Triangle as the first horror film shown in our class was not what I expected. When I signed up for this class, I expected a parade of ghost/zombie movies to be marched before my frightened eyes. I expected to be tense the entire movie as I tried to anticipate each and every “gulat” moment, which would still scare me anyway despite my best preparations. Finally, I expected just to be counting down the minutes until the lead character would die so that the movie would finally be over and I can resume my normal, undead-free life. That is until night time fell and I would be lying in my bed imagining all sorts of supernaturally-horrific fates that would befall me. Not even hiding under my bedsheets would be able to save me.
While I’m sure there will be plenty of movies shown in this class that will send me whimpering into the lap of my seat mate, Triangle was definitely not one of these movies. I think this is due to the fact that there is very little presence of the “Fantastic”, as described by Hartwell.
Throughout the years, I have discovered that when it comes to horror, the only things that really scare me are ghosts or demons. I think that this is so because these two things have the possibility of being true. There are millions of ghost stories out there, some of which have been told to me by friends who experienced it first-hand. This makes it terrifying for me because these stories must have some degree of truth to them for them to be so widespread. When it comes to demons, the simple fact that there have be exorcisms and their existence in religious texts is enough evidence for me to consider that they may be real. The thought of being possessed or encountering a person possessed by a demon is perhaps one of my top 3 fears. If a movie was shown with any of these two elements, then I would definitely be scared.
Triangle however did not have any of this, and thus it did not horrify me. Instead, it kept me at the edge of my seat. My brain would not stop whirling, trying to connect all that was happening. It also reminded me of the movie “Inception” because of its multiple layers, the psychological nature of the film, and its general dark tone. In this sense, the movie was a psychological thriller. It could be argued that Triangle is from the Fantastic stream of horror, if one takes into account the presence of an unexplained loop and ghost ship. The fantastic elements however are not the source of horror in the movie, as the plot revolves much more heavily around the general derangement of the character.
My favorite element of the plot is how it is linked to the Myth of Sisyphus. By introducing this element early on, it casts a shadow of inevitability and fatalism over the entire movie. Despite all the efforts of the character to break the cycle, she never could and just kept on entering into the same terrifying, mentally-racking loop, just like how Sisyphus was condemned to push a rock up a mountain forever. This sense inevitability and fatalism is horrifying because it takes all power a way from humans and suggests that perhaps nothing we can do will ever change anything.
Triangle was definitely a good movie to watch, despite its plot holes. It was a apt introduction to the class because it widened my definition of horror movies which previously required that the fantastic element had to be the source of horror. If I were to watch this movie without having read the readings, I would have said that it was not a horror, but that it was a psychological thriller. The imagery, plot, and elements present however clearly make Triangle fall into the horror genre.