Starring Andrew Rizzo, Lee Rizzo, Brick Patrick
Directed by David Blair, Nathaniel Peterson, Adam Pitman, Andrew Rizzo, Adam Stilwell
Gems – they usually are far and few, but once you stumble upon one, it can be something to behold especially when it comes to filmmaking. The right blend of horror, psychological element, and pacing can act as a solid foundation for what’s trying to be conveyed. Add a decent storyline to the mix, with a nice swerve towards the conclusion, and BAM! Instant gratification for the viewer… at least for this one anyway.
The film in question here is The Triangle, and at the risk of typing all those damn names again, the directorial credits are about a couple inches up from where you’re reading now. The film takes a simple premise and ratchets the unknowing “what’s happening” factor to a palpable level, leaving you scratching your skulls when the final credits roll.
The Triangle starts off with a postcard that an estranged friend has sent to his filmmaking pals about his whereabouts – turns out he’s been M.I.A. for a while now, and this is his first attempt at reaching out. The message is as simple as it is terrifying, and it ends with “WE NEED YOUR HELP.” If that isn’t enough to put a lump in the back of your shorts, I don’t know what is.
So the gang gather up their camera equipment and roll on along to the deepest depths of the Montana backcountry… I mean, WAY OUT of the way. Upon arriving to meet up with their friend, they’re immediately invited for a documentary stay at the commune he’s been residing at.
First off, I’ve always found these “cult-like” films to be inherently frightening for some reason – usually led by one or two mouthpieces, the admirers or devotees of a group will stand by their leader, regardless of the situation they’re in and whether or not the people involved are of sound mind. These presentations tend to be chilling in their basest form, which is possibly why I’m so deep into this film… but I digress.
The camera crew is welcomed at “The Triangle” by the shepherd, Rizzo, and while the sentiment is healthy, there still is the implication that this new bunch of invites won’t be accepted as gracefully by some of the residents – these people have opted to give up their regular lives and conveniences for the simplicity of nature and wouldn’t take too kindly to being filmed at the drop of a hat. Oh crap, I think I know how this one’s going to pan out.
As time rolls along, our group is generally left to their own devices, but the act of having everyone sign releases and consent to filming isn’t taken lightly. But that’s not even the biggest of worries here – there’s a rock formation way off in the distance with a sizable opening, and the interference of odd noises and random commune inhabitants getting sick for no reason comes off as a bit disconcerting.
I’d love to give more details and nuggets of information about this film, but I really can’t divulge any more as it would complicate and strangle the already solid story that viewers really need to dive into. All I’m going to offer up is that what is portrayed on screen for the first two thirds of the film is NOT what you’ll be focusing on in the final act. It’s that unbending of a plot swerve, and while it might not work for many, I simply couldn’t get enough of it – it’s just that good.
The fact that a film gripped me so tightly all the while using a pseudo found-footage style is huge, given my disdain for the particular format. Performances are all solid, believable, and ultimately convincing for what’s trying to be conveyed – this is a film simply about simplicity and the unimaginable terror that lies in the distance. I normally don’t like to throw labels down, but in my totally impractical opinion, I’m going to go down as saying that this is my favorite “horror” film of 2016. Take it or leave it, but at least give it a shot.