“ Genre: Horror / Theatrical Release: 2009 / Suitable for 15 years and over / Director: Christopher Smith / Actors: Liam Hemsworth, Michael Dorman, Henry Nixon, Emma Lung, Melissa George ... / DVD released 2010-03-01 at Icon Home Entertainment / Features of the DVD: Anamorphic, PAL „
* Prices may differ from that shown
Quite often I read reviews on here and if a review is written by somebody I read their reviews of often and I trust their opinion I will instantly go on to Amazon and order it as I love films and I really fancied watching this one!
Film Only Review:
Melissa George plays the main character in this film who is Jess who is a mummy to a young autistic boy. We see her going about her day and then going off to meet a friend for a day sailing on his boat with 5 other people. Shes acting a bit shady when she gets there and explains that she is tired and so goes down for a nap which lasts a couple of hours to which she wakes from a bad dream.
Suddenly with everyone having a good time and Jess getting cosy with her friend who invited her Greg played by Michael Dorman the sky goes overcast and there seems to be a storm on the horizon. Someone from the group is swept away as the rain lashes down and the situation is dangerous leaving the boat in tatters and the group of now 5 people are stuck on the destroyed boat in the middle of no where when a big ship approaches and stops and they get on it, thankful to be saved. Once on the boat though they soon realise that the boat is deserted and there is no one about....or is there? The ship is in good shape with even a food banquet laid on however the film then starts to get rather complicated......
Jess feels de ja vu on the boat from the moment that she gets on it however events start to unfold, people are being attacked and Jess becomes prime suspect. The film then consists of flashback and present day footage and you can soon see why Jess is the prime suspect to the attack and the odd things that are going on! There's plenty of running around and fighting for survival, blood and a bit of swearing but this isn't a slasher movie and its not too graphic.
Talk about a complicated plot and I really do hate films that have an open ending and leave me feeling just as baffled as when I watched it, though I tolerated that well with this one! I followed the film well although complex in storyline however I will say that Melissa Georges characters (yes I did say characters and you have to watch the film to understand that comment I'm afraid lol) was a bit messed up at times and I lost track of her a bit but like I say that statement is hard to quantify without me giving the game away!
However the film did make me want to watch it, the music in it was eerie and it really is a suspense thriller sort of film and the actors did a good enough job with their portrayal of their characters.
Lasting 95 minutes this film didn't drag at all and kept me entertained and it has a 15 rating which I feel is right.
For me this is one to watch when bored more than a must watch!
This review is also posted on Ciao under this same username.
Star - Melissa George
Genre - Slasher/Horror
County - UK/AUS
Certificate - 18R
Run Time - 99 minutes
Blockbusters - £0.99 per night rental
Amazon - £3.75 DVD (£8.20 Blue Ray)
Occasionally you get a film that is so deliciously neat and clever you can't help but applaud it. It may not be the best film in the world but you feel thoroughly entertained and impressed with the way the screenplay manages to skillfully guide you through the intricate maze without giving away too much and so distracting you from putting your foot in the gaping plot holes. Triangle is that movie. For a low budget horror film that nobody watched, a lot of work went into this screenplay to make a simple idea quite a complex movie, in the way Source Code and Ridley Scotts Déjà Vu did, the way the weekly Twilight Zone used to do. In fact this is the most complex slasher/horror I have seen since the excellent Saw.
To best describe this without giving too much away is its Final Destination meets that Denzel Washington film Déjà Vu, time wobbles and paradoxes the order of the day. The rather typecast Melissa George is the sexy star here playing yet another emancipated female hero on the run from herself, last seen in 'The Hunted', that bonkers BBC spy thriller that made little sense, and also in the Scottish film 'A Lonely Place to Die', another acquired taste, George the ideal slasher chick to race things along.
Melissa George ... Jess
Joshua McIvor ... Tommy
Jack Taylor ... Jack
Michael Dorman ... Greg
Henry Nixon ... Downey
Rachael Carpani ... Sally
Emma Lung ... Heather
Liam Hemsworth ... Victor
=== The Plot===
Miami girl Jess (Melissa George) lives with her autistic son Tommy (Joshua McIvor). Today Jess is going to enjoy a trip on a yacht called 'Triangle', owned by her friend Greg (Michael Dorman), enjoying a welcome break from her son for a days sailing. Accompanying them are Victor (Liam Hemsworth), Heather (Emma Lung), and young couple Downey (Henry Nixon) and Sally (Rachael Carpani). Greg has invited Jess to bring her son Tommy, but when he asks Jess where he is, she claims he's at school.
Out at sea, Jess seems unusually edgy and unsure, trying hard to make friends but not able to enjoy herself. Something is not quite right with this trip and she is suffering serious déjà vu. When suddenly becalmed, an equally strange and violent squall whips up and the turbulence and waves topple the yacht, the occupants clinging for dear life on the upturned hull as the storm passes.
Becalmed again in the midday sun a convenient cruise liner heads towards them to offer rescue, named Aeolus (from the Greek word keeper of the winds), a tiny figure on the deck waving at them, the guys seizing the chance to jump aboard. But as they look around it seems to be a ghost ship, and an old one, the clocks stopped and no one around the pristine art deco liner, circa 1930s. Jess is now concerned more than most as she feels she has been here before, the discovery of her discarded house keys already on the ship making the rest feel rather edgy. How is it possible that her keys are here? A message written in blood on the mirror telling them to go to the theatre is proof enough they are not alone.
