I HATE when a trailer gives away a bit too much and the trailer for “Triangle” is one of those kind. Anyway, Jess is taking a much needed break from her autistic son by spending a Saturday on a yacht in the Atlantic with a small group of friends. Unfortunately, a violent storm pops up and causes the boat to capsize. Things begin to look desperate for the group until an ocean liner, the SS Aeolus, pulls up allowing them to come aboard. But something is not right. The clocks are all stopped, and the ship seems to be deserted with no passengers or crew to be found. As the group begin exploring the liner for help, Jess cannot shake the feeling that she has been here before. This sense of deja-vu continues, even when a masked individual makes themselves known, and begins hunting the group down, killing them one by one.
I was a bit hesitant going into this one, as the British director, Christopher Smith, has a very aggravating habit of making movies I want to like but always end up coming away more disappointed than entertained. Starting with “Creep” (our review) and then the much better “Severance”, Smith likes to take standard horror conventions and then twist them up a bit. It’s just too bad that the overall movies are never as good as the idea behind them. So I expected the same experience with “Triangle”. The plot (and revealing trailer) was reminiscent of the excellent Spanish film “Timecrimes” (our review) and I really expected Smith to fumble the ball while attempting to tackle that kind of subject matter. Maybe my expectations being a bit low lends to my next statement, but goddamn I loved this flick.
The cast is mostly unknown, all doing fine work with Melissa George playing the lead character Jess convincingly and almost to the point of being unlikable. Not sure if that is on purpose or not, but I never really found myself pulling for her, or on her side as much as just following her so that I could figure out what was going on along with her. By the end of the film, I think it is apparent why she was not a character that the viewer could warm up to as I don’t think you were ever supposed to.
As a psychological thriller, I thought it worked wonderfully. The tone is somber with a bit of dread that when mixed with the interior of the Aeolus, reminded me a good bit of The Overlook in Kubrick’s “The Shining“. Sure, if you examine the plot too closely you may cause small holes and gaps in logic to turn into bottomless pits and wide chasms. But I think that all depends on what conclusions you come to by the end credits. My personal conclusion on what was happening in the movie comes from very blatant clues shown in the film and using that I feel “Triangle” works. To give much more information would ruin the experience, so I am really hoping that some of you take my advice and check out “Triangle” so that we can discuss it. If you like it or not, it would be interesting to hear your thoughts and theories. It’s a mind-fuck of a movie, one of those brain twisters that make your head hurt with the implications and possibilities once you are given that final piece of the puzzle. I had a great time with it and glad to see Smith getting better as he goes. Aside from some sketchy CGI work, there isn’t anything I didn’t like about this film. I’m giving it four life preservers out of five.