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This week’s selection is a film that has been on my radar for probably a decade. But I didn’t get around to checking it out until very recently. After finally watching Christopher Smith’s Triangle, I am ashamed that I didn’t make time to check it out sooner. Triangle is very well within my interest set. I love time loop horror and I really enjoy films set on a seafaring vessel. Not to mention, I am quite fond of Melissa George (30 Days of Night). Accordingly, Triangle checks a lot of boxes for me. And I think there’s a high probability that you will enjoy it too, dear reader.
Triangle functions as an atmospheric and mind-bending effort that’s likely to inspire first-time viewers to go back and rewatch to pick up on subtle cues and clues that didn’t jump out the first time around. The narrative sees timelines folding in on each other and chaos reigns supreme in this twisty horror thriller.
The film follows Jess (Melissa George), a single mother who drops her young son off at school before heading out for an oceanic adventure with Greg (Michael Dorman), her new boyfriend. Along for the ride on Greg’s yacht are some of his bougie friends and his ruggedly handsome deckhand Viktor (Liam Hemsworth). The outing begins as expected but when the seafaring vessel inexplicably encounters torrential conditions, the boat is destroyed, leaving the day-trippers marooned on the open water. When they see an ocean liner passing by, the group thinks their luck is about the change. And they are quite correct in that assessment. But their luck certainly does not change for the better. No, it seems the watercraft exists in a seemingly unescapable time loop.
While I do love a time loop film, I’ll be the first to admit that it’s not always an easy conceit to execute effectively. Not only does the picture have to be entertaining and effective, but there’s also some advanced calculous required to ensure that the overlapping timelines intersect without continuity errors. But I’m pleased to say that Triangle excels on all fronts. The winding narrative makes as much sense as a complex time loop tale can. And the story itself is beyond fascinating.
Part of what makes the proceedings so captivating is the air of mystery in which the story is shrouded. We never get a definitive answer as to the root cause of the time loop and we don’t learn the true intentions of some of the key players until the very end. That uncertainty augments the tension inherent to the storyline, giving the viewer cause to remain on the edge of their seat throughout.
Additionally, multiple incarnations of each character exist on the ocean liner. So, just because one version of a character meets their end doesn’t mean they are out of the picture. Moreover, each version of any given character has different priorities, ideas, and intentions. So, a single character has the potential to be both hero and villain at the very same time.
The film also benefits from a stellar performance from leading lady Melissa George. She is initially frazzled and unsure of herself but really comes into her own as a protagonist as the narrative pushes forward. Where her arc starts versus where it ends really surprised me. After the audience is given all of the pieces of the puzzle to put together, we have the chance to evaluate her in a very different light than at the onset.
Like most time-loop horror films, you’ll have to pay close attention to Triangle. There are a lot of moving parts. The crash continuously repeats and the core characters board the ship after each reset. So, not only are they trying to get the hell off the vessel alive, but they are also contending with alternate versions of their own likeness.
On the whole, Triangle is a twisty tale of overlapping timelines that delivers a fascinating conclusion that you aren’t likely to see coming. If you’re curious to check the film out, you are in luck. Triangle is streaming on Peacock as of the publication of this post.
That’s all for this installment of The Overlooked Motel. If you want to chat more about under-seen and underrated films, feel free to hit me up with your thoughts on Twitter, Threads, or Instagram @FunWithHorror.