UK (dir. Christopher Smith)
Cast: Melissa George, Michael Dorman, Rachael Carpani, Emma Lung, Liam Hemsworth, Henry Nixon, Denis Péchanski
Synopsis: When Jess sets sail on her friend Greg’s (Michael Dorman, “The Secret Life Of Us”) yacht with a group of friends, she cannot shake the feeling that there is something wrong. Her suspicions are realized when the yacht hits a storm in the Bermuda Triangle and the group is forced to board a passing ocean liner to get to safety. The ship appears deserted, but Jess is convinced she’s been on board before. They soon realize they are not alone and that someone is intent on hunting them down, one by one.
Review: Is there any better fuck than a mind-fuck? In a post-“Inception” world, movies like “Triangle” are the kind of mind screwy-type films that should be finding a wider audience, but sadly aren’t. Though the title of the film and the piece of crap poster might lead you to believe this to be some sub-par Bermuda Triangle horror film or worse, another “Ghost Ship”, rest assured it is neither. “Triangle” is instead a well-crafted puzzle, parallel to “Inception” in the sense that it follows somewhat of a cyclical storyline, with the beginning of the film revealing the end and the end of the film re-living the beginning. To be fair, I really can’t spend too much of this review getting all nit-picky about what I did and didn’t like, because the more I talk about the film, the more I will ruin your experience of it (yes, it’s that type of film – the more I blab, the more I spoil). So if you are interested in checking this out, let me warn you that though my review will be brief and about as un-spoiler-ly as I can manage, the best way to experience “Triangle” is to go into it as blindly as one can possibly manage.
As explained in the synopsis, single mother of an autistic child, Jess, is part of an ill-fated boating excursion in what we can only assume is an area within the legendary Bermuda Triangle. Boarding an abandoned cruise liner that kinda just happens to be anchored in the middle of the ocean after a freak storm, Jess feels a growing sense of deja vu. And as Jess and her friends start getting picked off my a masked assailant wearing a burlap sack mask a la “The Strangers”, she soon comes to the realization that the assailant is a copy of herself, right down to the red strappy sandals (although why the assailant has man-hands is beyond me). What follows is a three-part loop, or triangle if you will, where Jess finds herself caught in what appears to be a time loop, reliving the same experience three times in three different ways. The last 20 or minutes of the film prove to be the most profound, as Jess comes face to face with the person she really is. Mirrors popping up all throughout the film symbolize, at least to me, her fractured psyche and the repetitive nature of the film which, after some time spent replaying the same scenes over and over, can become a tad tedious.
The premise of the film is spectacularly engaging, and unlike many films where you can already predict the ending or call out what will happen in the next few scenes, this one is a real shocker, screwing with your perceptions of the film right up until the jaw-dropping final act. And of course, once it’s over, you’ll be clamoring to watch it again.
Unfortunately, the film is not without its flaws. Shallow characters with little depth comprise basically the entire cast besides Jess (played by Melissa George, in what is likely her best role in a horror film yet). A lot of the plot is left open to interpretation, and while you may find yourself hungering for a big explanation for the film’s seemingly supernatural events, don’t expect a big pay off in the end or any definite answers- things just get keep getting weirder and weirder. However, with a premise as intriguing and captivating as that of “Triangle”, it’s so easy to ignore the gaping plot holes and unanswered questions. In a sense, that’s what makes this very Lynchian film all the more wonderful; it provokes discussion, personal interpretation, retrospection and of course, re-watching. So while the poster art and title might throw you off, I suggest giving “Triangle” a well-deserved chance. It’s a solid film by a very evidently talented writer/director.
(Oh, and big “LOLs” for this scene… who throw a shotgun, really?)