Thr3e (2006)

As a species, we put a lot of stock into the idea of Karma and penance. The idea that our actions and consequences will balance out. That good deeds should be rewarded, and bad actions punished. That when these metaphorical scales are not balanced it can cause severe anguish. In 2006 an adaptation of a book took this idea to its murderous conclusion, as terror strikes in the powers of Thr3e.

Terror is striking, but it also knows when to pick it’s spots to build up drama.

The city is gripped by a killer, a killer who psychologically tortures his victims with traps to test his victims. Three months after the enigmatic Riddle Killer struck, his next target appears to be bright student Kevin Parson. The killer identifies himself by the initials R.K. But this time there seems to be a more personal connection than before. Now Parson must solve the murder and absolve the past transgression, the trouble is who would have a grudge against Parson to go this far?

The Riddle Killer is a mixture of creepy, and a forgotten post Attitude Era wrestler.

As the flagship of Fox’s faith-based film initiative, there are some elements of religion involved, not too much to feel overbearing yet enough to spice this gritty mystery. For those wanting a more agnostic experience would be pleased to know that Thr3e throws us straight into the action, with a sequence right at the start that introduces R.K., his Modus Operandi, and the credits. Throughout is a captivating mystery about past transgressions underscored perfectly with the setting, filmed in Poland, that’s filled with character.

Marc Blucas makes Parson’s feel like a smarter-than-the-average every-man that doesn’t deserve the killer’s attention.

Fans of the Saw franchise might see some stark similarities between the Riddle Killer and Jigsaw. The Riddle Killer isn’t as grandiose as Jigsaw but nonetheless feels strangely more efficient especially on the cheaper budget he has, R.K. seems like a guy who could get more bang for his buck. The characters seem intriguing and could all be capable of the nefarious scheme, in particular, Parson’s aunt, who appears to have a resentful attitude towards her nephew and a bizarre habit of censoring the newspaper to fit her viewpoints. While our wunderkind protagonist manages to portray the duality that is of being capable of solving a crime spree yet vulnerable. Blucas’s portrayal is especially effective towards the end once the killer is revealed.

Priscilla Barnes is terrific as Parson’s aunt.

Thr3e is an impressive adaptation, a mystery that will keep you guessing to the end. A philosophical thriller tackling the nature of good and evil with bomb threats and skeletons in the closet. But with a strong sense of mood that makes the film a good choice for those rainy nights. For those who want a little more faith with their fear-soaked thrillers will find Thr3e is more than a magic number.

Ohhh that’s why it is called Thr3e!

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