Triangle Review

The film Triangle (2009) follows the story of Jess, a seemingly single mother who is about to drop off her son at school so she can enjoy a day out at sea with her friends. Shortly after, a slew of strange events follow as the group of friends find themselves in the eye of a storm and are suddenly shipwrecked. After boarding an empty ship, the characters are thrown into an odd loop of never-ending events. In the film Triangle, the main character never figures out why she is stuck in the loop so the audiences never find out as well. Even if there is no ghost, creature, monster or the like terrorizing the characters, the simple act of not knowing why they are in a confusing situation is enough to unsettle them. It is even more terrifying for the main character because she is the only one who understands that they are in the loop and must convince all the others to believer her. However, what is even more unnerving is when we finally think that the main character will be able to save the others by figuring out how to break the chain, she suddenly finds herself killing them off one by one.

“He maintains that horror is centrally concerned with an encounter between the known and the unknown, in which the unknown is implicitly dangerous and hostile” (As cited Jancovich). Here we return to the plot of the film and the unknown not necessarily being a creature or a monster that the audience can see and the characters can touch. The danger of the unknown takes the form of a string of unexplainable events and an unstoppable loop that only one character, Jess, can understand.

“Narratives usually end either in a sense of perfect fulfillment (the happy ending where everything is resolved) or in destruction and failure (the tragic ending where possibilities and promise are frustrated)” (Jancovich). At the end of the film, the main character is still stuck in the loop. No matter how hard she tries, she can’t seem to break the chain. She also doesn’t get an answer as to why she can’t seem to get out of it or why she was chosen by the universe to experience it. However, according to Jancovich, there will always be a central protagonist who is vital to the narrative. In this case, I would go back to the start of the film wherein Jess is shown to be taking care of her son; but as events progress we eventually see that Jess sometimes abuses her child out of frustration and impatience given that he is special. From this conclusion, the audience can then sort of understand why Jess was chosen to be placed in the loop.

The film itself was interesting and a new concept to me and at first glance, most audiences would probably deem this a thriller/suspense film instead of horror but I think that the film fits in the genre just right. Not many horror films choose to forego a concrete monster or creature that the audience can actually see because the scare factor is not probably as effective to most. However, I think that the fact that we have to use our own imaginations to come up with what the monster looks like or the idea that we don’t even know what to look for makes it all the more terrifying.

Reference: Jancovich, M. (1992). Horror film: The reader. Retrieved from


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