Wednesday 21 July 2010

Triangle - Review

Triangle sets out to be a creepy and stylised horror movie but by the end of the movie, despite one truly superb scene, you are left feeling frustrated that a film, which thinks all it's loose ends have been tied up, leaves you feeling unfulfilled and just a bit cheated.

Jess (played by Melissa George) is a single mother with a severely autistic young son who has been invited on a sailing trip by a guy she's met while waitressing.  She joins him, a couple who are old friends of his, a single female friend of theirs and his deck hand on his yacht.  After a brief time at sea the wind drops off and they mayday to the coast guard but pick up a bizarre message from a woman saying, 'They're all dead,' and suddenly a fierce storm hits them.  The boat gets capsized and one of the characters is swept away never to be seen again.  The other five miraculously survive and Jess is hauled up onto the hull of the upturned boat to wait for help with her companions.  It all feels genuinely tense at this point and the appearance of an old, mysterious liner only adds to the suspense.  They board it and despite seeing someone peering over the side at them, it appears to be empty.

It's all quite creepy, there's a dining room laid up for dinner and the corridors of cabin doors feel thick with tension. Things go wrong pretty quickly for our intrepid five.  Jess is soon the only one left standing, she's attacked by the deck hand, but he is killed in a tussle with her, and is accused of killing one of the others by the couple.  As this happens the three are attacked by a mystery person in a hood. The couple are both shot dead but she escapes and ends up confronting her attacker eventually pushing them over the edge of the ship.  As she looks over for the fallen body she sees the upturned yacht and her and her companions approaching.  She's the mysterious figure looking down that they spotted on the way in.

At this point, about 45 minutes in, all the tension of the movie is lost. Instead of being a film about trying to figure out what the hell is going on with the ship it becomes a story of Jess stuck in a nightmare Ground Hog day, that only starts repeating once all of the characters are dead.  It's quite well done, and Melissa George is great as the lead, grounding the film in some sort of reality with a convincing performance.  Sadly her fellow ship mates are really just cannon fodder, dying in more and more interesting ways and their acting doesn't get anywhere near hers.  Maybe they understood what kind of movie they were in.

There are a couple of scenes where you're made to realise how many times Jess has been back to the ship and it's really only in those moments, during the second half of the film, where any of the tension from the opening is regained.  By the end though it's floundering in its own plot, which contains more holes than your average pack of Polos.

I don't mind being left a question at the end of a movie, or indeed an ending where I have to make up my own mind up about what precisely happened but Triangle just leaves too much unanswered.  I won't kill the ending for you but be warned it feels lazy and like a massive cop out.  The first half is excellent, but the second, where all the tension should have lead, feels like a miss step.

It also has the worst CGI seagull I have ever seen.  FACT.


If you've seen the movie (and loved it) feel free to take me to task.

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