Then tragedy strikes when they are attacked by a masked killer on the boat, firing a double barrel shotgun at them. As the body count rises and her friends are picked off one by one, Jess chases down the attacker and confronts them with an axe on the ships railing. Just before she swings for the kill, the hooded person warns her to 'kill them all to save her son', before toppling over the side into the ocean. It seems the intruder knows who Jess is and how she got here, all very weird, the upturned yacht and the dead body heading for the horizon and so no way off the ghost ship...
The only real problem with this enjoyable time-crime slasher is you twig the twist too early and so you nod away to yourself knowingly when it happens, making you feel clever but still half the movie to go. But it does stay interesting and exciting as writer/director Christopher Smith skillfully covers his tracks, adept at planting the twists in the non linear narrative the film demands to function correctly, with great precision at times. Bristol boy Smith also directed the equally enjoyable horror comedy 'Severance' and made his mark with the edgy debutante effort 'Creep' and so on the ball at building the tension. He even made a Danny Dyer movie (Severance) worth watching! That takes major talent.
It's a British financed movie that came in at around £8 million pounds and partly funded by the lottery, even though it was shot in Queensland and most of the cast are Australian, including the sexy Sydney born Melissa George and Melbourne boy Liam Hemsworth, the youngest of three acting Aussie brothers, the hunky Chris 'Thor' Hemsworth the oldest and most famous. As it's an unknown cast here they are easier to kill in order of cool in these low budget chillers so to handover the screen to feisty axe wielding George. Presumably they didn't set the film in Australia as a boat name Triangle out at sea between Miami and Bermuda the point of the film.
The more pedantic will mark this down for those plot holes. Why doesn't she simply revel herself earlier on and get off the boat. But when you are dealing with time paradoxes everything that happens has to happen at one point and so you cant change anything you have done or going to do. I think the director does remarkably well in keeping it all together and those 'behind you' moments. Because mobile phones and modern communications make it unlikely you would be lost at sea these days the filmmakers have to be clever to keep you interested in those 'lost signal' moments. Triangle does that brilliantly and well worth the rent for what is a taut, exciting and pacey horror film that will leave you guessing right up until its clever and purgatory finish.
Imdb.com - 6.8/10.0 (30,009votes)
Metacritc.com - 81% critic's approval rating
Rottentomatos.com -82% critic's approval rating
Entertainment Weekly -' A satisfying mind-twister, with an unexpectedly poignant pay-off. You'll see where it's going quite early on, but it still keeps some shocks back for the final act'
Time Out -' Melissa George's fearless, credible performance grounds the madness in a moving emotional reality, even as her sanity is lost at sea'.
Film4 -'Without question Smith's most mature film to date, and one of the best (and most bewildering) genre films of 2009'.
Variety Magazine -'The film only makes some kind of sense on its own fantastic level'.
The Times -'If you can get past its logical inconsistencies - and they are legion - it's not bad'.
The Independent -''Triangle' is one of the most intelligent, thought provoking genre films in recent memory'.
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RELEASED: 2009, Cert.15
RUNNING TIME: Approx. 98 mins
DIRECTOR/SCREENPLAY: Christopher Smith
PRODUCERS: Julie Baines, Jason Newmark & Chris Brown
MUSIC: Christian Henson
Melissa George as Jess
Joshua McIvor as Tommy
Michael Dorman as Greg
Jack Taylor as Jack
Henry Nixon as Downey
Emma Lung as Heather
Rachael Carpani as Sally
Liam Hemsworth as Victor
FILM ONLY REVIEW
Triangle begins inside the home of Jess, a single mum, and her little autistic son Tommy. Jess is trying, in a loving way, to pacify Tommy who has just caused a spillage on the floor and is very upset by it. The doorbell then rings, but when Jess goes to answer it there is nobody there. Puzzled, she dismisses the incident and takes Tommy to school.
After dropping Tommy off at school, Jess then goes down to the harbour and meets her friend Greg who has invited her to a yacht sailing weekend with a few of his friends. When the rest of the group notice that Jess appears to be behaving rather strangely and seems very preoccupied, Greg assures them that she is OK and is merely tired.
Once the yacht is launched and out on the sea, a freak flash electrical storm comes out of nowhere, capsizing the vessel, but help appears to be at hand in the form of a huge ocean-liner which sails right up to the troubled yacht. Jess and the others manage to climb on board the liner, only to find it seems to be deserted.
From that point onwards, Jess experiences strong feelings of déjà vu as she makes her way through the decks and corridors of the liner, then strange things start to happen.
That sets the scene.....so you must watch the film yourself to discover what it's all about.
At the beginning of Triangle, I was quite impressed by the mood which was set, and became very drawn into the apparent disassociation of the character Jess, and her seemingly worried, borderline depressive mood. I enjoyed the part where the group of young people set out on their yachting trip, and found it quite creepy when the electrical storm enveloped them out of the blue, plus the rather sinister and sudden appearance of a huge liner which they managed to board in the hope of finding somebody to help them.
Once aboard the liner, for me that's when Triangle began to lose its impetus and as the storyline continued, I became more and more bored....but, resolved to stick with it just in case something mind-blowing happened.
