Friday, October 26, 2012

Final Girl Film Club - Triangle (2009)

Throughout October, Cody will be participating in the Final Girl Film Club SHOCKtober event with articles posted on a different movie every day of the month.

Today, the loopy 2009 thriller Triangle.

A group of friends and acquaintances head out for a fun afternoon sailing on a yacht called Triangle and run into trouble out on the sea. First, the wind dies down to a dead calm, then dark clouds of an electrical storm that doesn't show up on the Coast Guard's radar roll in overhead. The storm hits fast and hard, the sea gets so rough that the Triangle is overturned. The group is stranded at sea... Then a cruise ship comes along.

Our lead character is a newcomer to this group, a harried single mother named Jess, who's of a lower class than her companions. She was invited along on the boat trip by the Triangle's owner, who she got to know through his visits to the restaurant in which she works. Jess's main concern is getting home to pick her young son up from school, and she will do whatever it takes to get back to him. As the film progresses, that will call for some very desperate measures.

The group boards the cruise ship, which appears to be abandoned. The ship is called Aeolus, which is a name shared by three characters from Greek mythology who are difficult to tell apart. The one writer/director Christopher Smith had most in mind is the Greek god of wind and father of Sisyphus, the man who was punished by the gods by having to constantly try to roll a boulder uphill. The boulder would never make it to the top of the hill, it would always roll back down to the bottom, and Sisyphus would have to start all over, forever repeating his actions. Jess is about to live out something similar.

As the group walks the halls, Jess experiences deja vu. She's been here before. Her keys are found on the ground, having somehow gotten on board before she did. Messages have been left around the ship, there's blood on the floors. Someone is spotted stalking around, and the group soon starts getting killed one-by-one by a person wearing a sack as a mask. Soon everyone is dead except for Jess and as she looks out to sea, she sees herself and the rest of the Triangle group nearing the Aeolus on the overturned yacht. Jess quickly realizes that she has lived through this cycle countless times - the Triangle group boards the cruise ship, gets killed off, and it starts all over again. The time loop Jess is stuck in is much worse than anything Bill Murray ever had to deal with in Groundhog Day, but like him Jess will have to keep reliving this experience until things play out in just the right way to break the cycle.

How or why is this happening? Is Jess being punished for something like Sisyphus was?

Triangle is a cool, twisted little thriller that has some great moments and creepy sights. The film mainly works as a showcase for the talents of Melissa George in the role of Jess. There are multiple versions of Jess on board the Aeolus at any one time and George does some great work playing different versions of the same character. Over the course of the film, she has to run the gamut of emotions and demeanors from freaked out and terrified to tough and unnerving, depending on how many times each particular version has lived through the loop, and she handles it all quite well. Having multiple versions of the same character running around also makes for some neat scenes where versions witness themselves doing things at different points in each one's timeline, like Back to the Future II with a deadly twist.

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