Review by Jack Foley
CHRISTOPHER Smith’s Triangle is the director’s most ambitious undertaking yet… but only intermittently successful.
Where Creep existed within the confines of the London Underground and Severance found a group of office workers terrorised in the woods, Triangle mostly takes place at sea, aboard a deserted ocean liner.
It’s a twisting, head-spinning psychological chiller that’s partly an homage to The Shining and partly inspired by The Twilight Zone. But after hooking viewers in with a genuinely intriguing set-up, the film hits choppy waters and interest wavers.
When single mother Jess (Melissa George) is invited to join Greg (Michael Dorman) for a day aboard a yacht with friends she agrees.
But following a sudden and violent storm, which causes the vessel to capsize, she’s forced to board an ocean liner she feels she has visited before… with violent consequences.
To be fair, Smith has plenty of fun establishing the scenario, with early scenes aboard a yacht establishing things well.
The early sequences aboard the ocean liner also toss up plenty of fun questions and possibilities – but once Jess is forced to keep chasing previous incarnations of herself in a bid to save her friends, things start to unravel.
Plot-holes begin to strain credibility and the fact that Smith has deliberately left things open to three possible interpretations begins to test your patience.
George is good value as the anti-heroine, creating credible variations on her increasingly unhinged central character. But none of her colleagues rise above bog-standard cliche and the film lacks any real emotional investment in seeing whether they ever get saved.
A last-act reveal does at least enliven proceedings briefly, but even then the pay-off isn’t entirely satisfactory or clearly explained.
Smith can’t be faulted for ambition and shows enough to suggest that he’s continuing to grow in stature as a director. But Triangle is eventually sunk by choppy plotting and damp squib characters.
Running time: 98mins
UK DVD & Blu-ray Release: March 1, 2010
- Prepare To Be Scared Website
- Buy it on DVD (Amazon)
- Read our review
- Christopher Smith interview