Triangle (British-Australian film)
Triangle is a 2009 psychological thriller film written and directed by Christopher Smith and starring Melissa George and Michael Dorman. The film was released in the United Kingdom on 16 October 2009. George portrays a single mother who goes on a boating trip with several friends. When they are forced to abandon their ship, they board a derelict ocean liner, where they become convinced that someone is stalking them.
|Directed by||Christopher Smith|
|Written by||Christopher Smith|
|Music by||Christian Henson|
|Edited by||Stuart Gazzard|
|Distributed by||Icon Film Distribution|
|Box office||$1.3–1.6 million|
While preparing to take Tommy, her son with autism, on a boat trip along with her friend Greg, Jess hears the doorbell ring, but no one is there. She later arrives at a harbour in Florida without Tommy, explaining that he is at school, and boards Greg's boat. She meets Greg's married friends Sally and Downey, Sally's friend Heather, and Victor, a runaway teen living with Greg. While out at sea, the wind dies and a storm approaches, and they pick up a distress signal while radioing the coast guard. The storm capsizes the boat, during which Heather is swept out into the water, and the others climb onto the overturned boat when the storm clears.
They board an ocean liner as it passes; it appears to be deserted, yet there is fresh food in a dining room. Jess experiences a growing sense of déjà vu as they explore. They find Jess's keys in a corridor near a display case for Aeolus, the ship's namesake, leading Sally to believe Heather has also boarded. Jess soon spots someone watching them and Victor gives chase. She and Greg continue on and find "Go To Theater" written in blood on a mirror. After they part, she returns to the dining room, where the food is now rotting. Victor enters, covered in blood, and tries to kill Jess; she fights him off by aggravating a wound at the back of his head. She hears gunfire and follows it to a theater, where Greg lies dead of a gunshot. Sally and Downey tell Jess that Greg told them she shot him. They accuse her of sending them to the theater. A burlap-masked shooter kills them from a balcony and chases Jess to an outside deck; she fights back and disarms the shooter, who tells her "You have to kill them; it's the only way to get home" before falling overboard.
She soon hears yelling and sees herself and the others alive on Greg's upturned boat. After they board, Jess becomes the earlier unseen figure: she drops her keys near the display case and is spotted shortly after. She attempts to warn Victor when he catches up to her, only to accidentally impale his head on a wall hook. She flees deeper into the ship and finds dozens of duplicates of the shooter's outfit, shotgun, her own locket, and a note saying to kill them all when they board. She takes a shotgun, intending to "change the pattern", but the shooter, another Jess, kills Greg and Downey before mortally wounding Sally with a knife.
The first Jess chases Sally, who sends the distress signal heard on Greg's boat. Jess catches up to her on an upper deck filled with dozens of Sally corpses, and Sally succumbs to her wound as, below them, the newest Jess kills the shooter Jess. The overturned boat returns again, and Jess realises the loop restarts once everyone is killed. Desperate to stop and ultimately prevent the loop, Jess sets everything from the first loop into motion, with herself as the shooter. After she is disarmed during the fight on the front deck, she urges her counterpart to kill everyone when they return, and falls overboard.
She awakens washed ashore and discovers that it is the same morning. She returns home and watches from outside her house as her double abuses Tommy out of anger toward his autism. Promising to change, she distracts her counterpart with the doorbell, then kills her, puts the bagged body in the car trunk, and leaves with Tommy. A gull hits their windscreen and dies, but when she picks it up and disposes of it, she sees a pile of dead gulls. Realising that she is still trapped in the loop, Jess hurriedly drives away, but she crashes into a truck and Tommy is killed and the earlier double (who Jess killed) is seen dead at the scene. In the aftermath, the real Jess stands watching the accident scene. A taxi driver approaches her and she accepts a ride to the harbour. After promising to return, she joins the others on Greg's boat, starting the loop again.
The film, a British-Australian co-production, was written and directed by Christopher Smith. The UK Film Council awarded £1.6 million ($2.8 million) of public money from the National Lottery fund towards the development, production and distribution of the film. Smith was inspired by Dead of Night and Memento. He wanted to make a circular film that explored déjà vu that avoided using the same elements as Jacob's Ladder. The film was shot on sets and on location in Queensland, Australia; the sets include the exterior of a cruise liner, which Smith insisted on constructing as he believed it was important that they avoid shooting everything with green screens. The film is based in part on the story of Sisyphus, a figure in Greek mythology.
The film premiered in the UK at the London FrightFest Film Festival on 27 August 2009. Triangle was theatrically released on 16 October 2009, in the UK; 30 December 2009 in Belgium; 21 January 2010 in the Netherlands.
Triangle grossed $894,985 in its native UK and $1,303,598 total worldwide. It did not receive a theatrical release in the US.
Icon Home Entertainment distributed Triangle on DVD and Blu-ray in the UK, with a release date of 1 March 2010, whilst First Look Studios distributed the title on both DVD and Blu-ray with a release date of 2 February 2010.
Rotten Tomatoes, a review aggregator, reports an approval rating of 80% based on 40 reviews, with an average rating of 6.53/10. The site's critics' consensus reads: "Triangle sails into some strange waters, but this intelligent, well-acted horror outing anchors its idiosyncrasies in a satisfyingly scary story."
Empire gave the film a 4/5 stars rating and called it a "satisfying mind-twister, with an unexpectedly poignant pay-off". Variety said that Triangle only makes some kind of sense on its own fantastic level. Time Out London reviewer Nigel Floyd praised Melissa George's "fearless, credible performance" that "grounds the madness in a moving emotional reality". The Guardian critic, Philip French compared it to a "Möbius strip" in which the viewer "wonders how Smith will keep things going" and added the viewer will "leave his picture suitably shaken". Fellow Guardian critic Peter Bradshaw wrote that Triangle is a "smart, interestingly constructed scary movie", complimenting Smith for "creating some real shivers".
Entertainment.ie's Mike Sheridan was less impressed. Although he praised George's acting, he wrote that her performance "can't shield the fact that this still an exceptionally non-scary horror, that will have you scratching your head more than jumping out of your seat", ultimately rating it 2/5 stars. The Scotsman called it "a trickily plotted and slickly made effort that nevertheless can't quite make its premise fly in gripping enough fashion".
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- Bradshaw, Peter (15 October 2009). "Triangle". The Guardian. Retrieved 16 January 2010.
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- "Film review: Triangle". The Scotsman. 15 October 2009. Retrieved 16 January 2010.