Triangle (Dir: Christopher Smith)

Published

Lee Roden

Triangle, written and directed by Christopher Smith, is a horror/thriller by definition, but maybe a more apt title would be “sailing natural disaster movie” (I think I just created a genre!) I say that because the biggest disaster in the film is the craftsmanship of the boat the main cast are sailing on.

Now, I’m no sailing expert, but I’m pretty sure that if my boat virtually broke in half after being hit by one wave, I’d be pretty pissed at the company who made it. Anyway, let’s move on to the film itself, which doesn’t get much better.

To sum up: a single mother, Jess (Melissa George), decides to drop her son off at school and go sailing for a day in the worst act of parenting ever. Seemingly the reason for this is that she wants to spend her time with Greg (Michael Dorman).

Their relationship is one of the few intriguing plot points in the film, but it’s never fully developed and is abandoned about half-way through. Indeed, most of the entertaining aspects of the movie take a similar U-turn at around the 40 minute mark.

Take, for example, Greg’s 18 year-old equivalent of John the cabin boy from Captain Pugwash, Victor (played by Liam Hemsworth). The peculiarity of Greg and Victor’s relationship is hinted at during the first fifteen minutes of the film when Downey (Henry Nixon), Greg’s friend (I think, though again this relationship is never really fully explained), astutely highlights that “You’re living on a boat with an 18 year-old boy and you don’t want me to bring a girl on board!” Indeed. Once again, however, this plot point plays second fiddle to the main focus of the film, which is that it basically turns into Groundhog Day.

Yes, that’s right — another movie where the same thing happens over and over again. This would be fine if there was actually some kind of pay-off at the end, or if Bill Murray appeared, but neither of these events occur, guaranteeing that if you have any ounce of logic and reason in you, you’ll leave the film feeling rather disappointed.
It’s not all bad, though. Victor provides some excellent comic relief with his profound statements. Melissa George does put in a commendable performance as Jess, especially when you consider that she has to do the same thing about seven thousand million times. The film’s also pretty nice visually — there’s even some Godard-esque jump cuts in there at one point.

Some lazy CGI mars the beauty on a few occasions however, though not enough to ruin the overall visual style. If you’re a fan of the genre (thrillers, not sailing natural disaster movies) then I’d recommend a look. For everyone else, you might have to suspend your brain’s cognitive ability in order to enjoy the film. Perhaps the most startling instance of this can be found in the fact that no one in the film seems to have a mobile phone. I mean, it could be set in the early 1970s, but it sure doesn’t look like it. Sat-nav, anyone?