I’ve always had a penchant for films that make me scratch my head multiple times while watching it, trying to make sense of what is going on. Triangle, a movie directed by Christopher Smith, did exactly that. Melissa George stars as Jess, a woman who, along with her friends, suddenly find themselves in the middle of the ocean fighting for their lives.
Being a self-proclaimed horror junkie, I come to these films with my logic left at the door. I really didn’t know what to expect, and suffice it to say, I was really surprised. It’s a psychological horror film that’s designed to make you think, and I thought about possible explanations for the events that transpire in the film. Leave it to me to dissect a horror movie, instead of just sitting back and just enjoying it for what it is. But I digress.
My theory, the one that I think best explains why these things are happening to her, is concerned with the Greek myth of Sisyphus, a king who was condemned to roll an immense boulder up a hill, and then watch it roll back down, only to push it up again in an endless cycle. Maybe Jess is going through some sort of Sisphean torment, and everything she’s experiencing is a sort of punishment for mistreating her son, but by whom? Certainly, the movie leaves that one detail out. A lot of the little things in the movie allude to this. The ship’s name is Aeoulus, who was Sisyphus’ father in the myth. The characters also talked for a short while about the myth in the movie itself. However, there are also some dissimilarities between the two, like how in the myth of Sisyphus, he doesn’t exactly see seven hundred versions of himself doing the same thing.
Or, maybe, and this is where it gets crazier: Jess, already schizophrenic, has an incredible amount of bad luck and ends up in one of the vertices of the Bermuda Triangle, and there she is punished for whatever wrongdoings she may have done in the past, and repeats the cycle forever. No matter what she does, she always somehow winds back in the ship. This is where I think the true emotion of horror lies in the film: the feeling of entrapment, of realizing that there is nothing that you can do to change the course of your life, and that everything has already been laid out for you without your permission. Is this somehow the work of Fate, then?
Perhaps. Director Christopher Smith cleverly crafted the film to leave the audience wondering, and the film very much open to interpretation, which is definitely something that one does not see that much in today’s slew of brainless and trite horror films. Melissa George also shines as the lead character, Jess, and the material does her acting abilities justice, as compared to the The Amityville Horror and Turistas. Ultimately, Triangle is a little gem that you should get ahold of.