What bugged me more than anything else about the film was the issue of déjà vu. I liked its touch the first time it reared its head, but it as a theme kept continuing throughout, and it was incredibly tedious to have to watch certain parts repeated over and over....could that have been a sneaky way of cutting back on direction/production costs?
I believe that once the group of yachters were aboard the ocean liner, the film was intended to be very scary, but I didn't find it so and the suspense value for me was almost nil as I yawned my way through several repeated scenes....in addition, I couldn't properly work out what was supposed to be happening.
I also found the film score to be far too overbearing, and it didn't quite fit the mood the director was (mostly in vain) trying to create. Something much more subtle and in the background I feel would have been infinitely more appropriate.
As far as the acting is concerned, everybody was OK-ish, but a few lines here and there were spoken in a rather hammy way. For me, the best by far was Melissa George as Jess, the young mother who seemed locked in her own little world, and a little reluctant to properly join in with the others. I do feel that Melissa George conveyed some interesting facial expressions, and something about her as Jess almost at the end of the film was rather surprising, but I can't elaborate as if I did, it'd be a definite spoiler.
I was trying so hard whilst watching Triangle to muster up some enthusiasm and to be spooked out, but it just didn't happen. I really, apart from Jess and Greg, didn't like the personalities of the characters, as they are the sort of people I wouldn't even give the time of day to if I met in real life.
I am glad I kept watching until the end though, because that part was well worth waiting for, similarly to how the beginning part of the film set the scene well and stimulated my interest, but the bulk of Triangle I found to be indescribably dull. Certain scenes within the film are repeated over and over again in order to create an impression of déjà vu, but it just didn't work and wasn't in the slightest bit exciting or absorbing. Perhaps if that déjà vu syndrome had been presented in a different way it may have fixed my interest and attention, but as it stands, it's a complete no-no. I can't imagine how else it could have been done, but then I'm not a film director!
Overall and in summary, I personally wouldn't recommend Triangle due to the bulk of the film being almost unwatchable, and that is a shame, bearing in mind the very good beginning and equally good ending. Although Triangle is currently only three years old and also looking at the bit that I usually loathe remakes, maybe in time someone else could grab hold of this film and give it a shake-up? With a different middle, the potential for it to be much better is definitely there....but as it stands, my own DVD copy might just end up gathering dust on a charity shop shelf.
At the time of writing, Triangle can be purchased on Amazon as follows:-
New: from £2.24 to £14.51
Used: from 99p to £8.99
Collectible: from £2.50 to £5.99
A delivery charge of £1.26 should be added to the above figures.
Thanks for reading!
~~ Also published on Ciao under my CelticSoulSister user name ~~
Triangle is a stylish and dark twisting thriller that has elements of the Bermuda Triangle and the mysteries that surround it as a group of young friends find themselves stranded at sea aboard a deserted ocean liner, accompanied only by a mysterious killer determined to do away with them all.
The thing to realise about this film is that everything, and I mean EVERYTHING has its place, no matter how strange or random a scene or part of a scene may seem. A young mother finds curious elements leading up to her getting away from things with a trip with some friends out on a sailboat, but when a storm hits, they find their boat capsized and they come across the liner. The thing is, it all seems rather sinister and ponderous before they board it, so you're already watching the screen and expecting something strange to happen even before events aboard the liner start to unfold.
Strange little noises, feelings of deja vu and some clever camera angles all are served very well by a skilled cast that manage to convince us all of their various characters situations, and despite a complicated plot, it seems rather straight forward so long as you just let it unfold before your eyes. I found the plot and its confusion only really comes towards the second half, once things start to get a bit gory and people start getting hurt. It's quite a mental strain to try and work things out, and I found it easier to not bother if I'm honest.
The film attempts to focus on the weakness of time and how it can all be distorted, the effects the Triangle might have on timelines and events, and in truth it does it very maturely. The approach, as I said earlier, is ponderous, and the focus is mainly on the characters, which I really liked. I found that doing it like this meant that the events were very much in the fore but not the main focus, and it made the film more appealing and the jumpier moments more effective. Ultimately, it's a bit of a cult film, and not really one that has appeared in the mainstream, but it certainly has a strong feel to it and an impressive array of skill in front of and behind of the camera.
The cast is virtually unknown to me, although Melissa George, she of Home and Away stardom of yesteryear and more recently of some solid roles, takes on the lead role of the mentally distant mother and friend very well indeed. The film certainly revolves around her, her mental state and the events that take place are more about her than the rest of the cast. Overall, it's a very cleverly done production, with a seemingly low budget showing that you don't need big bucks and star names to make very impressive thrillers. Highly recommended.
A review of the film only.
Single mother Jess needs a break from her autistic son and gratefully accepts an offer to go sailing with a local man named Greg who often comes into the diner where she works. As the day wears on and one thing happens after another, she becomes increasingly tense such that, by the time she reaches the harbourside, she acts a little strangely around Greg and his friends. But. It's a beautiful day and inspired by Greg's enthusiasm and hospitality she settles in for the trip.
