Triangle is a tale of psychological Horror on the high seas starring Melissa George (A Lonely Place to Die, 30 Days of Night) and Michael Dorman (Daybreakers, Needle). It was written and directed by one of my favorite genre filmmakers: Christopher Smith, the man responsible for the underground subway Horror Creep and what I consider one of the best Horror Comedies of the 21st Century, Severance. But Triangle is unlike Smith’s previous genre offerings as it contains a hefty does of metaphysics.
Check out my review after the jump.
Official Synopsis: The film is a psychological thriller set inside the Bermuda Triangle. When Jess (Melissa George) hits a seagull on a drive to the local harbor, little does she know that it is a harrowing omen of things to come. She sets sail on a yacht with a group of friends and already things are not as they seem – she just can’t put her finger on why. Her suspicions are heightened when the yacht hits a storm and the group is forced to board a passing ocean liner to get to safety – a ship Jess is convinced she’s been on before. The ship appears deserted, the clock on board has stopped, but they are not alone. Someone is intent on hunting them down, one by one. And Jess unknowingly holds the key to end the terror.
It’s rare to discover a film that can be discussed accurately in metaphors. Fore example: Have you ever stood in front of a mirror with another mirror behind you? You know that effect it creates, where you see exact but smaller reflections of yourself bending off into infinity? That’s what watching Triangle is like.
The viewing experience also reminded me of electronic music (ok, hear me out). I’m a big fan of industrial music and the band Nine Inch Nails. Front-man Trent Reznor has this method of building sonic landscapes based on one continuous loop. Each time the loop repeats, however, a new layer of sound is added to the mix. Even if the tempo is slow and initially minimalistic, the continuous layering adds increasing intensity at each repetition, usually creating a complex and harrowing audio experience. Triangle is a film that, similarly, moves in loops. Each time we arrive back at the beginning, a new element is added, a new layer of complexity and intensity. The result is a film that never feels repetitive as it builds to a fever pitch, a rich and multifaceted symphony of terror.
Allusions to The Shining are numerous in Triangle. Jess’ street address is 237; later, when the group explores the deserted ocean liner (the Aeolus), they are drawn to Room 237 where they receive a message on the bathroom mirror—written in blood. Room 237 is, of course, the room in the Overlook Hotel that Danny was forbidden to enter. This reference in Triangle definitely hints at a supernatural influence; the Aeolus is, in essence, a giant floating hotel that certainly feels haunted. But this connection goes deeper; the conclusion of The Shining hints that Jack Torrance has lived previous incarnations at the Overlook, just as the cast of Triangle find themselves locked into some sort of metaphysical repetition. Other allusions to The Shining include the ship’s ballroom, and the axe Jess eventually uses to defend herself.
Triangle oozes with subtext and makes for great after-viewing conversation. The film deftly weaves themes of déjà vu and cheating death, while illustrating the potential futility of trying to change events in the past. Even though the “looping” effect creates a sense of familiarity with the story, it’s never boring; I genuinely enjoyed being in the moment at every turn. While there is a juicy twist in the film’s Third Act, the conclusion feels slightly too concrete; I would have enjoyed a bit of ambiguity that might have allowed additional interpretations of the filmmaker’s intent.
I want to make sure aficionados pay particular attention to the death of Sally (Rachel Carpani). It’s an incredibly impactful and shocking moment, one that hammers home the desperate scenario the entire cast is stuck in.
Low on excessive gore and big on production, Triangle is a film that can be appreciated by Horror fans and mainstream movie-viewers alike. Even though there’s a lot of pseudo-science going on, you don’t have to be a genius to follow this compelling story. Triangle is another excellent film from Christopher Smith—a shinning addition to his already impressive filmography.
3.5 out of 5 Skull Heads.
|Studio||First Look Studios|
|Starring||Melissa George, Holly Marie Combs, Rachael Carpani, Emma Lung, Liam Hemsworth, Michael Dorman, Henry Nixon|