Triangle

Triangle

****

Reviewed by: Jennie Kermode

Watching the early scenes of this film, you may feel as if you've seen it before. A group of good looking young people decide to go sailing together. The blue skies are split by a sudden storm. Unprepared for strange events, they quickly find themselves in trouble, and are relieved when they get the chance to board a passing steamer - but with the steamer apparently abandoned and mysterious drops of blood on the gangways, that's only the beginning of their problems...

Familiarity does not breed contempt. Instead, accompanied by taut direction, it ratchets up the tension. There are moments when, gripped tight by fear, one really wants to turn away but cannot because the imagery is so seductive, so beautiful. This film is stunningly photographed, and as a piece of art it draws the viewer in until it becomes apparent that all is not what it seems.

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At the heart of this surprisingly powerful film is a complex, assured performance by Melissa George. She plays Jess, a withdrawn young woman whose quiet awkwardness is explained by her friend Greg (Michael Dorman) as a consequence of her difficult life as single mother to an autistic son. She suffers from bad dreams and quickly becomes nervous on the isolated steamer, but it's only when things really start to go wrong that we realise just how tough life has been for her, and we only gradually begin to understand the extent of her courage.

Triangle is not at all what its trailers make it look like - it's far more reminiscent of Hitchcock, with hints of Memento and The Prestige - but even if you go into it knowing that, you'll quickly find yourself going along with it. It plays the horror game with great skill, but like all the best horror films it has underlying it much deeper psychological concerns. How much would you be willing to endure to be with somebody you loved, or to put right your own mistakes?

At the emotional core of the film, though we see him only in a few brief scenes, young Joshua McIvor is remarkable as Jess' son, convincingly distanced and emotionally awkward yet easy to believe in as the centre of her universe. This gives Triangle an emotional weight to match its intelligence. It's the sort of film that will keep you asking questions long after the credits have rolled, and which, when it comes out on DVD, you may find yourself watching again and again.

Reviewed on: 14 Oct 2009
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Triangle packshot
When a yachting party get caught in a storm they take refuge on a liner... but is it really a safe haven?
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Director: Christopher Smith

Writer: Christopher Smith

Starring: Liam Hemsworth, Melissa George, Emma Lung, Rachael Carpani, Michael Dorman, Henry Nixon

Year: 2009

Runtime: 99 minutes

BBFC: 15 - Age Restricted

Country: Australia

Festivals:

Frightfest 2009

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If you like this, try:

The Babadook
Burning Bright