Let's face it. We live in a movie culture. Every weekend millions flock to theaters to check out Hollywood's latest installment of movie entertainment. More often than not we plop down $8-$10 for garbage and think little of it. No doubt there are some diamonds in the rough, and good, quality, clean films can be found if you look hard enough. But when will faith-based films find a place in our movie culture? Is it just a futile dream to think that Christians will ever be able to influence Hollywood? After watching Thr3e recently I am convinced more than ever that this dream is becoming a reality.
Thr3e is based on the best-selling novel by Ted Dekker, and is the first theatrical release by Fox Faith. This is a psychological thriller that tells the story of Kevin Parson, a troubled seminary student who finds himself the target of an insane serial killer. Kevin (Marc Blucas) begins to receive threatening phone calls from the mad man demanding that he confess his past sins. Criminal Psychologist Jennifer Peters (Justine Waddell) believes this mad man is the infamous Riddle Killer who murdered her brother, and she takes a special interest in Kevin's case. Kevin enters into a deadly cat and mouse game that brings his troubled past to the surface. Along with his best friend, Samantha (Laura Jordan), he must find out what the killer wants and how to stop him.
Thr3e is a fast-paced thriller that balances action and suspense perfectly. Fans of the novel will be pleased that the film maintains the integrity of the story, and the differences between novel and film are minor. Thr3e was shot in Poland on a very limited budget, and neither aspect is obvious on screen. Director Robby Henson does a masterful job of making all the parts work despite the limitations that many big-budget films don't have. Marc Blucas shines in his role as Kevin, and the supporting cast holds their own.
While this is a faith-based movie produced by a faith-based film company, Thr3e does not look like a Christian film and should not be labeled as a "family film". There is no profanity, sex, or inappropriate scenes and the PG-13 rating is accurate because of the intensity of the film. Many Christian critics have bashed Thr3e because there are no altar calls at the end or "come-to-Jesus" moments that one might expect from a Christian film. However, Thr3e excels where other faith-based films have failed in the past: It is relevant! This is a modern-day movie parable that both Christians and non-Christians can not only enjoy, but be challenged by. Thr3e is all about the struggle between good and evil and the film challenges us all to consider our own personal spiritual condition. The message is not thrown in our faces, and as a result is more effective.
Thr3e is a giant step forward in faith-based film and entertainment. Our collective hats should be off to Ted Dekker, Fox Faith, and the makers of this film for producing a movie that is entertaining, challenging, worth watching and relevant to our culture.