Directed by Christopher Smith
Triangle is remarkably preposterous, but it's also oddly effective in a nightmarish Twilight Zone kind of way.
The titular Triangle is the name of a yacht, which sets sail for a fateful trip through the Bermuda Triangle. On board is a young, single mother named Jess (Melissa George, 30 Days of Night). Her son's autistic and the Saturday boat trip is a bit of a treat for her, an opportunity to take a day off from the challenges of raising her child single-handedly while he's in special-ed classes for the day.
In short order, the group of three men and three women is whittled away by one during a mysterious electrical storm. Then an abandoned cruise ship appears out of the fog. And poor Jess has the sinking feeling she's been through all this before.
This is the Bermuda Triangle, after all.
While there's a whole lot of blood and a whole lot of dyin' on that cruise ship, it's hard to classify Triangle as a "horror" movie. It's hardly scary in the boogey-man-on-the-prowl vein in large part because the story's premise is so bizarre the movie's few scares take a back seat to grasping what exactly Jess is going through in her daytime nightmare.
Strictly in terms of technical filmmaking on an independent level, Triangle is well-crafted. One thing leads to another in a rapid, slick progression and the ensemble cast juggles screen time nicely while Melissa George proves to be a more-than-capable lead and butt-kicker.
At its core, Triangle feels a lot like Brad Anderson's The Machinist, a thriller with Hitchcockian overtones. This time, it's a female protagonist with a deep, dark secret to hide and a whole world of pain to recognize and resolve. While The Machinist was grounded in reality, Triangle takes a leap off the deep end and serves more as a thematic, ideological, and mental examination of a life gone tragically wrong. Think of it more as a cautionary tale than a fright flick.
For a while, it's fun to puzzle through what writer/director Christopher Smith (Creep) has up his sleeves, but it also becomes apparent fairly early on that poor Jess' turmoil stretches beyond the paranormal phenomena of the Bermuda Triangle. To Smith's credit, right when things become a little tiresome, the movie lunges forward to a conclusion which continues the story's vicious circle concept and an overwhelming sense of dread.
After experiencing Jess' dark journey, Triangle ultimately turns into the kind of movie to watch, think about, then be extremely thankful "Jess" is somebody else. Step outside and soak up the sun with a clear conscience. As Hitch would say, "It's only a movie."
This disc is almost bare bones. Here's something more scary than the movie itself: The jacket lists "Previews" as a "Special Feature." Well, those previews play automatically at start up and they look like they've been ported over from a VHS tape. That ain't special, folks.
The disc's sole legitimate supplemental feature, an extremely choppy 6-minute collection of behind-the-scenes interviews, doesn't fare much better in terms of presentation quality. The sad thing is, there's enough in those 6 minutes to indicate it would've been easy to make a decent featurette about the making of the movie.
There are none.
Picture and Sound
In stark contrast to the "special features," the movie's 1080p Blu-ray presentation (2.35:1) is superb, with great contrast evident between scenes of sun-drenched ocean faring and the dimly-lit darkness of the cruise ship's innards.
The Dolby TrueHD soundtrack also works well, with the electrical storm providing a surprising amount of aural output given the movie's indie roots. An optional English 2.0 Stereo track is also available.
Subtitles are available in English SDH and Spanish.
How to Use This Disc
Enjoy the show. Then go outside and get some fresh air.
• Originally published at MovieHabit.com.