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"Thr3e" More Psychological Thriller Than Faith Film

  • Lisa Rice Contributing Writer
  • 2007 1 Jan
  • COMMENTS
"Thr3e" More Psychological Thriller Than Faith Film

DVD Release Date:  April 24, 2007 
Theatrical Release Date:
January 5, 2007
Rating: PG-13 (for violence, disturbing images and terror)
Genre: Thriller/Horror
Run Time: 118 min.
Director: Robby Henson
Actors: Marc Blucas, Justine, Waddell, Laura Jordan, Max Ryan, Bill Moseley, Sherman Augustus, Priscilla Barnes, Tom Bower, Philip Dunbar, Jeffrey Lee Hollis, Kevin Downes, and Jack Ryan

The new Fox Faith Film "Thr3e" is a cleverly-written psychological thriller with a fun twist at the end and a truly "Wow, I didn’t see that coming" turn, but it’s not overtly a "faith film." Sure, there is some God talk at the beginning and the end of the movie, and yes, it does portray the dual nature of man, but it’s so far over the top of normal people’s experiences that it’s almost not relatable. And regrettably, no specific answers are given on how to crucify, or reckon dead, our carnal nature and live in "power, love, and a sound mind."

That being said, for those who enjoy thriller/horror movies, "Thr3e" may be a better choice than other movies in its genre because it does attempt to bring truth and redemption into horror and insanity. It’s the story of a theology student, Kevin Parson (Marc Blucas), who finds himself the victim of a serial killer whose M.O. is to threaten, harass, and catapult his victims into harrowing, high-adrenaline chases against time and ticking bombs. Some victims survive, and others don’t. Kevin survives the first nightmare.

Not only does he have to worry about his safety, but Kevin is also racing against his professor’s (Philip Dunbar) deadline of turning in his thesis, which is late. The theology students have been discussing the nature of evil in man and what various scholars like Augustine and Kant have had to say about it. Kevin is particularly intrigued by Kant’s statement that "evil is the blemish of our society that will not spare even the best of men." Though he is writing the third draft of his paper (much of the movie centers around "3’s," or multiples of three), Kevin is still struggling with questions about the nature of man that he may have to answer through his terrifying adventure being hunted by a murderer.

Kevin is questioned at the police station by the beautiful Jennifer Peters (Justine Waddell), who is not only a criminal investigator and a criminal fiction writer, but also the sister of the first man killed by the serial killer. Jennifer’s partner, Milton (Max Ryan), a strange, almost paranoid cop, doesn’t want her on the case, but Jennifer insists on staying and vows to earn Kevin’s trust.

At the same time, Kevin gets a visit from his old childhood friend, Samantha (Laura Jordan), the sweet girl-next-door who used to help ease the troubled life he lived under the care of an insane, hideous woman, "Aunt Belinda," (Priscilla Barnes of "Three’s Company"). In order to solve his own case, Kevin must go back to Belinda’s house and face the demons of his childhood victimization, and it is a scary trip, indeed. Belinda wears a crown and calls herself "Princess," and she cares for two other insane people in a house that looks like an asylum. Kevin must endure her screaming tirades and dozens of disturbing memories of an intimidating neighborhood bully, Slater (Bill Moseley) before he can make any headway on his case.

Meanwhile, he continues to get calls on his cell phone from the murderer, taunting him and urging him to "confess his sins." The murderer poses strange riddles and impossible deadlines in a sick game of hide and seek that has life-and-death implications. As Kevin engages further into the murderer’s trap, he and others uncover a most disturbing secret that could unlock the entire mystery only if handled very carefully.

"Thr3e" is "NYPD Blue" meets "A Beautiful Mind" – a clever but sometimes confusing horror movie. There are a few basic problems with this lower budget film, the first being that the two main women characters look alike and are hard to tell apart for a while. They both have long, curly, cascading brown hair and are about the same age … bad casting. And there are some loose ends, once the clever twist is revealed, that go unanswered.

The sparse, tacked on faith elements seem like an afterthought, and it is doubtful whether audiences will truly come away with greater faith or a greater knowledge of God and His ways after seeing "Thr3e." They will get a horrifying glimpse in the dual nature of man, but the cost is high to learn what most of us probably already know about that struggle.

Due to the horror elements and sometimes confusing plot lines and characters, this movie would be best suited to older teens and adults. "Thr3e" will likely do well in video sales, as there is a remarkably high percentage of the population that purchases lower budget horror flicks, but it may not have the mainstream appeal that other faith films ("The Nativity Story," "One Night with the King," and "Facing the Giants" ) of late have enjoyed.

AUDIENCE: Adults and teenagers

CAUTIONS:

  • Drugs/Alcohol: None.
  • Language: None.
  • Sex: None.
  • Violence: Bomb explosions, shootings, etc.
  • Other: Terror, such as phone threats, ominous messages painted on cars, bombs strapped to people, scary masked faces appearing, psychotic people screaming, bombs exploding, kids locked in warehouses, etc.