triangle-quad-newOne of these days, I’m going to go to see a horror movie and what I’ll actually sit down and watch will be a horror movie. Zombieland was a comedy and Triangle is a thiller and at this rate, Saw VI will be a western.

What ultimately makes this review a bit of a bugger to write is that Triangle is one of those films where saying too much about what it’s about would spoil the experience and what is safe to say doesn’t make it sound particularly rivetting.

Melissa George stars as Jess, a single-mother of an autistic child who goes on a sailing trip with some buddies. They go through a freak storm, their boat is overturned and they’re eventually picked up by a passing cruise ship that appears to be deserted until things go a little crazy. They stay that way until the end.

It’s the “things go a little crazy” bit that makes this such a challenging, absorbing and initially confusing film. Up until the storm, the pace is quite relaxed — pedestrian, almost — but all the way through, there’s a sense that something’s not quite right.

Apart from the remake of Amityville Horror, my only frame of reference for Melissa George was God knows how long ago when she was Angel in Home & Away so I was pleasantly surprised by how good she is here. She’s the centre of proceedings and it’s the convincing way she plays Jess as tired, edgy and distant that shepherds the movie successfully through the tentative scene-setting of the opening act and she really excels once “things go a little crazy.”

Director and writer Christopher Smith keeps the anticipation palpable and, somewhat tiring if my nerves are to be believed , never really presents the jump he promises until near the end. The result is uncomfortable, claustrophobic and unsettling for all the right reasons.

Couple of gripes. Some of the CGI is terrible. When things fall into the ocean, you’re never really in any danger of believing that something has fallen into the ocean. It happens a couple of times and only serves as a reminder that you’re in a cinema watching a movie. The second gripe, well, I can’t really mention without giving too much away, but there’s a fourth instance of something that never explained … and it needs to be explained because instances two and three are more than adequately covered.

It took Smith two years to write the movie, such were the demands of the structure and continuity. It’s been time well spent and he’s created a conversation piece. While I can live with possible plot-holes and without concrete explanations of why that ship and why the thing is called Triangle in the first place, I did feel he could’ve been more explicit in how the film should be interpreted. Was it all real? Was a Faustian bargain at its heart? Well, yes, no, both, neither, maybe. I dunno and perhaps I should.