"Downstairs right now is a copy of myself. Me!"
Triangle is a tightly wound, tense thriller that keeps you
guessing and manages to make the bizarre scenario in which it unfolds plausible
through solid acting and clever pacing. It is a lynchian nightmare on the high sea
as a murderer stalks Jess (Melissa George) and her friends on a seemingly abandoned
cruise liner. The premise sounds like typical horror movie fare, but there are
enough twists and turns to quickly realise it is anything but. Jess is
portrayed in a fractured manner, and as the title of the film suggests there are
three sides to her. She transitions from a startled and confused protagonist to
being conflicted, and ultimately an antagonist.
The film itself is set in Miami, Florida, and was actually shot in Australia, Queensland. All the actors are Australian and occasionally their forced accents and distinctively Aussie look distract and almost let the film down but also in a sense adds to the strangeness of the whole package.
We first encounter Jess at home, distraughtly hugging her autistic son, who looks like he has seen a ghost (more on that later), not much information is conveyed as snippets of her home life and frustration move to her at the docks with her friends, ready for a yacht cruise. While on board she has a grisly dream of her death and in a flash the calm weather is gone and a massive storm capsizes them. They are immediately rescued by an enormous ocean cruise liner, which they quickly discover after boarding it is from the 1930's, the Aeolus (a Greek word meaning test from the gods) is the name of the vessel. There are many great shots as they walk around confused on the ship such as the appearance of endless corridors and the depiction of a great storm in the theatre room on the ship. These all convey some great mysterious nature of the vessel.
Jess feels like something is watching them the whole time and confusion reigns when after they decide to split up the movie spirals into cult status as Jess comes to grips with what is happening, as everyone begins to die around her. There is a very twisted time travel philosophy and notions of an afterlife here that Jess gets entangled in, and desperately tries to understand as she loses her sanity and obtains a twisted sense of purpose. Each scene progressively and disturbingly explains each murder and the ultimate fate in store for Jess, and it is hard to believe how well crafted and complex the story gets in the ultimate déjà vu.
It all comes full circle (or triangle in this case) when the movie ends where it began with her at home with her son, and all the fractured depictions of herself and her son's fear become fully realised.
Triangle is an extremely original and disturbing film that explores the psyche in an unimaginable scenario and the alterations it must endure when faced with the impossible.
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