I recently had the chance to screen a new film by Lou Simon called 3, which she wrote and directed. Now, if you made it to the opening of the New York Horror Film Festival this year, which runs from October 26th thru the 29th, then you might have seen Simon's film since it was the opening night feature presentation. 3 makes Simon's fifth feature film in her seven-year filmmaking career.
3 is a horror/mystery/thriller that has an eighty-two minute run time and is rated UR (unrated) but has language and violence in it. Simon's film is a serious psychological thriller about rape and revenge, but with a brilliant twist to it. The story is about a man and a woman that kidnap her rapist so that they can get a confession from him. The three of them are held up in a remote home but know that time is not on their side and it won't be long before the police show up. All they want the rapist to do is confess his crime on camera, but with every opportunity given, he swears he's innocent. As time runs out, questions are raised between the man and woman. Like how far are they willing to go to get justice and... what if they are wrong?
I have to say, I wasn't sure at first about this one. I've seen movies do the rape-revenge story before and they usually end up being more on the Saw (2004) torture side than anything else. Just look at I Spit on Your Grave (1978 or 2010) for an example. It was more about the payback than anything else. 3 on the other hand, has a bit of torture, but the focus is on the conflict between the man and woman. Is this the right thing to do, shouldn't he pay for what he did? It's more about the personal conflicts than the payback, which was nice to see. Simon's story goes deeper than the rape and payback, it covers the journey to seeking justice on a more emotional side of things.
The playthrough was pretty good. There are a few spots where things slow down a bit, but it never gets boring. After watching 3, I had to go back and watch it a second time because I was really surprised by the ending. It's one of those films where you go back and watch it knowing how everything ends, but seeing from a different perspective actually makes the second viewing even better, kind of like the movie The Sixth Sense (1999). Now, I do have to warn those in the audience that are sensitive to the subject matter in this movie, there are a lot of triggers that could be flipped while watching 3 and at one point we do witness the rape. I really enjoyed how Simon's neatly weaved together thought-provoking dialogue, a solid story around a subject that needs to be talked about.
Some of the cast you'll see is Todd Bruno (Proximity), Aniela McGuinness (HazMat) and Mike Stanley (Attack of the Morningside Monster). I thought everyone did a good job, but Burno really brought home the gold with his performance.
Something else that helped make 3 such a good movie was the work done by William Schweikert (cinematography) and Darla Wigley (makeup and special effects).
Overall, I was pleasantly surprised by how everything turned out. If you find a chance to watch this one, you should.