Filmed last year under the simpler title “3” writer/director Lou Simmons 3: AN EYE FOR AN EYE is her fifth film and may finally be the one to get her name widely known. Despite helming enjoyable films such as ALL GIRLS WEEKEND and HAZMAT she’s never really broken out. This twisty cross between 7 DAYS and a more standard rape/revenge film should change that. Essentially a story of three characters, (referred to as He, She and It in the summary), 3: AN EYE FOR AN EYE takes a straightforward sounding plot and adds several layers of complexity to it.
A year ago She (Aniela McGuinness AGORAPHOBIA) was raped. It (Mike Stanley ATTACK OF THE MORNINGSIDE MONSTER) was arrested but released due to a lack of evidence. Now with the help of He (Todd Bruno HAZMAT), She kidnaps her alleged attacker with the intention of torturing a videotaped confession out of them. However, things go wrong almost from the start. It maintains his innocence, even as the torture ramps up. This begins to get on the nerves of He, who suffers from PTSD, (he’s a veteran using “interrogation” skills he learned in Iraq), which can trigger episodes of violent rage.
Her attacker drugged her before raping her. Is it possible she’s misremembering who did it? As it is her stories has inconsistencies. And when two apparently unrelated bodies turn up hidden in the basement something becomes obvious. At least one of the three isn’t what they claim to be.
3: AN EYE FOR AN EYE is definitely one of those films where saying too much about the plot and its twists will ruin the effect. Simmons does a great job of slowly revealing the story layer by layer. She never actually misdirects the audience but she doesn’t always make it clear what the latest revelations mean either. Even when something comes as a surprise it’s a logical development, not something pulled out of nowhere. And that’s quite an accomplishment considering where this ends up.
Simmons also deserves a lot of credit for working gracefully around what has become a very hot issue, casting doubt on an alleged victim’s story. It’s handled in a manner that makes sense which is good because doubt of all kinds is central to the story. Unlike REVENGE we don’t see the rape in the first act, so them having the wrong person is a possibility.
3: AN EYE FOR AN EYE is a tense psychological thriller punctuated with bursts of violence and gore. It’s not a cheerful or uplifting one, but it is very effective.
Uncork’d Entertainment will release 3: AN EYE FOR AN EYE to VOD on August 7th.