DVD | Blu-ray
Directed by Christopher Smith
Starring Melissa George, Michael Doorman, Liam Hemsworth, Henry Nixon, Rachael Carpani
First Look Pictures
Released date: March 2, 2010
In 2004 Creep, a British horror movie in which Franke Potente gets chased through the tunnels of the London Underground, showcased the talents of newbie writer/director Christopher Smith. He followed that up a couple of years later with Severance where a group of work colleagues go out to the country for a weekend trip of team-building — and death. Severance showed that Smith was on a roll; it was scarier, gorier and sleeker than its predecessor. Its biggest surprise however was that it was funny and Smith juggled the jokes and scares very well. Here was a new, young English director making exciting horror movies. So I have to say I was a little surprised when Smith mapped a slightly new course into the thriller genre for his third feature.
Triangle is the story of a group of friends on a sailing trip off the coast of Florida. All seems well as they set off into the ocean, the harbour reducing to a speck before they are surrounded by nothing but blue water. But no sooner do they get the main sail up the wind suddenly drops to zero and a huge storm cloud quickly heads towards them. On the boatâ€™s radio, Greg (Michael Doorman) receives a shocking distress call but the electrical storm wipes out the radio signal and a huge wave capsizes the boat.
The members of the group who emerge from the water are saved by the cruise ship AEOLUS. Jess (Melissa George) has feelings of dÃ©jÃ vu when she gets on board. The corridors of the cruise ship look and feel like the Overlook Hotel from The Shining. Dated 1932 it seems nothing of its interior has changed. Greg, Victor (Liam Hemsworth), Downey (Henry Nixon), and Sally (Rachael Carpani) explore the ship, which appears to be deserted.
Members of the group testify (not literally) to seeing furtive Jess moments before when she was somewhere else on the ship. It seems the ship was not abandoned when a masked killer appears and starts shooting, killing them one by one. Then things get really weird when the group arrives on the ship, againâ€¦
Throughout the 95-minute runtime of Triangle Christopher Smith has created a constant state of high tension. This combined with Christian Hensonâ€™s haunting score that grabs at your nerve endings right from the beginning means there is very little let up. The exhilarating opening half begins to lose steam when it appears Jess is completely losing her mind. This is a kind of a bitter sweet feeling. Itâ€™s necessary because there is no way it could maintain that pace — it would be a tension overload. But itâ€™s a shame because once the tension slows you kind of miss the intensity.
Jess starts the movie panicky and disheveled. We donâ€™t see her transmission into this state — weâ€™re straight into the action. It put me ill at ease straight away, wondering, â€˜whatâ€™s happened to this woman?â€™ and I was rewarded with a satisfyingly edgy pay-off.
This is an intricately planned, brilliantly executed indie thriller. It has plenty of twists and turns but is never confusing. Iâ€™m glad Christopher Smith ventured off his apparent course of being solely a horror director because he got to show that he can live up to his previous efforts, even outshine them. I canâ€™t wait to see what he does next.
Making of Triangle: Many interviews with the mostly Australian cast and crew on various sets. Clearly this being an independent movie there were many problems, mostly to do with money. But watching and hearing how they overcame these problems — especially the huge cruise ship set — was very gratifying. The fact that the cast are Australian came as quite a surprise as in the movie everyone has a (somewhat broad) American accent.
Is it just me or did the Deleted Scenes title card just go from â€˜scene 1â€™ to â€˜scene 3â€™? With a grand total of two deleted scenes, the first is a longer and far less terrifying version of the storm hitting the boat than the one that made the final cut. The next introduces another triangle â€“ a love triangle between Sally, who fancies Greg and Sallyâ€™s husband, Downey, who doesnâ€™t fancy Greg.
Also there are three scenes shown in Storyboards, the winning entry for the Design Your Own Triangle Poster Competition, and a short Storm Featurette with Ivan Moran, Visual Effects Supervisor.