‘No Exit’ follows five strangers who find themselves stranded in a rest stop during a heavy blizzard. Things take an ominous tone when one of them, Darby, discovers a young girl being held hostage in a van outside the shelter. Realizing that one of the other four is the kidnapper, the young woman then attempts to ascertain the criminal’s identity without raising the alarm.
Stuck in the middle of nowhere and with phone lines down due to the weather, Darby soon finds herself in a life-or-death situation. Through multiple twists, the kidnapper is eventually revealed. However, there is also the mention of an ominous “Uncle Kenny,” who even the film’s murderous villain seems afraid of. So who really is Uncle Kenny in ‘No Exit’? Allow us to explain. SPOILERS AHEAD.
Who is Uncle Kenny?
When Darby first meets them, Lars and Ash seem to be strangers, which appears believable considering the two young men are as different from each other as possible. However, it soon becomes clear that they are accomplices carrying out the kidnapping together. Through fragments of their conversation, we hear mention of Uncle Kenny, who seems to be overseeing the entire criminal operation. It also appears that both Lars and Ash are quite scared of the mysterious boss, which partly explains their desperation to kidnap Jay successfully.
Every time the kidnappers encounter a hurdle, Lars, the timid one of the two, brings up fears of angering Uncle Kenny if they don’t deliver their young victim. We then find out that the man isn’t just their boss, but also adopted both Lars and Ash when they were children. Thus, from snippets of the conversation, it becomes clear that the two kidnappers are foster brothers who were taken in as kids by a criminal named Uncle Kenny.
Though details about Uncle Kenny remain scant for the most part, we do know that he is a child trafficker. This is hinted at when Lars reveals that they do not return the kids they kidnap but instead send them to “happy homes.” This also horrifies Sandi, who is a secret accomplice to the kidnapping and expects to get a share of the ransom. When she realizes that the kidnappers never plan on returning Jay to her parents, Sandi is horrified and turns against Ash and Lars. However, it is too late, and the kidnappers turn violent in an effort to complete the kidnapping successfully.
Thus, Uncle Kenny seems to be a ruthless child trafficker who seemingly took Lars and Ash in as children and subsequently trained them to do his criminal bidding. From how they fearfully refer to him, it appears that Uncle Kenny has not even treated his own foster kids very well.
Finally, from the way Lars and Ash refer the the “many” children that they have sent to happy homes, it appears that Uncle Kenny has been trafficking children for many years and is possibly responsible for a staggering number of crimes. Throughout the film, the mysterious criminal is mentioned multiple times but remains unseen, hanging ominously over the narrative as the true criminal who is forcing others to do his bidding.
Read More: Is No Exit Based on a True Story?