Written & Directed by: Christopher Smith
Full credits at IMDb
Triangle is a time travel movie without a time machine—its repetitious chronoloops are set into motion instead by some unseen, punitive cosmic-force. Melissa George stars as Jess, a single mother with an autistic son, who goes sailing with acquaintances and strangers; before the daytrip’s machinations and romantic jealousies can erupt into drama, the wind cuts out and an epic electrical storm rolls in. Even worse, time begins to unfold, with dreams and radio transmissions providing glimpses of a distressed future. Oh, and then, an abandoned, out-of-joint oceanliner—yes, your classic ghost ship—emerges from the fog to rescue them. Or, to prove their undoing: this floating Overlook Hotel’s eerily emptied corridors, its decked-out dining hall without banqueters, will become the setting for most of their deaths.
Triangle slips into a slasher formula governed by an oneiric logic, in which The Last Girl Standing is being hunted by herself. Jess is tasked—or rather, Future Jess assigns Past Jess—to kill herself and her friends in an attempt to break out of the loop. Instead, it proves rather Sisyphean: after they’re all dead, time resets and a fresh batch arrives. And there are morbid, horrifying signs that this loop has already played out dozens of times. Writer-director Smith crafts unbearably tense murder-mystery madness, a narrative tour-de-force that borrows conspicuously from Timecrimes and becomes a kind of Groundhog Day…of Terror! But, beyond its dashing narrative success (which I suspect might be less impressive on repeated viewings), Triangle tackles tricky themes. The time-loop is initiated by a terrible act of violence. But it’s not just that cruelty that proves so detestable—it’s the nauseating futility of trying to atone for violence with more of it. That’s a message all of us warmongering Westerners, Brit and American alike, could still stand to hear. Grade: A-
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