Triangle (2009)

There are some movies that don't fit into nice genres. "Triangle" starts off as something of a disaster movie, then leads you down a path of ghosts, then changes directions to a horror movie, then into a psychological horror/thriller, and adds in a dose of fantasy involving time travel, or maybe dreams, or alternate dimensions. To be honest, my mind was spinning so fast I wasn't sure where it ended up.

The movie begins with five people going on a sailing trip. Despite tension between some of the passengers, everything starts off fine. Suddenly the weather changes, and the boat is stranded in the ocean as a huge storm rolls in. There are some truly harrowing moments as the boat is knocked around and ends up capsized. Rescue comes in the form of a cruise ship, which is eerily empty when the survivors board. From there, things start to spiral out of control.

There are a number of twists that make up the plot, and I'm not a fan of spoilers. The broadest statement I can make is that we end up seeing the events of the movie happen over and over, as though we're caught in a loop we can't escape.

My favorite time travel paradox is the idea that if someone does travel through time, that it has already happened. That is, if you, in 2013, went back in time to 2003 and observed yourself, that means that in 2003 a future version of yourself was already there watching you. Even eerier, if the 2023 version of you came back to 2013, that means they are watching you right now.

"Triangle" is definitely not about time travel per se, but it definitely focuses on the idea of the events of your life repeating themselves. My second favorite paradox is the idea that no matter what you change, the outcome will be the same, simply because if anything changed in the past it would alter the future. Since you were obviously in the future heading back to the past, nothing could have changed despite any actions you took.

I apologize if my time travel talk got too heady for anyone. Again, "Triangle" is not a sci-fi time travel movie, but instead something that almost feels more like a dream, a nightmare that you can't wake up from.


[Normally I post a trailer here, but all the trailers I saw actually gave away more plot points than I did above, so instead enjoy the beginning of "Triangle"]


On the [Celluloid Hero] scale, "Triangle" gets an 8 out of 10.


[Each week, Varacchi explores cinema from his own perspective. From indie to foreign to mainstream, he'll watch it all. Suggestions and recommendations are welcome, leave a comment below. CLICK HERE for the Celluloid Hero archives]

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