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Archive for October 19th, 2009

During his radio show on Friday film critic Mark Kermode described triangle as “A web of existential time-loop like despair”, I’m not sure if there is anything else to say about the film, indeed if anything else needs to be said about it.  Always up for a challenge, I will try.  It is impossible to review the film without giving away at least part of the plot, having said that a lot of the plot is given away in the trailer so I will limit my spoilers to the information contained within the trailer. 

Triangle poster

Jess (Melissa George) is invited to spend the day sailing with a group of friends on a luxury yacht.  Leaving he autistic son at school for the day she joins the group.  A couple of hours into the trip the wind drops, this is literally the calm before the storm.  The ferocious storm causes the boat to capsize leaving them stranded on the upturned hull.  They then take refugee on a mysterious cruise liner that appears out of the mist.  Although the ship appears deserted it soon becomes clear that they are not alone.  I won’t say any more about the plot as it is best going into the film not knowing too much.  As we come to realise what is going on there aren’t so much twists in the plot but developments and explanations.  This leads to a very satisfying conclusion that makes you want to see the film again to better understand what you have just seen and the nuances of the plot. 

Directed by Christopher Smith who has horror credentials having been responsible for Severance and the underrated Creep, he offers us something different this time.  Psychological thriller, mystery or horror could all be used to describe the film but it doesn’t fit any pigeonhole particularly well.  Fans of gore and torture porn will be disappointed but anyone with an open mind who wants to see a clever well constructed film will relish the attention to detail and the strong leading performance by Melissa George.  George carries the film almost single handed,  once on board the ship the rest of the cast are mealy supporting players for her.  The plot unfolds a little quicker for the viewer than it does for George, a device that works well.  Her strong and emotionally varied performance is essential for the success of the film as a viewer with no empathy for the characters; particularly Jess, will shut off from the film. 

Melissa George

The film is well shot keeping the viewer on the edge of their seats with an eyrie use of steadicam and shots tracking the actors, this results in a few moments to make you jump.  The exterior shots on the deck and promenade of the ship have a bleached look to them giving a slightly washed out otherworldly feeling.  This fits well with the often dream like sense the film has as does the minimal use of background music.  Great use is made of the old cruise liner setting; anyone who has visited The Queen Mary (now permanently docked at Long Beach, California and used as a Hotel) will know how the seemingly endless corridors and faded art deco glory of these old ships can be creepy and eyrie all on their own without mysterious goings on.  To the films credit but the dismay of some viewers the film doesn’t try to exploring the ship’s back-story or explain the reason behind what is happening.  If successful, the film makes may explore this in a sequel or prequel, I hope they don’t as it would surly be rubbish and detract from this film.

In conclusion the film will confuse some viewers and infuriate others, personally I found it compelling, intriguing and cleverly constructed.  My advice; go and see it but don’t watch the trailer or read any more reviews.  It may detract from the overall experience.  And look out for more from Melissa George, with 30 Days of Night she looked to be breaking free from her television origins, with this performance she has proved to have real star appeal.

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