The Butterfly Effect 3: Revelations (2009)

Sam Reide (Chris Carmack) is an undercover time-traveller - helping the police solve crimes by travelling to the past, with the help of an ice bath and the supervision of his slightly unstable sister Jenna (Rachel Miner), and watching the grisly murders as they take place.  One day the sister of his first true love, Rebecca Brown, pays a visit as she has evidence that the man on death row for Rebecca's murder is innocent, and she asks for Sam's help.  Will Sam break the rules?  Could he just watch as his girlfriend is murdered?  Will he solve the crime - or will it irreversibly affect all that he has worked for in the future?

Our Rating: 5/10 - better than most straight to DVD, but not even close to the original
Watchability: 5/10 - but you might want to close your eyes for the needlessly gruesome horror scenes
Contributed By: JT
Tagline: Death repeats itself.

Release Date: 2009-07-31
IMDb icon 5.6/10
  • Country: USA
  • Language: English
  • Runtime: 130
  • Budget: $4,500,000
  • Production: After Dark Films

So, how does the movie end??

Sam doesn't listen to advice and keeps jumping back to the past, without Jenna's help, to try and catch the serial killer he may have created.  He waits in the cupboard of the third victim, Anita Barnes (who shares his love for whiskey), and watches as she is attacked -- but it turns out to be her boyfriend, as she is into some sick rape fantasy thing.  He is found hiding, and sent forward, confused.  He finds out soon enough that Anita Barnes is still alive, but has taken out a restraining order on him, and the third victim is now Lonnie.  Goldberg has also disappeared - and it looks like it was 'future Sam the murderer' as Jenna reveals he was about to go public.

Sam goes for a drink at the bar and is turned down by Vicki in this timeline.  As he leaves, Vicki is brutally murdered by the masked chainsaw murderer.  Sam's name was on the last receipt from the bar so he is hauled to the station again, and released later by Jenna and a high-price lawyer.  He has stolen a police diary of the events, and uses it to jump needlessly to the location before the murders were committed.  It's not clear whether he sees anything other than ""Welcome Home"" written in blood on the walls.

Back in the future, Jenna is a different person to her character at the beginning and growing in confidence.  Sam returns to the crime scene, again for some weird reason, where the police pick him up.  In the cells he uses his ""joker"" card to call Detective Glen, and reveals that he isn't a psychic but a time traveller - and ""proves"" it with a weak bit of info that his wife thought he looked like MC Hammer. Glen risks his job to release him.

Sam goes home, and smells toxic flowers on Jenna's bed, starting the paralysis in motion. He drags his limp body and some ice to the bath and manages to jump just in time to the crime scene again. He finds Goldberg, badly beaten in the bloody room, and runs to get help - but is snared by a hunters tap.

The hooded chainsaw serial killer approaches him ... and removes the hood ...

And it is Jenna!

She cares for her brother and reveals the twist - she can jump too.  She has told him many times, in other timelines.  She loves him, a little too much, and is jealous of the other women in his life - the other women murdered were his future/past girlfriends, and Lonnie who cheated on him with Rebecca. She tries to make a move on him. Sam quite rightly is repulsed. Without ice or anything else, he time travels to the fire when he was 15.

In another disturbing scene his parents escape, but he keeps the door locked on his sister so she is burned alive.  He leaves the house, and his parents break down when they see that he didn't rescue his little sister.

Back in the future, Sam is now married to Rebecca's sister, and they are travelling to a family barbecue - with their daughter, called Jenna, in the back.  At the BBQ are his parents and friends, including a fit again Goldberg. His daughter walks up to the 'barbie' and places her Barbie on the flames and smiles with a psychotic grin.  I thought this meant that she is somehow the reincarnation of Jenna, or Jenna somehow jumped into her body or something, but it might just be a coincidence thing that the serial killer gene runs in the family and they'll have trouble when she hits those teenage years!

Chris Carmack
Chris Carmack
Sam Reide
Rachel Miner
Rachel Miner
Jenna Reide
Kevin Yon
Kevin Yon
Harry Goldburg
Sarah Habel
Sarah Habel
Elizabeth Brown
Mia Serafino
Mia Serafino
Rebecca Brown
Linda Boston
Linda Boston
Landlady
Our Comments:

I love time-travel movies and anything on TV where the main character has a chance to jump to the past and change their life for the better, which almost always results in more trouble and has the hidden message that ""the grass isn't always greener"" and that all experiences, good and bad, make us who we are and it's never as bad as we think (or usually could be).

Part of the magic of the original with Ashton Kutcher was the 'set up' in the first act, with the scenes where he could jump to, and how that affected the future timeline. It also had the usual conflict where the time traveller is completely alone, and also tried its best to give some explanation on how the jumping works with the diary entries.  This just jumps straight to the action, everyone is in on the fact he can time travel, and the way he just needs to sit in the bath and think of a date is a little disappointing (!) - they could have improved that with some type of a creative idea.  Even the photos in the terrible Butterfly Effect 2 were better!

The serial killer idea, borrowed from Frequency, was a good twist though and makes it more watchable than just another film of a dude trying to turn his life around.

Member Comments:

danR - "A genre-respecting movie won't plug in the reincarnation-theme at the last second, nor make audiences fumble around in the metaphorical dark to come up with that solution.
What we have to work with is the bbq fire, and the blond and therefore highly likely Jenna(sister) doll symbolism and the grin, either a grin of satisfaction, and/or of psychopathic evil.
The best fit for these items is that the daughter is some kind of time-jump genetically advanced prodigy. In the backwards world of time-travel/causality, we have no reason to think in terms of a straightforward chain of events through time, one leading to another. I conclude that the daughter had been jumping around time quite a bit, spying on unguarded comments by her father, the police, etc. and had determined that her very existence depended on the death of her aunt.

Part II (this final paragraph didn't fit the limit):
There's no reason to think that her father and the time-guru stopped jumping, albeit no more CONSCIOUS meddling, and she manipulated them unwittingly to 100% insure her aunt's death. This would resolve the problem that travelers can only jump within their own lifetimes, but it may have been simply an oversight.

I also think it was intended to foreshadow yet another sequel. Perhaps the aforementioned plot-glitch would have been explained."

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