Portland. She almost collides with oncoming traffic to keep up with the van. Eventually the van pulls into the company parking lot, and the female driver yells at Jill for her reckless driving and for following her. Jill claims she was just headed to the locksmith’s.
The female driver takes Jill into the locksmith’s large dark warehouse shop. Jill tells the owner of the company that one of his drivers parked in front of her house last night. She tells him her grandma woke up and saw her car being stolen and that the thief was momentarily blocked by the van. She wants to talk to the van’s driver, who happens to be the owner’s son. The owner calls for his son, and as Jill interacts with them, she has flashbacks to being kidnapped and dropped in the hole. She imagines these men might have been involved. The locksmith’s son doesn’t admit to being in Jill’s neighborhood, so she leaves.
Before leaving the locksmith’s parking lot, Jill searches the van. She finds the receipt for a hardware store and a roll of duct tape (like the tape her abductor used to cover her mouth and bind her wrists) and flashes back to her kidnapping. The locksmith’s son discovers her in the van, and she draws her gun on him. He confesses that the night before he let a stranger named “Digger” rent the van to move some tools. He has no idea who Digger really is or where he lives. The locksmith comes out, and Jill flees the scene.
Hood complains to Lonsdale about Powers tearing into him for his earlier joke. After she goes to find Powers, another officer gives Hood a report that Jill pulled her gun on the locksmith’s son.
Jill has called Powers and Lonsdale and tells him what she discovered about at the locksmith’s. She believes Digger is her abductor because of his name; he dug the hole in which he kept her. Powers tries to placate Jill but becomes angry when Hood brings him the report that she has a gun. Because she was committed to a mental institution she cannot possess a gun, and Powers tells Jill she will be in trouble if she doesn’t come to the station now. Jill hangs up.
Hood calls Jill. He believes her. He asks her to meet him so she hangs up her phone.
Bozeman thinks Jill, with her gun, presents the policemen with a huge liability. He orders Powers and Lonsdale to find her.
Two patrol officers chat in their squad car. They write down Jill’s license plate, car make and model, and her physical description as Jill drives past them.
Billy calls Jill. Molly did not show up at her exam, but neither did a pothead who used to hit on her a lot. The pothead lives in the same neighborhood as the hardware store (Jill’s current destination) so she tells Billy she will go to his apartment.
Jill reaches and enters the hardware store just before the two patrol officers spot her car. As the officers call for backup, Jill tells a hardware store employee that she’s looking for her Alzheimer’s ridden grandfather, who wandered away the night before. She tells the employee that her grandfather is with a friend and that, based on the receipt, she thinks they shopped at the hardware store. Meanwhile, a police team surrounds Jill’s car. The hardware employee remembers the man Jill’s looking for, a person in his forties, and Jill pretends he’s her grandfather’s fishing buddy Digger. As police search her car, the employee tells Jill what kind of car “Digger” drives and where he might be staying: the Royal Hotel.
Jill tries to leave but sees the officers searching her car. She returns to the employee and asks to use the bathroom. She cannot escape because bars cover the bathroom window. The patrol officers ask the employee if they’ve seen a woman matching Jill’s description, and he takes them to the bathroom. Jill shoots the bars off the window and escapes before the officers can break down the door.
Jill flees through a neighborhood as squad cars fan out in search of her. She pulls her hood over her blonde hair and engages some high school girls in conversation so she’ll appear to belong in the neighborhood. Hood calls Jill while she’s with the girls and tries to get her to come in, but Jill won’t consider it, because she needs to save Molly. She manages to evade the cops and heads over to Molly’s pothead classmate’s apartment.
The pothead tells her Molly hates him because he does drugs. He was at a gig the night before, and that’s why he missed the accounting exam. Jill barges into his apartment but cannot find Molly. She leaves the pothead’s apartment.
Back at the police station, Bozeman tears into Powers for losing Jill.
Jill rides on a bus. She turns her head when a police car drives by the bus. Her phone reminds her to take her pills, but Jill drops them on the bus’s floor.
Outside the Royal Hotel (actually a sketchy looking apartment building) Jill talks with one of Digger’s neighbors. Digger’s real name is Jim McCoy, and she tells the neighbor that Digger hit her car but did not leave his insurance information. The neighbor warns Jill that his girlfriend thinks Digger has “rapey” eyes.
Jill finds Digger’s apartment. It is empty. She finds more duct tape in a back room. She also finds pet chow, which causes her to flash back to the hole again. Her kidnapper left a bowl of water and pet chow in the hole. Jill searches the rest of the apartment but only finds a box of matches for the Lucky Strike in the doorway. She thinks of the generous tipper from the night before, and someone grabs her shoulder. She twists the man’s wrist and throws him to the ground, but it’s only the janitor.
Outside, the janitor answers Jill’s questions. Digger said he was moving up north. Jill makes up another story about why she’s looking for Digger: her crazy aunt left him $20,000 because Digger used to tend to do handiwork for her. Jill convinces the janitor to allow her to rent his beat up car; she pays him some money and promises to bring the car back the next day.
Jill’s therapist calls her. The therapist believes Jill was abducted but doesn’t believe Molly has been abducted. She tries to convince Jill to come into her office, but Jill figures out that Powers and Lonsdale are waiting at the office to arrest her. She flashes back to a moment when she discovered a jagged piece of bone buried in the hole. Jill hangs up and continues her search.
