Written and directed by Christopher Smith, writer/director of Creep and Severance, as the DVD box is quick to remind us, Triangle is a film I only found out about through pure chance. Someone I followed posted about it and said that it was her goal to make everyone watch this film. I took a chance and put it in, knowing nothing of the plot, or the film itself, other than it was a horror film. Triangle revolves around Jess (Melissa George), a mother of a mentally disabled child. She is going out on a yacht trip with her friend Greg (Michael Dorman) and his other friends he has brought her to meet. Once they have set sail, they get hit by a freak storm, leaving them stranded. However, a ship comes by and they come on board, finding the ship to be seemingly deserted. Jess cannot shake the feeling on deja vu, and soon they discover they are being hunted by a masked individual, and Jess may hold the key to save them.
Reading that back, it sounds like the most formulaic, standard horror movie plot in existence. Apparantley most other people thought that too, as it failed miserably at the box office, earning only £260,000 on it’s relatively low budget of £1.5 million. The trouble with Triangle is you can’t really say any more than what I just wrote without spoiling the plot entirely. That plot is more of the framework. Believe me, this film is so much more than that. So, so much more. It’s a mind-bending, head-scratching horror movie that is not only one of the best written horror films I’ve ever seen, but one of my favourite films full stop.
Let’s start with the story. It’s, to use a technical phrase, completely raving bonkers. But in a good way. It’s designed to screw with your mind to no end, and it does so with grace and perfection. It’s that special kind of complex that’s elaborate enough to be interesting and keep you invested, but is still perfectly easy to follow. You know everything you need to know at that moment as things are gradually revealed to you at a perfect pace. Nothing feels rushed or contrived. It all feels perfectly natural.
The acting is also worthy of praise, especially Melissa George, who is extremely convincing in the fearless, determined role she’s given. In fact, seeing her in this may be the one thing to finally get me to watch 30 Days of Night. Anyway, all the supporting cast do great, with Liam Hemsworth’s second film appearance before he got really famous, and it’s possibly his best performance. Bear in mind, the supporting cast are well, just that. Supporting. Not that much emphasis is actually put on these characters, which is a mistake I’ve been seeing more and more recently, with films developing so many side characters that we just get over-whelmed and forget what the main focus should be. I’m looking at you, Prometheus.
Triangle is one of those films I think is criminally underrated. It’s story is wonderfully well-written and constructed, the acting is great, and the atmosphere it creates in the first 30-40 minutes is incredibly tense, without relying on jump scares. In fact, I didn’t count one in the whole movie. I suppose my one criticism is that after that first 30-40 minutes, it shifts away from horror and goes into thriller mode, which could disappoint some die-hard horror fans, but to me, it doesn’t matter as the fantastic story and writing more than carry the weight of the film with the need to be scary. In fact, I think it probably would have lessened the film. I highly recommend Triangle, and it really does need to be seen by more people and be known for the classic that it is.