by Kevin Carr
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|| MOVIE: ** (out of 5 stars)
DVD EXPERIENCE: * (out of 5 stars)
Marc Blucas as KEVIN PARSON
Justine Waddell as JENNIFER PETERS
Laura Jordan as SAMANTHA
Max Ryan as MILTON
Bill Moseley as SLATER
Sherman Augustus as DETECTIVE BILL
Priscilla Barnes as BALINDA PARSON
Studio: Fox Faith
Directed by: Robby Henson
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Unless youíre a real hard-core fan of suspense and horror films, you probably missed ďThr3eĒ when it was out in the theaters. It had a very limited run, but now itís on DVD for people who want to catch up on things.
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ďThr3eĒ tells the story of Kevin Parsons (Marc Blucas), a seminary student who finds himself the target of a serial killer. After narrowly escaping his car exploding, Kevin turns to his childhood friend Samantha (Laura Jordan) for help. Also there to help is Jennifer Peters (Justine Waddell), a famous criminal profiler who has grappled with the serial killer before. In fact, the killer is responsible for the death of her brother while she was on the case.
Kevin fears for his life, and he does whatever the killer says. The number one order is to keep the police out of things, and he manages to keep himself isolated, save his involvement with Jennifer. As they investigate the man stalking Kevin, everyone realizes the problem goes deeper than the surface, and Kevinís own history is the key.
When the film started, I was very much into it. The movie managed to bridge the gap between serial killer cliches and police procedural shows. The script laid out an intriguing story. I felt sympathy for Kevin, and while he made some bone-head moves, I generally liked him.
I also liked how they brought in Jennifer Peters. She was an interesting character with her own skeletons in her closet.
However, about half-way through the film, I started to get a sinking feeling that this was leading to a giant cliche. Sadly, the last half of the film doesnít come close to living up to the build-up the first half gives. Things begin to unravel when Kevin returns to where he grew up with an insane and oppressive aunt (played by Priscilla Barnes who seems to only appear in low-grade horror films any more).
Things just get unbelievably weird with his aunt, who is so far gone from sanity that itís hard to believe that as an orphan he was given to her. Itís one thing to have someone living in the middle of nowhere with crazy people, but this group of folks lived in the suburbs.
As I reached the end of the film, I realized that the story was entering a realm of predictability that is almost unforgivable. Not only did I guess how things would work out, but the explanation was about as cliched and intellectually offensive as any thriller Iíve seen.
Itís a shame that filmmakers donít watch more movies like the ones they make. If they did, they might realize that some plots have been tired and unsatisfying going back to the days of EC horror comics and ďThe Twilight Zone.Ē
ďThr3eĒ comes with no real special features to speak of. Itís a decent film, from a technical angle, and if you like these sorts of direct-to-DVD quality flicks, you might enjoy it. Otherwise, there are better things out there.
Specifications: Dolby 5.1 Surround Sound. Fullscreen (1.33:1) and widescreen (1.78:1) available. French and Spanish language tracks. French and Spanish subtitles. English language subtitles for the hearing impaired.