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32 of 36 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars ...a powerful storyline and a killer ending
Unless you've lived in a cave for the past few years, you've probably heard of Ted Dekker, the best-selling author of over a dozen novels. His twisty plots and suspense-filled stories have won him fans all over the globe. In 2003 Westbow Press (now Thomas Nelson) published Thr3e, Dekker's first hardcover novel. It's also the first of Dekker's books to make it to the big...
Published on February 5, 2007 by C.J. Darlington

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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Lukewarm thriller suffers from poor performances
"Thr3e" (no, it's not a prequel to "Se7en"), is based on the novel by Ted Dekker, and tells the story of a young seminary student who is terrorized by a psychopathic bomber, who may or may not be a person from his past.

When I reviewed the book some time ago, I noted that the final plot twist, which is either brilliant or absurd depending on your view, would...
Published on June 11, 2007 by G. T. Howell


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32 of 36 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars ...a powerful storyline and a killer ending, February 5, 2007
This review is from: Thr3e (DVD)
Unless you've lived in a cave for the past few years, you've probably heard of Ted Dekker, the best-selling author of over a dozen novels. His twisty plots and suspense-filled stories have won him fans all over the globe. In 2003 Westbow Press (now Thomas Nelson) published Thr3e, Dekker's first hardcover novel. It's also the first of Dekker's books to make it to the big screen. And Thr3e, the movie, is everything you'd expect from a Dekker story. Action from the first shot, unrelenting suspense, and a nice slew of explosions.

Kevin Parsons is a seminary student on the verge of great things. Then everything changes. Driving home from campus one fateful day, Kevin's cell phone rings. A gravelly, ominous voice demands he confess his sins in 90 seconds or his car will blow up--with him in it. Barely escaping with his life, Kevin's world flips when the killer contacts him again. And again. With the help of criminal psychologist Jennifer Peters (who believes the killer is the same psychopath who murdered her brother) and his childhood friend Samantha, Kevin desperately seeks to unravel the identity of the stalker. But how many innocent lives will be lost in the process? What "sin" is the killer talking about? And can Kevin really trust Jennifer with his life?

Filmed in Poland with a 2.4 million budget and directed by Robby Henson, I found myself reminded of The Interpreter in several instances (the bus explosion, the darkness of some of the shots, and the suspense). Actor Marc Blucas makes Kevin jump off the pages and into our lives. He gives Kevin just enough innocence and empathy without making him a weakling. Although the child actors in the movie come off somewhat wooden, Jennifer and Sam (played by Justine Weddell and Laura Jordan respectively) are both strong female leads and do an equally stellar job bringing their characters to life. Justine shows us the conflict Jennifer feels between finding her brother's killer and becoming too emotionally involved in the case.

Dekker fans will no doubt be wondering how close this movie stays to the book. There is a subplot added involving a student named Henry (played by Kevin Downes of The Moment After and Six fame). The library explosion is missing, but it's replaced with a refrigerator blowing up. None of the adjustments detracted from my enjoyment of the film. In fact, they only added depth to the experience. For example, the very first scene of the movie dramatizes the death of Jennifer's brother, and unlike the book, Jennifer is actually with him. This scene sets the pace for the whole movie and helps us experience Jennifer's anguish over her brother's death in ways the book didn't. For those who haven't read the book, Thr3e is a thriller worth watching whether you're a Dekker devotee or not.

Rated PG-13 for violence and some disturbing images, you might want to think twice about taking children, but teens and adults will find the movie up to par with the latest blockbuster thrillers. The spiritual take-away value is much the same as the book--nothing overt. However, Dekker's Christian world view is evident, and one of the movie's additions is a riddle about the verse in Romans, The wages of sin is death.

Thr3e will definitely please "The Forest Guard" (Dekker's inner circle of fans) and no doubt send others to the bookstore to pick up his body of work. With a powerful storyline and a killer ending, you'll be thinking about Thr3e long after the credits roll.

--Reviewed by C.J. Darlington for TitleTrakk
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Lukewarm thriller suffers from poor performances, June 11, 2007
This review is from: Thr3e (DVD)
"Thr3e" (no, it's not a prequel to "Se7en"), is based on the novel by Ted Dekker, and tells the story of a young seminary student who is terrorized by a psychopathic bomber, who may or may not be a person from his past.

When I reviewed the book some time ago, I noted that the final plot twist, which is either brilliant or absurd depending on your view, would determine whether you loved or hated it (for the record, I tend toward the latter). When I rented this DVD, I was curious to see if the translation from page to screen made the ending more believable. To some extent it does, since Alan McElroy's screenplay leaves out some problematic scenes from the book, but the viewer may still feel cheated.

