Jess (Melissa George) is having a few home problems. She has an autistic son, lives by herself and is stressed. Thankfully, she’s about to go on a journey with a group of friends aboard the Triangle, a rather nice yacht. It’s the perfect opportunity to get away from the hassle of everyday life, so she drops her son off at school (or so she says) and joins the party.
Aboard the yacht, everything is going well, despite some concerns over Jess’ mental state. Greg (Michael Dorman) offers tons of useful exposition so that we don’t have to worry about the links between the characters. Sally (Rachael Carpani) and Heather (Emma Lung) plot to wrestle Greg from the, thus far, platonic clutches of Jess whilst Downey (Henry Nixon) and Victor (Liam Hemsworth) look after the yacht until a freak storm strikes, leaving Triangle wrecked in the water, and the crew left with no choice but to wait to be rescued.
Shortly, they manage to board a cruise liner that appears creepily deserted and out of time. To make it even worse, Jess seems to know the ship, even finding her own keys in a corridor. There’s plenty of other spooky happenings aboard the ship, all of which add to the growing sense of fear and unease.
Things get really weird when Jess is attacked by Victor and Greg gets shot by Jess, except she was being attacked at the time! Someone in a sackcloth mask is stalking the friends and Jess is going to have to figure it all out. With each passing moment, Jess is convinced she has control over events, but it becomes more and more obvious that she is just playing her role in the story.
I genuinely thought Triangle was going to turn into a Ghost Ship or Death Ship-esque story, however, it managed to really surprise me as it played some disturbing mind games throughout its 95 minute runtime, particularly with the sense of fragility that is Jess’ mind that draws you in and won’t let go. The story excels when it starts playing with its own timeline; you really do get hooked on Jess’ plight and find yourself trying to figure out what is happening and why.
Some of the CGI work mildly lets the film down, especially the look of the cruiser and some of the storm effects. It doesn’t kill the film by any means. It’s just a bit of a disappointment. Far stronger are the scenes aboard the cruiser, where narrow corridors add to the sense of claustrophobia. There is one moment that left me open mouthed. Jess drops her locket into a drain that contains dozens of identical lockets. This would later be eclipsed by a scene featuring a similar motif… just with bodies!
Amazingly, it’s in the last few minutes that Triangle really delivers one of its most stunning moments as Jess realises what she must do to save her own son, filling in a number of unanswered questions and bringing the film to a satisfactory conclusion.
If you enjoyed Creep and Severance, Smith’s previous offerings, you’ll enjoy the gore of Triangle, but be disappointed that it’s not a particularly horrific horror film. It lacks the dark humour of Severance and the terror of Creep, substituting these for an intelligently written, well executed and complex psychological thriller.
Chris Smith’s commentary is a one-man affair, giving him nobody to bounce off. It doesn’t suffer from this as Smith covers pretty much everything you would want to know. He’s an interesting speaker, though it is odd hearing him, quite literally, say, “I came up with this idea, thought it was good, and made a film.” It’s worth listening to the commentary after you’ve watched the film, as Smith fleshes out many of the plot points and covers the intricacies of creating a psychological horror, as well as the difficulties of making the film.
The Making Of runs at a very satisfying 42 minutes, exploring the conception of the film, casting and production (as you would expect a good Making Of to do!) It is quite detailed and definitely needs to be watched after the main feature. Some moments could have done with being expanded upon. I would have liked to hear more about part of the set being washed away! Particularly of interest is the location and stunt shooting of the yacht segments, the construction of the cruiser and Christopher Smith and the production crew talking about the challenges of making the film.
Deleted Scenes runs for just under five minutes and includes alternate takes. There’s two scenes here: an extended yacht scene during the storm and some additional exposition between Sally and Heather.
Poster Competition shows the winning poster by Ben Robinson from theDesign Your Own Triangle Poster competition. It would have been nice to have someone (the winner, maybe) talk a bit about this, even if it was just to explain the competition.
The Storm Featurette runs at under six minutes and looks at the storm. There’s a Framestore watermark on the video, so I’m guessing this was a package created by Framestore, the special effects company responsible for the CGI, as a publicity tool. Whilst I may have felt that the CGI was mildly disappointing (cruiser aside, the water is the most telling sign for me, and those responsible admit it is a challenge to render), there’s no doubt that lots of work went into the sequences and a lot of the technical achievement (along with the jargon) is featured in this.
Triangle is out now and available from the Den Of Geek Store.