It has been a long time since I saw TRIANGLE for the first time. I never got around to putting my thoughts down to be read because it’s a film that completely annihilated my brain upon watching it. It’s one of the first movies in years that when it was over I immediately started watching it again. It took me months to find any sort of closure as far as what I actually believe happened and I’m still not 100% sure if I’m ever going to feel confident about my theory.
The basic set up for director Christopher Smith’s film is somewhat similar to one of his previous films, SEVERANCE. A group of friends go out sailing and they encounter a huge storm which overturns their boat; they then find refuge on a huge ship that is eerily vacant. They soon find themselves being stalked one by one by a hooded figure looking to kill them.
Triangle is similar to SEVERANCE in the set up where a group of people are being hunted one by one. It’s different where Severance’s entire run time consists of just that, and in Triangle this all happens in the first 20 minutes or so, then it turns into something entirely different, and to discuss details beyond this point would completely cheapen the experience. All I will say is after that 20 minute set up the rest of the movie twists my brain into a knot that is incredibly hard to even find a starting point in which to unravel it.
The whole movie is sold by the performance from Melissa George for a variety of reasons. The supporting cast isn’t terrible, but are basically pawns in Christopher Smith’s elegant chess match he’s set up for the audience. This film is all about the mystery and it’s a mystery that falls back on top of itself several times and that’s both the maddening aspect and the most brilliant aspect of the film. I have no doubt there are people that watch this and say they had it figured out all along, but I refuse to believe it. I’m historically indecisive so TRIANGLE almost seems like the perfect film for my personality, I can never settle on one realization or decision and that might be why I love this movie so much. Even if I am confident with my reading of the film, it lingers in my brain and keeps me thinking and second guessing, which instantly makes the film a favorite for years to come.
If a satisfying cerebral film isn’t quite enough for you there are several very striking visuals throughout the film, many of them are found deep within spoiler territory which kills me to not divulge, but I promise some very cool tricks along the way. Admittedly, TRIANGLE is not the first movie to employ the means by which the story progresses, but it is done in a way that I really responded to.
In the end TRIANGLE is a dizzying but satisfying experience; the equivalent to putting a puzzle together upside down, where you don’t know exactly what your building towards but when you finish and turn it around the results are rewarding. Melissa George is the anchor of the film but the strings are pulled perfectly by Christopher Smith. You might figure out what’s happening behind the curtain, but the true satisfaction comes to those who reset their perceptions and view it differently each time.