Reviewed by Gareth Jones
Starring Liam Hemsworth, Melissa George, Rachael Carpani, Emma Lung
Written and directed by Christopher Smith
Distributed by Icon Home Entertainment
Every so often there comes a film that manages to divide opinion amongst the Dread Central staff, and Christopher Smith’s Triangle, the follow-up to his successful Creep and Severance, is definitely one of those films. Having been present at the world premiere in London last year, I posted an early opinion on the flick here (AVOID the spoilers if you haven’t seen it yet).
Once done, hop on over and follow up with Creepy’s view here.
Now, while the US must put up with a mere bare-bones offering on DVD, UK genre fans are set to receive a much more satisfying package when this one hits shelves. First and foremost, we have a fantastic commentary track by Chris Smith. He barely allows a minute of screen time to pass without his voice present in our ears (save the end where he bails on us slightly early!), divulging some seriously in-depth analysis of the conception, writing, and filming of Triangle including his influences – most noticeably Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining. His enthusiasm and consistent flow make this an eminently listenable track.
While I had hoped that Smith’s insight would possibly help me to appreciate the film as a whole a little more, I found it largely unable to sway my opinion. Though he does expand on some of the irksome questions I had on initial viewing, he simultaneously confirms the very issues that turned me against the movie – it simply could have done with more time in the story development stage, with multiple breaks in internal logic that feel even a little more aggravating when you hear Smith explain them away. If you’re already a big fan of the film, you’ll likely accept this anyway. In that case, this commentary is an essential companion piece to the film.
The consistency of the storytelling may be open to argument, but one thing about Triangle that definitely isn’t is Christopher Smith’s directorial talent. The film is an aural and visual treat and, on a technical level, without a doubt his best yet. It’s incredibly slick, masterfully framed and presented on screen with strict precision. It’s simply a pity that such great efforts are mostly thwarted by the script.
The DVD looks great – about as high quality as the format will allow. Sound is impressive, from the squawking of seagulls to thunderous crashing waves, and of course I’ve previously mentioned the gunshots – harsh, brutal and LOUD.
The rest of the extras are contained among the rather nifty animated menus, which give a brief and frantic first-person dash through some of the corridors on board the Aeolus. Here, we find The Making of Triangle documentary, which runs approximately 42 minutes. We get a good luck at the creation of the movie with plenty of behind-the-scenes footage, interviews with cast and crew, a look at some of the special effects and creation of sets. Very interesting stuff that provides a few revelations about the shoot that will likely surprise you.
Next, we have a selection of three scenes in a non-animated storyboard format. These are pretty much what you would expect but can be a little difficult to make out well. A few deleted scenes are next, none of which add anything particularly important to the film and appear to have been wisely removed, but they are worth a glance nonetheless. Chris does touch on a couple of these during the main commentary, too.
Following up is the winning poster from a competition run prior to the film’s release. It’s literally just a still image of the poster displayed on your television. Finally, the package is rounded out with The Storm Featurette – a six-minute overview of the creation of the storm/capsizing scene with Visual Effects Supervisor Ivan Moran giving us the lowdown as we see the live action, scale model and CGI elements come together to create the final product.
The highlight of the package here is definitely Smith’s commentary track, but everything we’re given is more than welcome (though the poster and storyboards are pretty much throwaway additions) and should rightly have any fan of the film whipping themselves into a frenzy.
2 1/2 out of 5
4 out of 5
3 1/2 out of 5
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