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Triangle: A Smart, Entertaining Thriller
A group of friends embark on a doomed weekend sailing trip in the Atlantic Ocean. When a wave capsizes their yacht, they are forced to board a passing ocean liner that is strangely empty. The ship’s corridors are eerily quiet and one of the friends, Jess (George) has an uncanny feeling of déjà vu. Mayhem ensues when a hooded figure begins hunting down the group and killing them one by one. The characters seem to be caught in some kind of a Bermuda Triangle, where events repeat themselves, each time in a subtly different sequence, forcing the viewers to share Jess’s feeling of doomed premonition.
There are several loopholes in Triangle which prevent the film from becoming one of the best horror films in recent years. Still, George’s powerful performance and Smith’s clever direction compensate for the structural weaknesses.
A horror film doesn’t necessarily have to be consistent or logical in as much as it should be scary, forcing any viewer to grab the edge of the seat and feel real fear, accompanied by sweaty palms.
The script left a bit to be wanting throughout, but this doesn’t mean it isn’t a great attempt to create a world of fear not seen in recent times.
There are many twists to the film at almost every turn (some don’t make sense – don’t try to make sense of them). The overall concept is done with considerable skill and we all leave with the picture suitably shaken.
Although the ending is a tad mentally draining, some critics predict that Triangle could become a classic of the horror genre.
While dozens, if not hundreds, of recent horror films have been billed as the next great genre changer, only Smith is able to live up to the hype. Triangle is his most mature film to date and shows that the British director has much more to offer and will certainly do just that.
Harrelson has a starry supporting cast backing him up made up of the likes of Sigourney Weaver, Steve Buscemi, Ice Cube, Ben Foster and Robin Wright Penn. Brie Larson plays Dave’s daughter Helen, and after him, she’s the best thing about the film. The relationship between the two runs on hate and scorn mixed with a twisted kind of love. It brings to mind the saying about how blood is thicker than water. How you can hate a family member so much and see them for the worthless scum that they are, yet still allow their opinions and words to affect you. It’s a toxic relationship, one of many in the film, yet it packs a punch that the others don’t.
The story is occasionally difficult to keep track of as it jumps abruptly from one topic to another, but Dave’s internal conflict is more compelling than anything the story throws at you. Dave and Helen’s scenes together are far more powerful and infinitely more interesting than any of the scenes in which he brandishes a gun or kicks a guy to a bloody pulp. The film has some fine camera work; it forgoes flashiness just for the sake of it and instead focuses on bringing the viewer in closer to the actors. It works with the actors to set the scenes’ mood instead of just framing them.
After searching for an affordable apartment, young doctor Juliet Devereau (Swank) finally comes across a Brooklyn loft that is too good to be true. As she settles in, she begins to feel attracted to landlord Max (Morgan). However, when it doesn’t work out, things become awkward between the two. As the story develops, Juliet learns that Max has become obsessed with her and won’t accept that their relationship is over.
The Resident's basic story is that of an average woman seeking a low-rent flat in NYC. So the story doesn’t have much to offer – it’s the consequences of this average story that the film focuses on.
In any normal setting, it’s usually the landlord who gathers personal information on the tenant. The Resident may have some audiences wondering if we should also check up on the landlord before moving in.
Swank is a great actress, with an outstanding career and two Oscar wins. Unfortunately, her talent as an actress is not demonstrated in this film. As Juliet, she plays the confused young woman who tries to settle into a new home and balance her tough job with her love life.
Morgan does a good job as the nice guy with the sinister side, but he doesn’t quite connect with the audience. Pace stars as Jack, Juliet’s ex-boyfriend who’s in the picture briefly, trying to give the relationship a second chance – his presence is purely there to make Morgan’s character jealous and enraged. Lee stars as August, Max’s sick father who’s not proud of his son, but the fact that he never explains their past or why he has such a strange relationship with his son weakens the plot.
There are two kinds of predictable plots. The first one leaves audiences feeling angry and cheated at the below-par performances. The second type is when audiences start laughing at a horror film because of its cheesy acting and plot. The Resident combines both of these factors. The film lacks creativity, the acting is boring, and the supposedly thrilling sequences towards the end might even offend you.
In the last scene, Juliet is faced with no other option but to fight Max for her life. The scene fails drastically because what should be a life or death situation waters down to two main stars hitting each other and running around in a very poorly executed production.
The fact that The Resident was not released in Egyptian cinemas could be due to its poor quality. Even as a rental, it’s a waste to watch.