Sneak Preview: Review of the Film Thr3e

By: Joshua Thompson

This past weekend I had the privilege of attending the “Christian Film Festival" at the Waterworks cinema in Pittsburgh. One of the main attractions was the Film “Thr3e," based upon the book by Ted Dekker. The movie will be released next January, so it was a real treat and privilege to see the film ahead of time, and I want to share my experience with you.

The story revolves around Kevin Parson, a 28-year old seminary student. Kevin’s life is thrown into turmoil when he finds himself to be the target of a notorious criminal, “RK" – the riddle killer, whom we come to know as “Slater." At the time, Kevin is working on a paper for seminary about the nature of evil, and Slater seems to be the very embodiment of what Kevin is writing about. When Kevin first encounters Slater, he is driving in his car and finds a mysterious cell phone in his passenger seat. It rings; Kevin picks up; and Slater tells Kevin that he has 3 minutes to solve the riddle “what falls but does not break; what breaks but does not fall" or else his car will blow up. Kevin is unable to solve the puzzle, and gets out of his car just seconds before it explodes. Slater continues to give Kevin a series of riddles to solve, and if he is unable to solve them, a bomb blows up destroying someone near to Kevin – his childhood pet, a fellow seminary student, etc. !

Above all, Slater wants Kevin to confess some unknown sin, and calls him a guilty hypocrite for pretending to be a good person. Kevin is helped in his struggle by a childhood sweetheart, who seems to embody good just as much as Slater embodies evil, and a female FBI agent who begins to fall for Kevin. As the film progresses, we get glimpses into Kevin’s disturbing childhood and begin to guess as to what the sin might be. The end has a great surprise twist, so I won’t give it away, but suffice it to say that it gives insight into human nature and the nature of evil.

As far as the plot went, there were a few implausibilities that bothered me a little bit. Not to give away too much, but there were a series of phone calls that were made between Kevin’s childhood sweetheart and the FBI agent, and once the surprise ending was revealed, it is hard to understand how those calls could have been made. It’s a little bit of a stretch, the way it all fits together at the end, but the ending is still satisfying and insightful.

As far as the cinematography goes, most of the backdrops are darkly colored - even the events that take place outside. It reminded me a little bit of the Matrix, the way the dark hues permeate the film. The film is fast-paced, moving from one riddle to another. All in all, it was a satisfying film; it got a nice round of applause at the preview. I would give it 3 out of 4 stars. Look for the film this coming January in a theater near you.

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