The movie has decent production values considering its low budget, and the score establishes a tone of eerie menace, but alas, the poor quality of the performances ultimately sink the film. Although Marc Blucas and Laura Jordan do a good job as Kevin and Sam, Justine Wadell is not credible or convincing as a top police investigator. Bill Moseley, who plays the villain Slater, comes off as an upset hippie (as another reviewer puts it) rather than an evil genius. Priscilla Barnes (Aunt Balinda) is completely over-the-top. Her portrayal makes her character comical and pathetic when she should have been sadistic and manipulative.

DVD collectors looking for a satisfying thriller will probably find this a rather tepid tale. At least it's free of foul language and graphic violence.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Serial Killer on the Loose, and a Movie Full of Thrills and Riddles..., April 22, 2007
This review is from: Thr3e (DVD)
Marc Blucas stars in "Thr3e", a film that harbors a serial killer even Batman's 'The Riddler' would be proud of. Turn out the lights, curl up to watch this edge of your seat thriller, and feel the hairs on the back of your neck stand up...

Kevin Parson is a seminary student working on his thesis, and is having some difficulty with writers block. On his way home from class one day, Kevin is contacted by RK -- a serial killer only known to the public as the "Riddle Killer", named so for his perverse penchant for stalking his victims with bizarre riddles, that only make sense once it's far too late. As Kevin embarks on a frighteningly twisted race against time, he is asked by the Riddle Killer to confess his sins...or die.

This film was pure pulse-pounding adrenline from the very first opening sequence. Since it was a fairly small release, I had doubts as to whether or not it would be any good -- I can safely say my doubts have been laid to rest. Themes of good and evil are explored, with a whole lot of lives hanging in the balance. Does Good conquer all? Or is Evil too strong an opponent to triumph over? The best thing this film has going for it is it's ability to take the viewer on a thrill ride with so many twists, turns, and loopdy-loos that by the end you'll be screaming to get off this roller-coaster of death.

I was pleasently surprised by this films ability to...well, surprise me (hey, give me a break, I'm writing this at 2 a.m.). After about a half-hour I was thinking "okay, I've got it figured out. How unoriginal", but I kept watching it anyway. A little while later my theory was debunked, and I was left thinking "alright, no problem, I definitely know whats going on now"...only to have to renig on my 2nd theory and go back to square one. I assure you that unless you've read the book this movie is based from, you won't have any clue whats going on until the big reveal at the end --- I love that!

As DVD's go, I'd say it's worth owning. There aren't any special features, only an option to watch some 'coming soon' trailers (in addition to the standard play, scene selections, and language features of course). Don't miss out on this one, you'll be sorry.

Bottom line -- What's thrilling without an amusement park, and chilling without ice? -- I'll give you one guess...
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good, June 12, 2007
This review is from: Thr3e (DVD)
I read the package and decided to give it a try. I have to say this was a pretty interesting film that kept my attention throughout. I did however guess what was coming about a half hour or so before the twist began to materialize. This takes nothing away from the film as the other people watching with me all declared I had to be wrong. Marc Blucas did a credible job in the role of Kevin, the one being stalked by the sadistic killer and Laura Jordan was very good as his grown up childhood sweetheart, Samantha, but Justine Waddell as Jenifer, the police psychologist was just excellent. Anyway, the bottom line here is, give this film a chance. It is a pretty good low budget thriller that does not leave you feeling that you've wasted a hundred and some minutes of your life. I understand this was based on a novel. I might have to give the novel a try, or at least look up other things that the author may have written. I see possibilities there too.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Thr3e words...this film stinks!, January 23, 2008
This review is from: Thr3e (DVD)
I want to say it's a saw rip-off, but it rips from a bunch of films not the least of which is Fight Club. I'm sure if you look hard enough you may find borrowing in most films. But it's pretty blatant in this one, and they didn't build upon those borrowed ideas...they don't come close.
Perhaps you had to read the book to enjoy this film. Some other reviewers have Given this 4 and 5 stars...I can't imagine why. If Jigsaw from Saw and Keifer Sutherland's character from Phone booth had a deficient child with movie making aspirations...it may have made this film.
Confess or die is the general idea behind this poorly acted, poorly written dud.

The DVD itself has the full screen version on one side, and wide screen on the other. That's a nice feature, and I did enjoy the score, it's the films only redeeming quality and the reason it gets 2 stars. No special features on this version of the film....and I'm thankful. To write a thorough review, I feel you have to watch the whole film and the special features included.
This one is for renting, or better yet try to catch it on TV if you must watch it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Hmmm...., December 22, 2008
By 
JR "Yulchyk" (Jersey wilderness) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Thr3e (DVD)
I have really mixed feelings about this one. On one hand, the story that is the backbone of this film is interesting - the effects of childhood abuse and isolation. On the other hand, the screenplay is horribly written. The characters are completely unlikable, and the only one you feel sorry for is the dog (which might not even be real!). And don't even get me started on production value. In which backwoods town does this take place? The cops look like incompetent morons, everyone drives twenty year old cars, the busses look like they have been running since the seventies. The acting is horrible too - did nobody learn how to emote? Overall, the only good thing about this whole film is the idea.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars What was that?, August 16, 2007
This review is from: Thr3e (DVD)
I didn't know anything about this movie, I just started watching it for something to do. Ummm.......was it supposed to be this bad, corny, poorly made, dumpy little pooper of a film? It seems some of you thought rather highly of the movie, as evidenced by the reviews. For the life of me, I can't tell why; I can only assume that you were fans of the novel. Was this a made for TV movie? Really, they didn't even have enough cash in the budget for real explosions? When the bus blows up you can see the flames are just superimposed, the same with every other explosion.

