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Fox Home Entertainment presents
Three (Thr3e) (2006)

"You have three minutes to confess your sin before I blow your car up!"
- Slater (Bill Moseley)

Review By: Chuck Aliaga   
Published: April 24, 2007

Stars: Marc Blucas, Justine Waddell
Other Stars: Laura Jordan, Bill Moseley, Max Ryan
Director: Robby Henson

MPAA Rating: PG-13 for (violence, disturbing images and terror)
Run Time: 01h:45m:14s
Release Date: April 24, 2007
UPC: 024543419921
Genre: suspense thriller


Style
Grade
Substance
Grade
Image Transfer
Grade
Audio Transfer
Grade
Extras
Grade
C+ DB+B- D-

DVD Review

It takes a mere two minutes into the 2006 Christian suspense thriller Thr3e to realize that this has a bit too much in common with the Saw films. While blatant torture and excessive gore aren't here, the ominous voice on the phone sounds just like the Jigsaw character. This is the latest in Christian-funded theological films that appear briefly in theaters then head quickly to DVD via the Fox Faith label. Unfortunately, if you aren't comfortable with heavy-handed dose of preaching along with your serial killings, then this is probably not for you.

Kevin Parson (Buffy, the Vampire Slayer's Marc Blucas) is a seminary student who begins receiving strange phone calls from Slater (Bill Moseley), a serial killer with a penchant for attaching bombs to his victims. Kevin is also approached by police detective Jennifer Peters (Justine Waddell), who is leading the hunt for Slater. The killer's pursuit of Kevin becomes relentless, as he asks him to repent for his sins that could involve an old childhood friend named Samantha (Laura Jordan) and his Aunt Belinda (Priscilla Barnes).

This is a slow, uninvolving thriller, but there are a few race-against-the-clock scenes involving potential explosions that keep things tense. Despite the effectiveness of these sequences, they're overshadowed by far too much preachy police speak and other unnecessary mumbo jumbo. The police eventually put together the killer's affinity for the number three (hence the film's title), but by not establishing such a motive earlier makes it almost irrelevant to the rest of the film.

Just when the suspense starts to build, things are thrown off track by various Bible readings. Sure, these passages are used as clues to stop the killer, but the constant recital of a given reading's origins seems out of place. The most uncomfortable integration of Christian morals involves the feeling that the killer simply wants his victims to do the moral thing and confess to various sins. This is beyond believable, as the killer can't help but come across as the ultimate hypocrite, thereby contradicting a major component of the "Christian way." I understand that this is based on a book by a Christian writer, but such material can seriously damage the potential for a broader audience. Still, these movies rarely turn out to be blockbusters (with the exception of The Passion of the Christ), with the producers happy to appeal simply to their target demographic.

The acting is pretty dreadful, with many of the actors offering extremely wooden, bland line delivery, often sounding like they are still reading their lines straight off of the page. Even Blucas, who's done solid work before, is way off his game. It's hard to believe that the same Bill Moseley who was so terrifying when playing nut jobs in the horror films The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2, House of 1,000 Corpses, and The Devil's Rejects would have anything to do with a film steeped in heavy Christian overtones. Still, despite the scripture speak, Moseley doesn't stray too far from type as a menacing killer.

The big twist follows through with the rest of the film's clichés and predictability, but the final result is still pretty effective. The first 90 minutes are forgettable, but the last 15 will linger. The ending isn't enough to recommend this overdone, timid thriller, though, which is an early frontrunner for worst major film of 2007.

Rating for Style: C+
Rating for Substance: D

 

Image Transfer

 One
Aspect Ratio2.35:1 - Widescreen
Original Aspect Ratioyes
Anamorphicyes


Image Transfer Review: This 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen presentation features the sharp, detailed images that we expect from a theatrical release. Shadow and contrast levels are consistent, while black levels are deep and rich, and the overall color-rendering is impressive. Grain, dirt, and other flaws aren't a factor at all.

Image Transfer Grade: B+

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
Dolby Digital
5.1
Englishno


Audio Transfer Review: The Dolby Digital 5.1 track is subdued, suffering from a lack of aggressive bass, which lessens the impact of the explosion scenes. The surrounds rarely spring to life, but the dialogue is always crystal clear and easy to understand.

Audio Transfer Grade: B-

 

Disc Extras

Static menu
Scene Access with 20 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English, Spanish with remote access
1 Original Trailer(s)
5 Other Trailer(s) featuring House, The Visitation, Hangman's Curse, Fox Faith, End of the Spear
Packaging: Keep Case
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: dual

Extras Review: The only extras are the theatrical trailer and previews for other Fox releases.

Extras Grade: D-

 

Final Comments

A slew of bad performances and an unfocused plot don't help, but a focus on Bible scripture will likely draw a devout Christian audience to this odd thriller. Fox's disc is solid, with superb audio and video presentations, but only a couple of trailers serve as extras.

 


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