I’m on board for any horror movie (or psychological thriller) that takes place on a boat. Tell me that the movie in question is directed and written by CHRISTOPHER SMITH, the guy responsible for both the too often miscounted CREEP and the gruesomely hilarious SEVERANCE, and I’m that much more excited. I’m not sure I understood everything that took place in TRIANGLE and yes, there were moments where I found the film, due to its construction, to be teetering toward tedium but what do you know, it’s quite a hard film to shake out of your head.
TRIANGLE introduces us to Jess (MELISSA GEORGE) a young mother of an autistic boy who accepts the offer to take a boat trip with a potential new beau and his buddies. Soon, an ominous storm kicks the crap out of said boat and the survivors are forced to take refuge in a seemingly abandoned ocean liner where the only R&R encountered is “run” and “repeat”(thanks to a masked assailant with a gun.) Sounds simple, but trust me it’s not. If there’s anything more complex then the ocean liner’s maze of corridors, it’s what’s going on in Jess’s fractured psyche. Girl brought baggage.
SMITH smuggles on some familiar asides (including an eerie encounter with a room marked 237 courtesy of THE SHINING), but there are several eye burning visuals that are as fresh as they come. Without ruining anything (you’ll notice I did not include the film’s trailer here; it’s a exercise in T.M.I.), I’ll tell ya, one shot, which involves one of the films victims crawling through a mass of past victims, is a real brain-rattling stunner. SMITH can be a bit of a magpie, collecting usable bits from past films but he admirably twists them into forms you have not encountered before more times than not. The whole bright, blanched look of the film is a welcome respite from the usual gritty grunge.
Since I don’t want to speak too much of the trippy, ROD SERLING would be proud course TRIANGLE ends up taking, let us talk a moment about MELISSA GEORGE who you might remember from 2005’s AMITYVILLE HORROR and 30 DAYS OF NIGHT. I admit that my first thought upon seeing her on screen was “Oh, RADHA MITCHELL must have been too busy that day.” But damn if GEORGE doesn’t deliver one of the best performances in a horror movie I’ve seen all year. She takes a difficult character, one that’s almost frustratingly obtuse and somehow you don’t want to leave her side. In many instances her facial expressions are all the audience has to go on and director SMITH uses them to his advantage repeatedly. Whatever TRIANGLE’s faults (it does have its lax moments) it showcases an absolutely winning marriage between director and star.