When the wind suddenly drops, Greg and his yachtsman Victor are initially puzzled but their bewilderment turns to terror when an enormous electrical storm engulfs the craft. The yacht is entirely ruined, but salvation mysteriously appears in the shape of a huge liner named the Aeolus, which looms above them, offering them respite from the damaged yacht. On board the ship, however, their salvation isn't quite what they expect it to be. The ship appears to be entirely deserted, with corridor after corridor of abandoned cabins. As Greg and his friends split up to try and find somebody on board, Jess becomes increasingly unsettled, as she feels as though she has been on the ship before - and then it quickly becomes apparent that they are, in fact, not alone. A strange masked figure stalks the corridors, with one very simple intention. "If they board, kill them all...."
Brit director Christopher Smith has something of a mixed track record. His feature debut, Creep (a nasty little tale of something lurking in the London Underground) had a mixed reception and the follow-up Severance built on the horror roots of the previous film, but threw in some black comedy for good measure. Although pitched as a horror film, Triangle sees Smith moving into new waters (if you'll pardon the pun), with a more psychological twist on events that very much plays down the visual, visceral horror of both Creep and Severance. As he did for Creep, Smith directed and wrote Triangle, a claustrophobic and puzzling little tale that will either have you scratching your head in bemusement or nodding knowingly at its ingenuity.
It's extremely difficult to review a film like Triangle without giving 'something' away. Indeed, the trailer itself contains multiple spoilers and it's actually one of those films that is best watched without any prior knowledge at all. In fact, if you will, stop reading, go and watch the film and come back.
A good film is, to many, a film that provokes discussion, a film that isn't particularly clear cut and which offers possibilities and then decides to allow the viewer to interpret exactly which of those possibilities is the likeliest. This is almost certainly what Smith had in mind when he wrote the screenplay for Triangle. It's an entirely deliberately deceptive construct, setting the audience up to believe that it is watching a ghost story like Ghost Ship or a stalk and slash movie like Hallowe'en, before gradually revealing that it might be all these things, none of these things or some of these things. Ultimately only the audience can decide.
Smith's direction works well here. The shift from the calm intimacy and beauty of the group's yacht contrasts markedly with the dark, looming structure of the cruise liner that is both their salvation and their destruction. Smith's camera work is almost entirely effective throughout, up close and personal whilst the friends are gathered happily on the yacht and then looming outwards and detaching itself from the group in the enormous hulking spaces of the Aelous. It's an atmospheric shift that creates a real feeling of dread, almost as soon as the group climbs onto the deck of the Aelous. Smith resists the opportunity to go for cliché too. The Aelous is haunting, but not haunted. His camera doesn't settle on 'strange details' that the audience might interpret in a certain way, opting instead to focus on whatever it is that Greg and his friends have spotted, a whisper of somebody watching them round a corner and the strange discovery of a bunch of keys in one of the corridors. It's a remarkably subtle affair, born of a handful of key details that are gradually explained, one by one.
The pace is consistent too, an important consideration to take into effect with the overall tone of the story. There are no real lulls or quiet spots, particularly once the group boards the Aelous where things simmer away perfectly. That doesn't mean that the film has no shocks or surprises. As each 'strange thing' falls into place, something dramatic comes along to remind the viewer that they have absolutely no idea what is coming. The discovery of an enormous pile of dead bodies, a sudden accident and an emotional confrontation; all these things play their part in the proceedings but have an immediate impact on the viewer.
What exactly is Triangle all about? Well, for me, it's an examination of grief and torment. It's the desperation of a situation outside your control and the real horror that presents itself when you know there is nothing you can do about it. It's the suggestion that our 'existence' could be more or less than we perceive it to be, how we believe that many decisions fragment our lives in a million different directions, and yet somehow they all come back to the same point in time. It's the ultimate expose of fate; the very real 'final destination' that other films mock and play with.
Of course, there is devil in the detail here, notably around the names of the two sea craft involved. The yacht, which reveals itself both to save the group and condemn them, is named Triangle, defined by its three fixed points and an obvious association with the sea from the Bermuda Triangle (suggested by some to the location for the story, but there's no evidence of this.) The Aeolus takes its name from Greek mythology, where (notably) Aeolus could be one of three mythical characters. One was the son of Poseidon (god of the sea), one was a man who bore a daughter who went on to have a son with Poseidon, and the third was noted in Homer's Odyssey as the keeper of the winds. Which of these bears the most significance to the name of the ship in Triangle? You decide.
A reasonably convoluted concept as this, however, yields a few problems and it's in the detail that the script lets itself down. The discovery of the massive pile of dead bodies doesn't seem to quite shock the right person (you'll have to see the film to see what I mean) and the repetitive elements of the story only seem to do so when it suits the script. The discovery of a trail of blood, for example, is misaligned with other discoveries, such as the aforementioned pile of bodies, and a table of fresh fruit, which goes suddenly, inexplicably turns mouldy. It feels as though Jess misses some very obvious opportunities too, partly explained by what appears to be short-term memory loss, but otherwise uncomfortably stupid amidst a background of shocking discoveries. There's a suggestion that psychotic behaviour plays a larger part in the proceedings than you first realise, but the late introduction of evidence to this effect actually comes a bit too late to be considered.
