Monday, November 29, 2010

A Decade of Dreck #36: Thr3e

Charge Shot!!! is celebrating the end of the decade in the most masochistic way we know how - by watching and writing about the 100 worst movies of the last ten years as defined by film review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes. Click here to see RT's complete list, click here for more about the Decade of Dreck project, and click here to see all of the movies we've done so far.

Hey! Remember "7even" (pronounced "seven-even")? Wasn't that a good movie?

Serial killers: they're overdone. There are way too many serial killer movies out there. They're hackneyed, played out, cliched, et cetera. I would wager to guess that there have been more films about serial killers than there have been victims of serial killers, and keep in mind that a serial killer by definition has killed multiple people.

A central plot point of the amazing film Adaptation was that Charlie Kaufman's (Nicolas Cage) twin brother Donald (Nicolas Cage) was writing a screenplay of his own, a by-the-numbers thriller about a serial killer who is actually the split-personality of the detective trying to stop him. I can't believe it but that fake film-within-the-film exists and it is called Thr3e.

Kevin Parson is a theology grad student with a dark past: a period of abuse at the hands of his wicked aunt and a the fact that he once locked a bully in an abandoned warehouse and left him for dead. During an especially trying time working on his thesis, Kevin finds himself the target of the "Riddle Killer" (who everyone calls "R.K." in an increasingly annoying fashion), a murderer who, guess what, torments his victims with riddles and is constantly shouting at Kevin to confess his sins.

As was mentioned, Thr3e is by-the-numbers (har har har) to a fault. Everything in it you've seen before, blah blah blah. As if I haven't spoiled it already, it turns out that the Riddle Killer is in fact Kevin's split personality. I was actually genuinely mad when I was able to figure out that Kevin was the killer all along. But then, I became very, very happy to discover that the movie doubled down on the crazy by also making Kevin's best friend/love interest a part of his fractured mind as well! However, it was quite creepy when it turned out that Kevin's would-be-girlfriend "Sam" has the same name as her "father", a Walter Sobchak/John Milius lookalike police detective.

Oh, and the third act became okay when Bill Moseley showed up and Bill Moseleyed all over the place.

What makes this movie different from your run-of-the mill terrible serial killer movie du jour is the fact that it was produced by and marketed to evangelical Christians. Released by the Fox Faith imprint, the moral of Thr3e's story is that because Kevin grew up in a "world with no absolutes", he became crazy and created a good (and female, she's like a daemon!) side of himself, Sam, and an evil side, Slater the Riddle Killer. But the "world with no absolutes" Kevin grew up in was just his crazy aunt tormenting him. That's not a world without absolutes, that's actually just evil. I suppose it was just un-absolutist because the family that raised Kevin wasn't thumping the Bible at him (and his cousin was retarded, but that's a whole different story...).

The point is, God solves everything. Hosanna!

Thr3eis ranked #84 on the Rotten Tomatoes Worst 100 list with 6% freshness. Its RT page can be found here.