While Triangle was certainly not a screamfest and not something I’d typically think of as horror, but the fact that it was shown in class made me reconsider it. After all, if a movie is shown in a class about horror films, you’ve got to think about it in those terms. It was mundane at first, but the opening scene made you feel that things were not going to be as they initially seem. The deeper and deeper you get into the movie, the more horror you feel for the fate of the characters. They are forced by some unknown power to repeat the same fate over and over again, unaware of the on-goings, except for the main character.
First, having to experience being shipwrecked and stranded on a mysterious ship is a terrifying experience then an unknown assailant appearing out of nowhere to murder everyone. But when it seems like the nightmare is over, she discovers that it has just begun for a new batch of her friends. As she watches everyone, including another her, a clarity forms in her mind. The same thing from before is happening. She has to try to change the fate of her friends again and again, but to no avail. She is stuck in some sort of cycle where she tries her best to save people, but cannot seem to even make a dent on things. The experience must have felt like a never-ending nightmare, where the more she tries to escape or change things, the more trapped she feels. She seems powerless to affect the outcome. Yet, she cannot choose to just escape from the ship, Triangle, when given a chance or even commit suicide, because she has to try to save her son.
She is put under a tremendous amount of emotional and psychological strain, the most any single character does in the film, precisely because she is the only one to survive the whole ordeal. I think the irony is that she might have the most freedom in a sense, because she knows what’s going on, but at the same time, she has no freedom because regardless of what she does, she can’t affect the inevitable outcome, the death of her friends. And that is essentially what is terrifying about Triangle. As modern humans, we are so used to being in control of our lives. Unlike humans in ancient times who relied and prayed on gods for things like protection, food, a cure to a disease, or a safe and successful childbirth, we rely on science and technology to deal with everyday problems. To be stripped of her ability to do anything of worth was terrifying. It was a fatalism nightmare.
And although, I’ve felt more scared from other movies, Triangle left a very heavy feeling afterwards. I found myself pondering the sad and hopeless (but at the same time hopeful – it is hope after all that drives her, for if she really did lose hope, she wouldn’t keep trying to save everyone) fate of the main character. I think I felt the effects of the movie more after the lights turned on. One way to think about horror (as a classification of movie) is as a feeling. And I eventually felt it when I sympathized with the main character. With that, I felt that Triangle was effective as a horror-inducing film.
Triangle used the fantastic as the basis for the events that occur, so I found myself asking several questions during the movie. How did she enter the loop in the first place? How many times has she actual gone through the loop? Who is the creepy taxi driver? What is it with the ship that caused this loop? Why her? And so on. But even after much speculation, I don’t think you can arrive at any conclusions. In fact, the only conclusion I came to was that it was a painful, heartless, and to an extent random. And I think that’s why it’s even scarier. It makes you feel that, you never know what’s out there so there is no assurance that you can’t get sucked into a similarly ordeal.