The plot dictates a small, intimate cast, which, for the most part, work pretty well. Melissa George is a capable lead here, initially coming across as a bit wet and irritating for reasons that subsequently become clear. She pretty much dominates the proceedings here and holds her own, with a conviction that means the audience will believe that her ordeal is real, with a refreshing absence of screaming. With appearances in The Amityville Horror and Paradise Lost, she's in danger of being typecast into the horror genre, but she seems to have no intention of abandoning this kind of role.
The others are more deliberately superficial and therefore limited in what they can bring to the party. Michael Dorman is a likeable 'hero' in the form of the skipper, Greg, who shows a natural kindness towards Jess. His deckhand Victor (the lovely Liam Hemsworth, younger brother of the lovelier Chris Hemsworth) is the young, dumb one and couple Downey and Sally (Henry Nixon and Rachael Carpani) are effective as the irritating married couple, there to add confusion and hysteria. Only Emma Lung (Heather) is a bit overlooked here, saddled with a fate that doesn't seem quite as well considered as the others.
Triangle is a curious and enjoyable puzzler. The layered complexity of the plot is intriguing and attention-grabbing and whilst the audience will be quick to spot various things that appear to make no sense, Smith quite satisfyingly slots some explanations into place, such that whilst the overwhelming conclusion is still one of curiosity, you can come up with an explanation for most of what it is that you've just seen. This certainly isn't a David Lynch style collaboration of weird ideas and images that never add up but I doubt that anyone will ever quite figure all of it out.
Recommended, though, nonetheless
A film only review.
What do you get if you mix a spoonful of 'The Shining', with a pinch of 'Groundhog Day' and a tablespoon of 'Ghost Ship'? The answer of course is 'Triangle' a lowish budget UK/Australian co- production. A psychological horror with a difference.
'Triangle' is set on a ghostly ocean liner where a small group of friends have taken refuge after their Yacht has been capsized in a freak electrical storm off the coast of Florida. As they explore the seemingly abandoned ship as you would expect their lives are put in danger by unseen aggressors.
Any lover of the slash horror genre will be able to guess what follows although there are still a few twists and turns in the plot to keep the interest up. The title derives from the name of the yacht and not from any connection to the Bermuda Triangle (although the location could fit) so anyone out there expecting another rehash of the real life mystery will be disappointed.
The cast is fairly unknown, no big name Hollywood stars to carry the film, which does give it some freshness and leaves you guessing as to who will be killed next... Hollywood stars don't often get killed off in these films! The one face I did recognise was Melissa George in the lead role mainly from her TV appearances in 'Grey's Anatomy' and 'Alias'. The rest of the cast is passable but not outstanding.
The best thing about 'Triangle' is the claustrophobic atmosphere that is created on the ship. Long shots of empty corridors reminiscent of the Hotel shots in 'The Shining' and eerily deserted decks provide the film with a creepy feel that helps sustain the suspense as the plot slowly unwinds. Praise is due to Christopher Smith the writer director who manages with quite simple techniques and not a lot of special effects by today's standards to produce a keenly suspenseful and thrilling story. Smith is making a bit of a name for himself in this genre with his two previous projects 'Severance' and 'Creep' winning him fans in some quarters at least. The claustrophobic nature setting of the film do remind you of his previous film 'Creep', which was set in the London underground.
While there are many reasons to recommend 'Triangle' there are also plenty of problems with it. The cast lacks charisma and apart from Melissa George who puts in a decent if subdued performance as the slightly disturbed 'damsel in distress'. Even in her case her acting ability is often overshadowed by incredibly short hotpants she wears throughout the film! Apart from her the audience really struggles to find any other sympathetic characters. This leads the film to be purely plot driven which is what you normally expect from a horror these days but I still hope for rather more.
The other major issue I had is with the plot. Without giving anything away it simply didn't make sense! Now some may say this is an unfair criticism since even great examples of the horror genre like 'The Shining' or 'Halloween' don't really stand up to any kind of in depth scrutiny...they aren't supposed to are they? What I would say is that with those more accomplished films even though the plots were necessarily unbelievable they still had some integrity within the confines of their own premise. Within the world they created there was some logic and sense that events were following some rules which helped to ground the story into some form of 'reality'. Triangle doesn't do this the story takes dramatic turns simply for the sake of manipulating the audience rather than to develop the narrative. Ok I might be asking too much. In the end the film manages to succeed as a horror thriller with a few excellent dramatic moments, which is more than can be said for the majority of big budget horror films today. The obvious lack of resources available to the film, the restricted use of location and special effects was not a drawback for me in fact it was refreshing to see a filmmaker use his imagination and skills to overcome a lack of funds to waste on unnecessary CGI and special effects.
Overall 'Triangle' will not go down as a classic of the genre and I suspect will not be remembered through the ages but it still remains as a piece of what can be accurately described as enjoyable hokum and what's wrong with that?
Cast and other details
Melissa George ... Jess
Joshua McIvor ... Tommy
Jack Taylor ... Jack
Michael Dorman ... Greg
Henry Nixon ... Downey
Rachael Carpani ... Sally
Emma Lung ... Heather
Liam Hemsworth ... Victor
Director and Writer: Christopher Smith
With a runtime of 99 min the film is just about right, long enough to develop a fast paced story without stretching the audience's patience too much. In the UK it received a 15 certificate primarily for some explicit violence but it is still moderate when compared to other films given this certificate.
One to rent on DVD on a gloomy winter night.
