News Articles

Ted Dekker’s popular novel ‘THR3E’ now a movie

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)–Christian novelist Ted Dekker doesn’t sugar coat evil in his books. The new movie “THR3E,” based on his 2004 award-winning novel, doesn’t either.

Rated PG-13, “THR3E” hits theaters Friday and is the latest release from FoxFaith, the Twentieth Century Fox label created to distribute movies targeting the Christian community. Some Christians, no doubt, will be uncomfortable with the film, which follows a seminary student as he and a police psychologist search for a psychotic killer who always leaves riddles before striking. “THR3E,” though, gives Christians something rarely if ever found in Hollywood: a tense, plot-twisting thriller with a shocking ending, minus the language and sexuality.

“If you try to soften the true nature of evil on the screen or in your writing, in essence you’re being complicit with evil, because its purpose is to hide itself like a wolf in sheep’s clothing,” Dekker told Baptist Press. “I say let’s pull the wool off. In doing that, you’re also pulling the wool off of many Christians’ eyes and they’re a little bit shocked by what they see.

“I’m characterizing evil in a way that’s consistent with its true nature rather than being complicit with evil and hiding its true nature.”

Dekker’s fans apparently agree. He has written more than 20 books that have sold 1.7 million copies, and his novel “THR3E” won the ’04 Gold Medallion Book Award for fiction presented by the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association. Dekker says he’s “very happy” with the film, which was filmed in Poland for $2.4 million.

“This is simply a modern retelling of the old metaphor that we all know of a guy standing there with a little devil on one shoulder and a little angel on the other shoulder, trying to decide what to do,” Dekker said. “There are three people — there’s the man, there’s the devil, there’s the angel.

“It’s a retelling of Paul’s teaching in Romans 7, where he says the good that I would, that I do not, but that which I would not, that I do…. We all have that struggle. That point is made very clear at the end of the movie.”

Like other movies in its genre, “THR3E” has its share of disturbing images and heart-pounding scenes. But it has a definite Christian worldview, and Dekker says, was made without the language and sexuality on purpose.

“There are other ways to characterize the struggle between good and evil other than using the gratuitous language and sex,” Dekker, the son of missionaries in Indonesia, said.

“THR3E” isn’t the only novel-turned-movie by Dekker coming out this year. “House,” co-written with Christian novelist Frank Peretti, is scheduled to be released as a film later this year, Dekker said.

“House will be unique in that it definitely is more disturbing [than THR3E],” Dekker said. “… It’s a messianic story. But people are going either to love it or hate it. It’s the Gospel played out in front of you. It has some very powerful moments and yet it’s a horror story. It’ll definitely be a first within the church.”

“THR3E” is the first of an expected six or more releases from FoxFaith this year. “The Last Sin Eater,” based on the novel by Francine Rivers, is scheduled to come out Feb. 16, and “The Ultimate Gift,” based on the novel by Jim Stovall, March 9.

    About the Author

  • Michael Foust