Now, being an avid reader, I've happened upon a Dekker book or two and I remember reading one about a small town where an evil guy comes and makes everybody wanton and violent and prone to sinning, and there's a school in the mountains and some of the students go crazy from eating worm-slime in an off-limits underground section of the campus. Of course, there's the requisite "good guys" who fight the against the "evil" overtaking most everyone else. The whole thing was just ridiculously over-the-top.

I would have rather seen these cheese-ball actors eating worm-slime. Seriously, that Belinda actress was made for worm-slime consumption. Boy, was that bottom-rung acting.

Okay, sorry, enough trashing the film. It did have an alright ending, I guess....if you like that sort of totally implausible, never-would-have-happened-in-a-million-years kind of ending.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great thriller, February 2, 2007
This review is from: Thr3e (DVD)
From the mind of bestselling author Ted Dekker comes the story of Thr3e. I was a huge fan of the book and the movie did not disappoint me. Although it is not as powerfull as the book it does make for a thrilling story. Kept very clean (no swearing or sexuality) it does contain some Christian themes made appropiate because Dekker intended it as a Christian story. It was well done, but some may feel the explosions look fake. The acting was awesome from a cast I had never heard of. It is very scary but overall is a great family thriller.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Ugh ... another film that was too good to be true, July 8, 2009
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This review is from: Thr3e (DVD)
I wanted to like this movie. I like horror, psychological suspense films, especially films that also incorporate Christianity (i.e. Lost Souls), but this was something else.

I found the premise to be truly innovative: theology student Kevin is attempting to finish his thesis about the nature of good and evil, when a terrorizing killer, the Riddle Killer (aka RK), selects Kevin as his new victim. "RK" wants Kevin to confess his greatest sin--a sin born of a traumatic childhood Kevin has tried to forget. And even when Kevin "confesses," RK dismisses it as not being his true sin. But what else could Kevin possibly be hiding? His childhood friend Samantha and police psychologist Jennifer have to figure it out before its too late.

Even with some reviews and descriptions of this film giving away a lot more, I was still intrigued. But the film itself has little to do with Christianity, there are few slight references thrown in (so if your apprehension with this film is the possibility of it being too preachy, don't worry you are safe from that). The bad acting made the bad script look worse. Kevin's childhood was too strange and not even explained well until the end. And this explanation seemed a little too easy summed up for my taste. In fact, I think that is why I dislike this movie so much. It is supposed to be intense with so much going on, nothing makes sense, and then suddenly you are told everything so concisely. The plot moves on to wrap up everything else, and then poof! happy ending! 90 minutes devoted to development and red herrings + 10 minutes to divulge everything + 5 minutes of a really stupid ending = 105 minutes of bad film.

I like complex films that make you think, and this film had all the makings of a great thriller. But the execution of a poorly written script and too much non-intriguing intrigue that was not explored sufficiently makes this movie a waste of time. Maybe I will try the book to see if that is a satisfying story.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Pretty weak adaptation, June 8, 2008
This review is from: Thr3e (DVD)
I read the novel not knowing what to expect, and liked it (see my review). The movie didn't live up to its potential. The acting is uneven (Priscilla Barnes is funny and there's something about Justine Waddell's presence that I like, but she seems to be sleepwalking throughout the movie, and Marc Blucas doesn't feel right in the lead).

The action and suspense sequences are pretty poor. The opening scene that's supposed to catch your interest - where Kevin gets the first phone call in his car - is especially weak. In the book, this was where the suspense started, in the movie, he more or less just drives off to the side of the road. Most of the following action scenes follow the same pattern. A weak script doesn't help either. The key scenes don't really come together. I understand that when adapting a novel you always have to make changes, but this screenwriter made some strange choices in what character development to keep and what to discard, and also added a subplot at the end, tying together a knot that was left loose in the book.

The book had a good story, but this rather amateurish movie comes off as an attempt to make a more "deep" and "spiritual" version of "Saw" or "Captivity". I suppose if I hadn't read the book I might have liked it more so I give it a weak three star rating. If you've read the book, don't bother with the movie. If you haven't read the book, read it instead of watching the movie. If you don't plan to read the book, watch the movie if it's on TV, otherwise don't bother and don't pay money for it.
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Thr3e
Thr3e by Robby Henson (DVD - 2007)
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