© Mauri 2010
This little movie seems to have slipped under the radar somewhat, but it really is worth seeing. I'm only a little ashamed to admit that it has literally kept me awake at night, twisting my brain into mental contortions as I try to figure out what might have happened NEXT. I think I have it worked out now, but this film is full of paradoxes and "But if she does THAT, won't that mean... no but if she does this then that will happen...." kind of spirals.
Let's start with the main story: Melissa George plays Jess, a young woman who is in need of a holiday or at least a fun day out. She is devoted to her autistic son and makes ends meet by waitressing. It's through this job that she meets Greg, who invites her out for a day's sailing with his pals. His married friends have brought along a date for him, but their disinterest is mutual, and the resident hunk, Victor, doesn't seem interested in much apart from being all macho and grubby. There is a slightly unsettling atmosphere afoot, partly because of Jess's odd behaviour. However, as unexplained weather conditions cause a storm, they have no choice but to board the mysterious and apparently deserted ship that suddenly emerges from the fog; so far, so hokey, right? But wait! It gets more interesting! But I can't tell you why.... it would spoil the (constant stream of) surprise(s).
Melissa George carries the film; she is rarely off screen. Some of you may remember her in her TV debut in Home and Away in the early 90s. Just as Brit soaps produce the odd actor who escapes the dingy pubs of the UK to get their own TV series (Anna Friel, Michelle Ryan) It seems the Australian soaps are also decent springboards into Hollywood. I wonder if Melissa meets up with Ryan Kwanten at the golden globes and they have a giggle about their old antics with Alf, the great galah.
Parts of this film seem as cheesy as the standard "ooh this ship seems deserted so why do I get the creepy idea I'm being watched?" However, it quickly becomes much more complex and clever than that.
I have to say I'm surprised at all the reviewers who hated it; I guess you will either love it or hate it. Following film plots is not my strongest point, probably because I like to read the paper / surf the net / paint my nails while I watch, so I sometimes miss crucial points. But even I managed to follow this one. Could it be that the people who complained it was confusing just need to lighten up? It's not meant to be factually accurate, it's a fantasy. Perhaps it "doesn't make sense". But it is enjoyable, might make sense if you think about it really, really hard, and you and your friends will be able to argue about "what happens afterwards" to your heart's content.
A year ago this film was advertised quite a bit, but I never got around to seeing it. Recently I saw it in stores and decided to take a chance. I was not expecting much, because horrors have been letting me down lately.
Jess joins some friends and acquaintances on a small yacht at sea. They sunny day goes horribly wrong when a freak storm catches them and overturns the boat. One of the friends is lost at sea, but hope is on the horizon. A cruise ship sails into view and stops nearby so Jess and her friends can board. There is no crew. Shortly after, Jess and her friends are being attacked by a shotgun wielding maniac. Jess survives and sees another yacht approaching. She is horrified when she recognises the people on board...
Nowadays the gore horror is on top, but I feel that creepy and eerie horror is the best kind. This film captures that perfectly. It taps into a Twilight Zone eerieness that makes you shudder. It makes you wonder what you would do if you were trapped in Jess's situation. Another major movie from the early nineties tackled this topic with humour, but this film shows what happens when your 'prison' is smaller, darker and bloodier with a killer on the loose.
Just when you think that you have everything figured out, it all falls apart. This happens time and time again. Every time eats away at Jess and the audience until we are just as lost as she is.
This is not just another slasher. There are deep undertones that flesh out the story, but they are subtle so that people who don't pay attention will end up slightly/very confused at the end. I suggest that you watch the film once or twice and then read what others have said online. There are many ways to 'read' this film, but the fun side is that we'll never know which one is correct. If you want a film that makes you think then Triangle is perfect. If you want a slasher that makes you chill out and eat popcorn, I'd look elsewhere.
One deep side of this film is the Motherly bond. Jess has an autistic son she needs to return to. Triangle addresses the motherly bond and how far parents would go to protect their children from harm. Another deep side to the film is our memories and how selective they can be. You know how people say there are two sides and then there's the truth? Jess and the others show just how trauma can cause us to distort our memories and the truth without even realising.
Nothing is clear cut. The characters are realistic, so there's no goody goodies and badies. Everyone is realistic from their actions to the way they react when the trust starts to deteriorate. The film sets subtle clues as to the way each character feels about another. When everything falls apart those subtle feelings come to the surface, which is just as you would expect.
-Jess can be dumb
There are few points when Jess makes some stupid decisions. No one's perfect, but that's the only thing that irritated me at times. Like I said, they're realistic and she's experiencing something that you and I will NEVER go through, so I can understand that she won't think clearly all the time.
I am APPALLED that such a good film flopped, but in today's world where people are depressed from recessions and don't want to think too hard whilst enjoying entertainment, it makes sense.I highly recommend this film. I watched it twice in a row because the ending is linked to the start, so you could watch it forever...If you are confused, please don't think badly of the film. Go online and read what others are saying. You'll learn a lot more from the theories out there.
Triangle stars Melisssa George as Jess, a single mother to an autistic child, who is taking a break from watching her child to go on a sailing trip with her friend Greg and some others. Needless to say the trip goess horribly wrong when the boat is caught up in a storm and gets capsized, as well as losing one of the unfortunate members of the outing. Now down to five, the groups chances of survival looks thin. But wait, here comes a massive boat!
