The Horror of Repetition

5 minutes into the movie Triangle, I knew it was not going to be a typical horror movie. It did not follow the conventional way of introducing the characters and explaining their motives. It was like they all decided to board a ship and sail into parts unknown with no apparent reason. The whole movie focuses on the protagonist, Jess’s point of view but after the end of the movie, I really wondered why the writer focused only on her. I really hate horror movies where the main character sees things but is deemed as paranoid or schizophrenic by his companions. This scenario borders on the stereotype of present horror movies which does not really scare me and in fact annoys me to no end, a sentiment I am sure other hardcore horror movie fans share. The pacing was that of a loop with a single copy of each character and multiple copies of Jess existing at the same time. After each loop, we shift to another point of view of Jess and that was how the story develops throughout the movie. Near the end of the movie, I sighed with relief as Jess was knocked out of the ship by another copy of herself because she had gone out of the loop. I thought the abandoned ship was the reason behind this déjà vu story but to my surprise, even on land; she was still inside it, proven by the presence of multiple dead seagulls in a scene near the ending of the movie. So the events on the ship were loops within a bigger loop and the ending scene was also the starting scene. I was screaming inside when the credits started to roll because the ending was open-ended and I was reminded of the ending of Inception where I was hoping the top would stop spinning but cuts to black before it does (I assume :)).

Although I would like to have the benefit of the doubt, I have one obvious question regarding the story. Did Jess have control over her own actions?  I was really puzzled by the insistence of Jess in accurately following the events throughout the loops. When she finally realized she was to become the killer, she had already experienced the firsthand account of being beaten by the masked individual during the first loop. She could choose to do it differently like poisoning her companions or not wearing a mask when she shoots them but she still followed the same steps. WTF moments include choosing to club her unsuspecting copy with a loaded weapon instead of just shooting her and going on the trip with her companions again when the movie ends. I think the real horror of this movie was how she perfectly duplicated the actions of her copies. I was really expecting her to refuse the boat ride at the end of the movie but she still relented. I mentally face palmed myself when she did that.  It was as if she wanted to stay in the loop. Overall, I liked how the story played out because it shows the insanity of being trapped in an existence where your actions are almost habitual. I think this serves as a lesson to our lives today. We might be free to do anything we want but we are psychologically trapped inside invisible “triangles” set by the government and other similar entities. These entities force us to do a set of repeated actions for the rest of our lives. The real-life horror is not realizing we are stuck in it. Realizing we are makes little difference. We have to choose whether to stay in this repeated certainty or swim towards unknown waters, a reference to a scene in the movie where the characters chose to stay on the overturned Triangle instead of swimming towards somewhere which of course, set the movie for its subsequent events.

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