Feb 18, 2011
I had no intention of reviewing Triangle as its qualities speak for themselves and don't require further recollection. This changed when a follower of Soiled Sinema requested me to review a film of Christopher Smith's. As I haven't seen his recently released period plague film, Black Death, I decided to scribble down the often wondrous effects that Triangle had me experience. Released in 2009, Triangle has often caught crossfire of being too much like Timecrimes or downright thieving the idea, when in fact, Triangle was slowly realized in 2004. Starring the gorgeous Australian bird Melissa George, Triangle takes her character of an overworked single mother far into the reaches of the supposed Bermuda Triangle. Christopher Smith had at one point clear references to the strange Atlantic phenomenon but abandoned them for subtlety. Smith then christened the yacht "Triangle" as to allude to something different all together. Contrary to his actions, though, everyone is still on board for a film that can't have too much competition for best film adapted to the Bermuda Triangle occurrences.
Despite boasting many of the films secrets in the trailer, Triangle is still a tightly wrapped film that contains many more surprises, even surprises of which couldn't be spoiled with text. When I had begun watching Triangle, within the first half an hour, a looming sense of dread had crawled its way up my back. I was enticed and excited, giving way to the pleasing subgenre of nautical terror. The first thing you must understand is the nature of Triangle. Very much like Timecrimes, Triangle takes the same fear of reliving trauma and striving to alter the future and propels it past science and into the paranormal. In Timecrimes, a time machine plays villain in Héctor's quest to right the death of a woman whereas in Triangle, a somber woman goes to extreme lengths to rejoin her autistic son. Since I've only grazed over the general idea of Triangle, allow me to lay the story straight. The film opens with a working-class single mother cleaning up a mess left by her autistic son. Today is the day, she recalls from a post-it note left on the refrigerator door. She packs a large bag, hoists it into the trunk, and meets a potential love interest at the docks before setting sail. Call it mother's catharsis, if you will. The soft crashing waves don't last, however. Soon an enormous electrical storm looms over them and disrupts the breezy getaway by capsizing the yacht, thrusting a woman into the abyss and shaking up the survivors. Their grief is interrupted suddenly as a large ship passes by, giving way to board.
I was a fan of Christopher Smith's Creep. His vision of subway horror became a film I could frequent within a year. Despite obvious pacing issues and the general malaise accompanying the horror genre, Creep managed to excel in suspense and a sliver of claustrophobia. Having recently watched a similar film entitled Stag Night, I realized just how golden Creep was, for what is was. Here in lies the problem with most contemporary horror. "Genre fans" are searching for a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, so to speak. While I love and often crave horror, it is an appetite that is rarely appeased. Every once in a while a film will come along and change my perception of horror for but several days. This interim gives me time to catch up on low-budget driftwood and realize why my hope is so far gone. Triangle is excluded from this category though so the tirade seems pointless. I wouldn't consider Triangle a horror film any more than I would a science fiction film. The events are indeed fictitious and the bloodletting ample, but Triangle poses something so far from the very basics of science and questions the human motive. This is much more than a slasher film for within the shells of Jess' incarnations, a humanity is sensed, albeit of a brutal and merciless variety.
Don't confuse my delving into the deeper nature of Triangle as an assertion of perfection. The film may showcase its brighter moments with zeal (such as the grotesque impromptu Sally graveyard) but it suffers mainly from the premise itself. Given the film is wrapped unto a cycle, many scenes are repeated over and over again to the point of mental exhaustion. I felt the same during Timecrimes but that Spanish time travel film featured an exquisite pair of breasts. You really have no idea how far nudity can further the excitement of an idea based on repetition into a territory that is pleasurable. Triangle's shortcomings are the fact that it is limited but this isn't the fault of Christopher Smith, rather, the strange subject matter he managed to tackle head on. Other than the reprehensible repeating playlist, Triangle is rare with fault. It's a gloomy take on a terrifying "Groundhog Day". Having a friend who hit a drunk Negro crossing the street and witnessing first hand the guilt consume his social life, I know, off-hand, the effects of taking a life. Now imagine that void multiplied and you got a strong opposer to the definition of desensitization. Triangle sure isn't perfect but it dies trying. Just peruse the many theories surrounding the fate of Jess, Jess, or even Jess and you'll see exactly what I mean.
Posted by Soiled Sinema at 7:08 PM
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