The group board the vessel which is seemingly abandoned only for the group to be picked off one by one. Who is onboard the ship and why do they have a taste for blood, Jess will have to find out if she ever wants to see her son again.
At first the film seems like a standard horror film, however after about halfway in and a major plot revalation the film diverges from any other horror film, at sea or otherwise. Now, i'm all for original and smart films but not when they leave you feeling cheated at the end, which this film definately does.
They plot, while original, is rediculously hard to follow, that being said, most people will see the ending coming. Being a horror film, the acting isn't terriffic and this results in no emotional attatchment to any of the characters.
Overall i would have to say this film is poor. The plot is rediculously hard to follow and the ending leaves you feeling like you've just wasted two hours of your life. I think that even die hard horror fans should avoid this one.
Review also posted on ciao.co.uk
"Triangle" is a 2009 film that was released on DVD on the 1st of March this year. It is horror film which stars Melissa George and has a UK certificate rating of 15, running for 95 minutes this is my film only review of this title.
Like the other reviewers of this film I too am having difficulties in writing a cohesive plot summary as the story is so convoluted and confusing that it is very hard to actually try and explain what happens in the film. The story focuses on Jess played by Melissa George as the mother of an autistic boy who is invited to join a friend onboard his boat for a bit of rest and relaxation. Along with some other friends they find themselves caught up in an electrical storm in which the boat is badly damaged and capsizes. Whilst waiting to be rescued a 1930's ocean liner seems to appear from nowhere and figuring that they can hitch a ride to safety Jess and her friends go onboard.
This is where things go crazy for Jess as one by one her friends begin to get killed by an unseen assailant and when Jess meets the killer face to face she finds out that it is actually her that is committing the murders...
Confused? You will be if you stick with the film and try to work out what is actually happening.
Before I pull this film to bits I just wanted to add here that by revealing that Jess is the killer is by no means a spoiler, this is revealed in trailers for the film and also from the DVD cover. Saying that though how and why she is the actual killer isn't fully explained and what we have here is a story that goes round and round *and* round in circles repeating the same sequence but from different points of view.
We watch the action unfurl following this version of Jess, however there have been many other versions of her that are shown and we, the viewer have to witness her committing the murders again and again whilst the film-makers try and reveal a little bit more as to what is happening at the end of each loop. To say this is frustrating and repetitive would be a major understatement as by the third or fourth time of seeing the same people die at the hand of the same person it has got mind-numbingly boring and worse of all it is not explained why she has to kill her friends.
A pointless explanation is only half offered by Jess to another version of herself which makes no sense whatsoever and just when you start to lose the will to live finally something happens that seems to break to cycle of the time loop. Figuring that we may be getting somewhere with the film the ending sequence attempts to tie up the loose ends and fill in the gaps, however it fails spectacularly and personally, I was left scratching my head at the end wondering what the hell I had just watched.
Essentially the film can be broken down into quarters: the first quarter establishes Jess and her friends and puts them on the mysterious ocean liner. We then spend half the film watching Jess run round the ship killing her friends whilst meeting herself and repeating the process over and over again. Eventually the final quarter is dedicated to trying to explain what has happened.
The major problem with this film is that it tries too hard to mess with the viewers head and doesn't give a proper explanation as to the events that you have given up 95 minutes of your time to watch. Irrelevant pieces of information are dangled like carrots in front of your eyes and you try to make sense of what is going on. For me it was like trying to complete a jigsaw puzzle with half the pieces missing whilst sat in the dark and my wife gave up midway through complaining that it was just "stupid".
I usually like films that offer something different and have always been fascinated with the concept of paradoxes and time loops. I love films that explore the possibilities and consequences of someone meeting a younger or older version of themselves but only enjoy them when they are done well. "Triangle" doesn't do any of this well and for me was a huge disappointment.
Melissa George tries hard enough as do the other actors, but honestly, you just don't care what happens to them and as you already know who the killer is and who dies so there is very little tension or suspense. Horror fans have nothing to get their teeth into, the kills are mediocre and poorly shot, Sci Fi fans will laugh at the ill conceived time loop that only serves to frustrate and as there is hardly any action in the film it won't appeal to fans of thrillers.
I think I have made my point with this review, so wont emulate the plot by repeating myself ad-naseum here, suffice to say it was terrible and from me gets an overly generous 2/5 dooyoo star rating. It recieves 2 stars simply for trying to be different, for having some nice shots of the ocean and for the actors who do try their best.
The film is available to buy from Amazon for £9.98, but I really wouldn't recommend paying that for it. If you want to see how bad it is for yourself then I would suggest renting it from Blockbuster or from your online DVD rental company. Lovefilm sent me my copy so at least I didn't have to pay anything extra to see it and it isn't a film I would want to watch again.
Thanks for reading my review.
Jess (Melissa George) is due to meet up at the harbor at a boat called Triangle, for a much needed trip out with friends. However, her day seems to be going wrong from the start as she has problems with her autistic son who is upset about something. She manages to get to the boat on time and it sails with three men and three women on board for a day out somewhere in the vicinity of the Bermuda Triangle.
