Time travel in movies is always a tricky proposition -- as any movie about time travel will clearly indicate, confusion often takes root and the viewer may find himself distracted by the unanswerable time loops instead of simply focusing on the flick. Even worse, most movies that deal with time travel take a whole lot of time explaining what's going on, and that's rarely fun. Or you can go the less-is-more route when you're telling a tale of temporal troubles: explain just enough to keep the audience guessing.
That's what Christopher Smith's Triangle does surprisingly well: it drops a handful of characters onto a deserted ocean liner, sets up what seems like a fairly basic slasher premise, and then he just lets a bunch of Twilight Zone-level strangeness take hold.
Suffice to say that those who like movies in which everything is tied up in a dainty little ribbon ... might not like Triangle. Only slightly a horror film, Triangle does show off a quiet new side of director Christopher Smith, whom the genre fans will know as the director of Creep and Severance. The flick has moments both creepy and gory (and one or two that are truly disturbing), but there's a calm confidence to Smith's latest effort.
The story is this: A group of attractive young people have some serious yacht trouble, and are forced to take refuge in a massive ocean liner that just happens to be nearby. You'd probably be able to guess that the ship is (mostly) deserted, but you might be surprised at precisely who is holed up there. Lord knows our poor yachtsman are. Only Jess (Melissa George) has an inkling of what's going on on the empty old boat, but her theories are pretty nuts ... and someone keeps trying to kill her.
Clearly I'm trying to stay a little vague on the inner workings of the plot, but if you're interested in a horror-thriller that starts out like a simple tale of slash and slice before making a few crazy right turns in the direction of temporal distortion... I have no problem offering a recommendation on Triangle. Backed by Ms. George's strong performance and some fine camerawork from Smith and cinematographer Robert Humphreys, Triangle is a crisp and refined little mind-bender that gets pretty contorted, but makes just enough sense to deliver a strong finalé. A little hint to my fellow movie buffs: try watching Triangle and Nacho Vigolando's Timecrimes back to back. If your brain doesn't throb from all the time-travel twistiness, you're probably a physicist.