Monday, 20 June 2011

Triangle


15, 2009, Directed by Christopher Smith
Starring: Melissa George, Liam Hemsworth, Michael Dorman, Rachel Carpani


Genres are blurred in what first appears to be an out-and-out horror flick in British director Christopher Smith’s third outing (after the passable, gruesome Creep and Severance), which sees Melissa George’s Jess leaving behind her autistic son to enjoy a boating trip with a group of friends. When disaster strikes at sea, they seek refuge in what appears to ba an abandoned ship – well, abandoned until they begin to be stalked by a shotgun-wielding maniac – but why does Jess feel that she has been on the ship before? It is important that you are not fooled by the seemingly throwaway plot, the offbeat feel is present from the offset which aids in enhancing the uneasiness throughout. When the film eventually kickstarts, you realise that all content is integral to set in motion the events that unfold; and from the moment our protagonist steps foot on deck – without giving anything away – that is when the sci-fi element is layered into proceedings (AKA time to crack out the pad and paper). Triangle is a film that requires multiple watches, yet unlike numerous films of the same breed, it rewards you on initial view also. Smith unravels his material like a pro, genuinely impressing and creating excitement about future prospects where there was none before. Overlooked upon release, this is intelligent and brave enough to be destined for cult status. Former Home and Away star Melissa George delivers in pretty much carrying the entire film in a way in which her character has severely differing motives at pivotal moments: no mean feat.
The problem with a film obsessed with such complexity however is that flaws are inevitable. There is an overbearing highlight on imagery which eventually desensitises when you should be creeped out. Combine this with the amount of questions left unanswered, and if you let it, this could aid in frustrating and alienating the viewer in equal measure. The ending does live up to the remainder of the film – yet alternatively, the previous content leaves it impossible not to be completely devoid of the feeling that things could have been wrapped up just that little bit tighter. As a horror, the film fails – as a science-fiction brain-busting feature that has been crafted with skilled complexity, Triangle works best. Not to everyone’s taste, granted, but the head-slapping twists in which the jigsaw pieces slot into place are what make the film completely watchable.
If Triangle is the shape of things to come for Christopher Smith, all eyes should be fixed upon what he does next.
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