Triangle (2009)
By: J.R. McNamara on December 15, 2010  | 
DVD
Icon | Region B | 2.35:1, 1080p | English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 | 98 minutes (Full Specs)
The Movie
Cover Art
Credits
Director: Christopher Smith
Starring: Melissa George, Liam Hemsworth, Michael Dorman, Emma Lung, Joshua McIvor, Jack Taylor, Henry Nixon, Rachael Carpani
Screenplay: Christopher Smith
Country: UK/Australia
External Links
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Now and again you come across a film that is quite difficult to talk about without giving too much away, so, in an attempt to not be the Mayor of Spoiler-ville, here is the plot synopsis for Triangle.

Triangle is a film starring Melissa George.

There. Finished.

Not good enough? OK I shall try again...

Triangle tells the tale of Jess (Melissa George), a single mother who agrees to go on a yacht owned by Greg (Michael Dorman), a casual acquaintance who she met at the diner in which she works.

She turns up on the day of the trip seeming disconnected, and blames it on a few bad nights sleep and several issues with her autistic son, who is spending the day at his special needs school. Once upon the vessel, she meets ship hand Victor (Liam Hemsworth), Greg's best friend Downey (Henry Nixon), his wife Sally (Rachael Carpani) and her friend Heather (Emma Lung). Jess retires below decks for a sleep and wakes up a few hours later, and begins to enjoy herself, learning the ropes on the yacht and getting to know Greg better, but tragedy strikes.

The wind suddenly drops and a huge storm front moves in, capsizing the boat and sending Heather overboard. The remaining ship mates crawl on top of the upturned vessel hoping for salvation, which comes in the form of a cruise liner. From the half-sunken yacht they can see someone on-board, but after gaining entry to the ship, they find it eerily empty. Jess feels like she has been on board before, and the familiarity of it begins to make her uncomfortable, but not as uncomfortable as what happens next. Greg goes to look for the bridgehouse to talk to the Skipper, and Victor pursues the person Jess believes she saw, but within minutes both of them turn up dead, and not long after that that Sally and Downey find themselves shuffling off this mortal coil as well. The perpetrator of these crimes confronts Jess and tells her to kill all who come aboard, before going over and into the sea. Soon, hears shouting from outside and finds herself looking down at the capsized vessel that she herself boarded the cruise ship from, with all standing on the hull, including herself...

Now this is where I should stop, as all this all happens within the first half hour, so there are a lot of questions posed, and the answers come in riddles. Sufficed to say the ride for the rest of the film is a harrowing one - one that drops the floor out from under you just as you have seemingly grasped what the hell is going on!

Triangle was written and directed by someone who I hold in high esteem, Christopher Smith, whose credits include the Danny Dyer vehicle Severance and Franka Potente's train ride from hell, Creep. He discusses on this disc that he was influenced by Pulp Fiction with its play on time, and The Shining with its claustrophobic atmosphere (the main cabin on the ship is 237, as is Jess's house number.) I must admit I also see other influences like Herk Harvey's amazing 1962 ghostly film Carnival of Souls and perhaps a little of Donnie Darko in there as well.

The film is masterfully directed by Smith, and he gleans some wonderful performances from his Australian cast. Admittedly Melissa George seems somewhat flat at first, but as her character is forced to deal with the various positions she's put in, she gets an opportunity to shine.

Obviously from my synopsis you will be thinking that there is some kind of circular time thing-y happening in this film, but one of the things I liked about it was once you get used to that cinematic limbo trick, you find the film turns left and the circle both expands and contracts simultaneously. Reading back on that I appreciate that sounds like a whole pile of theoretical physics baloney, but when you see the film, you will appreciate it more.

There is a fair bit of CGI in Triangle, and most of it is so subtle you may not even realise that it is CG, though your ability to suspend disbelief will be shaken by the aforementioned storm, which looks quite fake.

The film is supposed to be set in Miami, but those of us who live in Australia (or Miami I imagine) will notice that the colour of both the sun and the fauna, not to mention some of the house architecture are clearly The Lucky Country (the Gold Coast and Southport in Queensland, in fact), and not anywhere in America.

I have to say I really liked Triangle. Usually films of this type that employ tools of deception to confuse the viewer give me the shits - like After, or Jacob's Ladder - but with the script's constant shifting, I found the film to be intriguing and entertaining. This is certainly a film that needs to be watched properly, and not abandoned halfway through for a toilet break... use the 'pause' key people! There are many clues throughout the film about what is going on, alluding to exactly Jess' supernatural situation, so stay alert for them, though you will see them more upon subsequent viewings.

Finally, at the risk of belittling any professionalism this review might have, I quite enjoyed watching the lovely Melissa George run around in a white singlet and jean shorts for 99 odd minutes.
Video
An astonishingly clear and crisp image, the detail on a close up of Melissa Georges face at one point is almost like looking through a macro lens, that is a tribute to BD technology. The film is presented in its theatrical 2.35:1 aspect ratio.
Audio
Like the image, the DTS-HD Master Audio track is amazing.
Extra Features
We have a good collection of extras on this disc.

The Making of Triangle is a pretty thorough 'making of' doco which shows not just how a film is made, but looks at how financial backing can be a bitch. It approaches the art from many angles and has plenty of interviews and behind the scenes stuff for fans of film-making.

Deleted Scenes shows a few unnecessary scenes that rightfully were omitted from the film. Sometimes things don't need to be as spelt out as what scripts may feels they need to be.

The Storyboard Gallery is a look at the storyboards for a few of the scenes.

Storm Featurette sees visual effects supervisor Ivan Moran discus what he and his crew did visually for the film. Frankly this piece feels more like a trade show showreel rather than something that is supposed to be informative. I will admit though some of the scenes that were revealed to be CGI were astonishing while others were unfortunately obvious.

There is also an excellent commentary by Christopher Smith where as writer and director he explains most of the aspects of the film.
The Verdict
I really enjoyed this Triangle. For me, I have seen three films by Smith and have enjoyed each one, so that makes him a filmmaker to look out for when choosing something to watch. This film was a thrilling one indeed.
Movie Score
Disc Score
Overall Score

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