The third offering from director Christopher Smith (Creep, Severance) is his most complex and ambitious so far. I cannot tell too much or I will give away too much and ruin it for you, but here’s what I can.
A group of friends takes to the sea for an afternoon excursion on a small yacht. Within this social microcosm Jess, a single mother played by Melissa George, is the outsider. She has not brought her kid along and she seems worried, almost spooked, and cannot relax.
Soon the boat is in trouble, as a violent sea storm comes from nowhere, which rocks and topples the boat. As they sit on their overturned yacht awaiting rescue, they sight a passing liner called Aelus (geddit?), which they are able to board hoping to get to safety.
Although they have a glimpse of somebody onboard, the ship appears to be deserted, and strange things start to happen. Jess experiences a strong case of déjà vu and the survivors start a fight for survival more challenging than the sea storm.
Jess is a fascinating character. You will have to wait until the end to understand her behaviour and her motivations, and it will all make sense of a sort. Her maternal instinct provides her drive and resolution, and it is great to see her fight for her sanity in a hostile environment where she is both mentally and physically under threat.
The movie is beautifully lit and cleverly edited, and the acting, especially from George, is spot on. She really nails the woman on the verge of a serious breakdown (or is she?…) who is fighting for her survival so she can get back to her kid.
Technically, the movie is extremely well put together, and the nit-pickers among you will enjoy looking hard for good continuity, as we see several scenes over and over again, from the various characters’ perspectives.
There are several references to other sea horror movies, but I feel that Triangle holds its own and manages to pack a punch all the same. If it reminded me of another movie, it was Memento, because of its implications, rather than it being told backwards.
It appears to be derivative of Spanish movie Los cronocrímenes (Timecrimes), so if you have seen it, or you have already seen interviews with Melissa George or even certain trailers, you will probably already know too much about it and will not enjoy it thoroughly.
A lot – too much, perhaps – has been said about the movie and its plot twists, and I personally feel it would be better to go to the cinema without knowing much about it, as there is not a lot that can be said without spoiling it. If you start trying to work it out you will come up with a number of solutions for it: are we looking at a woman’s descent into madness? Is it a visualisation of guilt? A fantasy? An alternative reality scenario?
Whatever your solution to the plot, let yourselves be sucked in. Do not try to compare it to other cinematic fare, and you will thoroughly enjoy it. I certainly did.