DIR/WRI: Christopher Smith • PRO: Julie Baines, Chris Brown, Jason Newmark • DOP: Robert Humphreys • ED: Stuart Gazzard • DES: Melinda Doring • CAST: Melissa George, Liam Hemsworth, Emma Lung, Rachel Carpani

A group of friends set sail off the coast of Florida, presumably towards the Bermuda Triangle, though this is never mentioned. All seems well except for Jess (George), who shows up haunted and exhausted. She is vague when asked about the whereabouts of her son and despite her best efforts is having trouble socialising. Soon, they have found themselves victim to a storm, leaving them shipwrecked. Eventually a ship arrives and they board it, expecting salvation but receiving a mess of time loops, murder and identity crises.

As the story unfolds, it becomes clear that despite how messy the plot seems, the script has been written with great care and thought. As each twist unfurls, it nicely fits into the questions that have previously been set up. As is often the case with time loop stories, Triangle seems unsure of how to end itself. However, it does manage to bring about a decent denouement, though the final scenes don’t quite explain themselves as nicely as it could have.

The film’s weakness lies in its tired premise. It is decidedly similar in design and tone to a particular episode of The X Files (incidentally called Triangle) and feels like an episode of The Twilight Zone except it’s dragged out for an extra hour, or the entire plot of Lost squeezed into a movie. There’s nothing cinematic here, therefore nothing to justify another time loop story making its way to the public. The amateurish CGI doesn’t help either!

Having said that, the film does entertain and it maintains a nice level of paranoia. Melissa George’s performance is consistently cold and distracted, always keeping the audience wondering what had happened before her arrival on the boat. As the third act begins and everything begins to make sense, Jess’s primal maternal urges begin to make sense and thus the film becomes an insightful psychological thriller.

This is by no means an original story, nor is it the most satisfying, but it is a decent thriller and credit must be given for the careful script, the melancholy tone and the snappy pacing. It’s not one for repeated viewing, but if you’re a fan of mind games, this is actually rather satisfying.

Charlene Lydon
(See biog here)

Rated 16 (see IFCO website for details)
is released on 16th Oct 2009
Triangle – Official Website