Jess is preoccupied by worries that she can't explain, and feels that something is wrong, but that she must go. They begin to experience strange weather conditions and the boat is capsized. Luckily a cruise ship appears and they all board, thinking they are now safe. But their problems have only just started. As they search the ship it seems to be deserted, but it soon develops there is someone on board, who wants to kill them. As people start to die, Jess has a feeling of déjà vu, as if she has been on this ship before. But can she use her knowledge to save her friends?
This is typical trashy horror fare, where the characters aren't usually very deep. Melissa George plays the role of a determined mother who will do whatever it takes to get off the ship alive and get back to her son. However, there's no real passion to the character. Mostly she's not nearly scared or shocked enough and doesn't really bring the audience along with her.
The other five are mostly two dimensional, as the focus is really on Jess for most of the film. It's hard to really be gripped and care about what happens to her though, as the story rapidly becomes incoherent, making me wonder if I'd missed something important. As expected, strange and mysterious things are bound to happen with time and space when you set off on a boat called Triangle somewhere near the Bermuda Triangle. There's no real explanation for anything that happens, or why Jess does anything she does, or even why the ship is deserted, although there is some discussion between the characters about the origin of the ship's name, Aeolus, and it's connection to a Greek myth. The myth suggests a vague kind of explanation, but it's a weak one, and whizzes by so fast, if you're not paying attention you'll miss it.
It's all a lot of confused running around in ships corridors that actually gets boring. There is a twist at the end that shows why Jess has déjà vu, but there are so many holes in the story it's just too weak to all hang together. By then I was too bored to be bothered anyway. As horror goes, there's no tension at all and nothing that makes you jump. It borrows from other horror films such as Ghost Ship and Strangers, but is less gripping than either of them.
Don't bother spending much money on seeing this. It should have gone straight to dvd.
Director: Christopher Smith (Severence, Creep)
Running time: 98 minutes
note: also appears on my film review website, TheFilmBlogger.com
There's the distinct feeling while watching British horror film Triangle that director Christopher Smith (who previously helmed the uneven Creep and far better comedy horror Severance) feels like he's directing a true original; a clever and intense horror film. However, like the film's protagonist, there's no fighting the overwhelming feeling of déjà vu accompanying Triangle; the feeling that Smith has derived his efforts from a far superior film, that film being Nacho Vigalondo's rather good time-travel thriller Timecrimes.
Triangle's protagonist is Jess (Melissa George), a woman who is invited along on a sailing trip with some friends, but soon enough their ship comes into some trouble during a storm, and they're left stranded on the rather meagre remains of their vessel. However, salvation comes when they see a large cruise liner in the distance, which stops, and despite it being seemingly deserted, the gang boards it with the hope of summoning help. Things get strange when Jess feels an unmistakable pang of déjà vu, that she has been through the ship's hallways before, and soon enough, the group finds a masked assailant hunting them down, one by one. They must desperately attempt not only to survive, but to escape the mysterious time loop that they are stuck in.
The problem with Triangle isn't so much that this premise has been better explored before, but that the film takes so long in getting to its point, and even then, it's an affair experiencing a poverty of the palpable suspense and heart-pounding tension that it should so desperately be trying to muster. The first Act is one long, distended preamble that fails to deliver in terms of character development, and serves largely to establish the conceit that is the film's twisting finale later on. By the time the meat of the matter begins to appear at around the 35-minute mark, many will have grown impatient with the sluggish pacing, which ambles along without engaging exposition or any particularly satisfying kills.
The film is saved from complete mediocrity, though, by the lead turn of Melissa George (who fared far better in little-known neo-noir thriller WAZ), who is convincing as an utterly bewildered woman who cannot compute what she is seeing. She isn't particularly helped by a minimalist and frankly rather lazy script, though, which doesn't give her character much to do other than run around in a skimpy pair of denim hot pants until the reveal at the film's close. Also to its credit, Triangle does also boast an impressive production design; it is rather well photographed throughout, and cinematographer Robert Humphreys manages the rather staggering task of making the innards of a boat sporadically quite appealing.
Triangle is certainly a film that makes you think, but it's more due to the bewilderingly messy narrative than through clever plotting, and despite the film's attempts to deliver some surprises along the way, you're bound to be a few steps ahead of the game if you've watched the trailer, and even if not, you've still got a fair chance of seeing where things are going. When it tries to deliver compelling exposition, it becomes trite and predictable, and when it should be explaining things, it curiously stays mute and leaves the viewer in limbo. What's more, the pacing is so sedate and slack that you're pretty unlikely to care much about things by the time the third Act rolls by.
Admittedly, the sting in the film's tail at its climax is eerily quite effective; it is too reminiscent of the aforementioned Timecrimes, but is so much more genuine and disturbing than the tiresome wild goose chase through the ship. Again, George is the glue just about keeping things from breaking at the seams, but it remains a film that's difficult to describe as even fairly satisfying.
With an opening third that's virtually suspense-free, and a slow-moving second Act, Triangle is unable to gain sufficient traction in its more interesting third portion to become the tense murder mystery yarn that it desperately yearns to be. Melissa George elevates the material with another reliable performance in the genre, but it only partly compensates for the film's sloppy narrative and disappointingly messy delivery, even if the ending does tie things together quite well. Lacking the important visceral factor, and sacrificing pacing and intrigue for a thoughtful, but awkwardly executed plot, Triangle isn't as clever a film as it think it is.