Jill goes to Sharon’s house to ask Sharon about Digger. Sharon knows him as Jim, which confirms that Digger and Jim McCoy are the same person. She also has Digger’s phone number, which she gives to Jill. Jill flashes back to being in the hole: her kidnapper dropped a rope ladder into the hole and told her, “It’s time.” But she did not see his face. Back in the present, when Sharon realizes that Jill believes Digger is the man who abducted her, she tells Jill they should call the cops. So Jill leaves.
Jill runs a stop sign and attracts the attention of a squad car. The cop throws on his lights and pursues Jill, who of course gives chase.
Back at the police station, Powers receives a call from Sharon and learns that Jill was recently in that area. Lonsdale tells him that Hood is out, bringing his sick mother some soup.
After a lengthy chase, Jill turns down an alleyway and parks the car. The officer calls for her to step out of the vehicle with her hands up, but Jill has already managed to escape. She returns to Sharon’s house and begs for Sharon to let her borrow her car. Jill makes a desperate plea for Molly’s sake. If she goes to the cops, they will recommit her to the mental institution, because her story does sound crazy. Meanwhile, her kidnapper will kill Molly. Someday someone will discover her kidnapper’s hole, and the bodies of the missing women, and the cops will realize Jill was right. But while they’ll go on with their lives, Jill will never be able to move on, because she feel she didn’t do everything in her power to save her sister. Sharon gives Jill her keys but angrily tells Jill never to come back to her house.
Jill parks in a deserted parking lot and calls Digger’s number. From the moment he answers, she acts as if he is her kidnapper. Digger professes his ignorance of Molly’s whereabouts. But as their conversation continues it becomes apparent that he knows who Jill is and believes she was abducted, as if he has been watching her. He convinces Jill to meet him deep in Forest Park.
Jill drives to Forest Park.
Billy calls Jill and tells her Molly has returned. She went out drinking the night before and was too ashamed to come home. But when he won’t put Molly on the phone, Jill realizes that the cops have asked Billy to set her up. She tells Billy she is meeting with Digger, the man who she believes took her.
Jill arrives at an abandoned ranger station, the furthest point to which Digger directed her.
Back at Jill’s home, Billy tells Powers that Jill is meeting her potential kidnapper.
Jill searches the area but finds no signs of Molly.
Powers calls. He tries to convince Jill not to proceed with her plan. He tells her that Molly probably got tired of “taking care of [her].” In fact, Powers asked Molly to move in to watch out for Jill. Digger calls, she Jill hangs up on Powers.
Digger gives Jill further directions that will take her deeper into Forest Park. Digger tells her about a father and daughter who lived deep in Forest Park for years, avoiding outside detection because of the park’s vastness. No wonder the cops never found Jill’s abductor’s hole. He asks Jill how she managed to escape her abductor.
Jill has another flashback in which she takes the fragment of bone she found earlier and hits her attacker. She climbed up the rope ladder and ran through the woods to safety.
Digger tells Jill he’s waiting for her. Her directs her to walk up a dirt path until she reaches a lantern. The reception begins to cut out, and Digger tells Jill there is no reception in that part of the woods. The call drops in a way that implies the entire phone call might have been in Jill’s head.
Jill goes into the woods. At this point her POV are interspersed of scenes in which Molly, bound and gagged with duct tape, wakes up in an enclosed space. She struggles to free herself.
Jill finds an abandoned campsite. She enters one of the tents and finds pictures of the missing girls, including Molly, bound and gagged by duct tape. A sound outside the tent draws her further into the forest.
Molly breaks free of her duct tape bindings.
Jill sees the lantern.
Powers and the other officers are gathered at Jill’s house. Molly stumbles over to them, revealing she has been under the house the whole time. She remembers Jill’s abductor placing her there and wants her sister, but Billy reveals Jill is meeting some man in the woods.
Jill finds the hole and sees a decomposing female body in it. She accidentally falls in and is stunned by the impact. Her kidnapper (Digger/Jim McCoy) emerges from a small alcove her dug in the side of the hole and tells Jill how easy it was to lure her into the woods. He has carved the fragment of bone she used to club him into a knife. Jill sees her gun lying a few feet away and charges her kidnapper to get it. She shoots him twice in the chest, which gives her enough time to climb up the rope ladder. She throws it into the hole and, her gun trained on her prone kidnapper, demands to know where Molly is. She promises not to kill him if he tells her. Eventually her kidnapper reveals that Molly was under their house the entire time. Jill sees the lantern and a can of kerosene and pours it down onto her kidnapper. She tosses the lantern into the hole and burns him alive.
Jill is driving through the woods. Powers calls and tells her Molly is safe. Jill says she never found a man and tosses her gun out the window.
When she arrives home, Molly rushes to embrace Jill. Now Molly is terrified the kidnapper will return. Jill pulls her sister close and whispers something in her ear, presumably that she killed the man. But when Powers asks her about Digger, she lies and tells him everything was in her imagination.
Some time later, Bozeman receives an anonymous package at the police station. Inside are the pictures (including one of Jill) of the bound and gagged women. A map indicates where in Forest Park the police can find the hole. Bozeman calls for Powers.