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First Look Review - 3

3 lou simon review
A man and woman attempt to extract a confession from the man who sexually assaulted the latter.







Review by Sue Finn

Directed by: Lou Simon

Starring: Katie Carpenter, Todd Bruno, Mike Stanley, Aniela McGuinness, Jim Adams

3 lou simon poster

Rape revenge movies are nothing new. There is a robust audience out there that finds this subgenre attractive, and movies with its theme often do well financially, catering to people who find the viewing experience cathartic and satisfying. In fact, research has shown me that there are entire books written on this sub genre alone; so it was with this foreknowledge that I sat down to watch the latest movie from Lou Simon3.

Opening with a kidnapping, we head almost immediately into the story of She and He (their names are not revealed until the finale), apparent friends who have cooked up a little revenge plot that they are now in the midst of putting into action, having caught the man She claims attacked her.


3 lou simon

He ties the alleged rapist to a chair down in the basement, hoping the coercive techniques he learned in the armed forces and in his time in combat will enable him to extract the confession they are convinced they need. They want the closed case reopened and are certain a taped confession will do it.

The man downstairs, known as It, professes no knowledge of the crime, and His pushing for the truth makes up the bulk of the rest of the film.

There are things to learn about all three of these intriguing characters; back stories to fill in as they while away the time between torturing It in the basement; time to question things... and each other. The audience is kept in the dark regarding the guilt or innocence of It, and to process the cruelties visited upon him and make our own judgment there.


3 lou simon

Aside from very tiny bit parts, three actors are all you really see on screen. There is essentially one set - the house; and only one clear story, or so it seems. From these threadbare materials, Simon has crafted a taut and clever little movie.

The exposition is eked out carefully over the 80 minute running time, never too much at once, just enough to keep you going until the next small piece of information that forms together to make one hell of a thought-provoking puzzle.

There is a twist, and though it's not unfamiliar, it is wielded here in a different way than used previously, which gives the story a distinctive viewpoint for this kind of genre movie.

The restraint and assuredness shown by Simon is commendable. One or two ‘linger on the unconvincing body part’ shots aside, she excels at knowing when and what to reveal. Once the tortures escalate, the effects aren’t quite able to keep up, but this is a small quibble in an otherwise well made film.


3 lou simon

Script aside, the main strength of 3 lies with the actors - all give exemplary committed performances, which in a small cast like this is vital. Aniela McGuiness as She, Todd Bruno as He and Mike Stanley as It sell this story completely and pull off every twist and turn with aplomb.

Simon wrote this film as well as directed it, and though I would like to point out why the script is brave and unique and significant, to do so would reveal a major plot point, so I will just say that this is not a voice or perspective often seen in film, and for that it's an important one.

Interesting, unusual, chilling and smart.

I liked this a lot.

3 will be the Opening Night feature at the NYC Horror Film Festival (October 26th in New York, NY).



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