If I had seen Triangle a few days before our first Horror Film class, I wouldn’t have considered it a horror film, but more of an elaborate mindfuck laced with suspense. My untrained eye was clueless about any elements of screen art beyond basic aesthetics, and to me, Triangle didn’t have that horror film feel. Sure, there was a masked killer and a lot of blood, but much less than your typical slasher film- not to mention, it wasn’t set in the nighttime, which is a key factor to any horror film! However, putting the ignorant stereotypes aside and focusing on the actual emotion it brought out of me, I realize that Triangle is indeed as horrific as possibilities can go.
Triangle takes advantage of the fact that you have no idea what’s going on and thrives off this confusion. From the opening sequence, up until Jess crashes the car in the end, you are not quite sure if the pieces have fallen into place yet or if the plot is going to take another twist and bite you in the ass. When Jess stood on the ship after killing the masked figure, and looked out to see herself and her friends stranded on their capsized yacht, I thought I had it figured out: Jess was the killer and she would kill all of them and die! But that wasn’t it- the film dragged on; especially when they continued establishing the infinite loop on the ship- I understood it after the second time, thanks.
Unnecessarily long establishment time put aside, Triangle succeeded greatly in one thing: scaring me- the very effect every successful horror film has. I found myself haunted by the fear of being trapped in a recurring nightmare, or having my life play in loop, naively thinking that I’ve found an escape (like Jess did) only to find myself back at square one.
The whole film points me towards the power of the human mind. Did Jess ever escape? Was it all in her head? Was she crazy because of the seemingly abusive relationship she had with her son’s father? I’ve always been afraid of the unlimited potential of the human brain, it’s ability to understand complex mathematics and abstract concepts, and I sometimes wonder if this entire universe is simply a daydream from some laboratory brain. What if Jess had died in the storm and everything that was happening to her was the result of abusing her child?
Having said that, I came up with my own conclusion that Jess was trapped in her own internal hell, more of a state of mind than a physical place, where her conscience and guilt were punishing her- not only for how she treated her son, but possibly because her life had not turned out the way she wanted. Hey, it’s an easy way to grasp the whole idea of the film, but in my opinion, the human mind is the scariest place on Earth.