johnlink ranks TRIANGLE (2009)

TRIANGLE is a movie which I would probably have not ventured toward if not for its appearance as the number one entry on Tyson Carter’s recent list of 10 Obscure Horror Movies YouNeed to Discover for WhatCulture. But, the post intrigued me and when I came across TRIANGLE on Amazon Prime, I figured I’d give it a run.

I watched TRIANGLE (2009) on 10.1.12. It was my first viewing of the film. On a side note, this is a few days late because I was half-way through writing it when my wife had the inconsiderate idea to go into labor (for those who don’t know me: that was definitely sarcasm). Three days and one beautiful girl later, here is the article…

Starring Melissa George, who was one of the few bright spots in the BAG OF BONES movie adaptation, TRIANGLE begins like most any other horror movie in terms of its structure  Unlike many small and budget-limited horror films, it does begin with an immediate sense of dread created only by the ability of the filmmaking and editing.  Jess (George) is a single mother of an autistic child. We see a bit of her morning, and what a challenge it is. Odd things are already happening (a knock on the door which came from nobody), but nothing all out scary. There is certainly an unsettled feeling building.

We then jump to a sailboat about to embark on a pleasure cruise with a small group of people. Jess wanders toward the boat, apparently invited by Greg (Michael Dorman). But something is not right with her. As an audience, we get the sense the movie isn’t telling us something. But we are quickly confronted by a group of six people who seem to be your typical horror-movie cannon fodder, so we quickly are able to forget all about this opening. We are able to forget that we are supposed to be trying to figure out what is wrong with Jess.

Soon, the boat is hit by a storm which results in the group being stranded in the water. Luckily, they come across a Titanic-like cruise ship and get on board. Based purely on the film’s genre, we know this is going to be a ghost-ship or a blood-soaked gore fest, or something equally terrible. What we get, instead, is a fairly mature psychological thriller.

The first unexpected twist is an entirely unexpected. The following two or three blow up the whole film (in a good way). To spoil these is to spoil the fun of the movie, but suffice it to say that this is nothing like your ordinary slasher flick. There is a certain level of bait-and-switch which occurs with this film, and I give it a ton of credit for pulling it off.

The film isn’t entirely sophisticated in its handling of the plot’s nuances, but it plows forward with enough energy to make those oversights forgivable. I also like that the film is clearly about the Bermuda Triangle, though nobody ever breaks down and starts talking about that. Instead, this is a surprisingly smart and successful script.

While the acting isn’t top-notch, it is effective enough to get the job done. George’s final scenes are really solid, and it also puts a nice twist on the hanging-end which horror movies so often feel the need to employ, even though the tactic has gotten tired. In TRIANGLE we feel what we should about Jess, even if that feeling is complex and impure.

I haven’t been pleasantly surprised by a low-budget horror flick in some time. These little gems are few and far between, and it feels good to be able to recommend a worthwhile one when it pops up on the radar.

SCORES

FILM: 7; MOVIE: 9; ACTING: 6; WRITING: 8

7+9+6+8+0=30

FINAL SCORE: 7.5

 

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~ by johnlink00 on October 4, 2012.

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