PLOT: After hearing from a long lost friend, four filmmakers journey to an unknown area of Montana to record a strange community. Once they arrive, they find their old friend and his circle are sharing a mysterious secret.
REVIEW: It isn’t a stretch to say that a number of genre fans have grown very tired of “found footage” films. The shaky cam, the lack of scares and that feeling you’ve seen it before can hinder the enjoyment of the story. However, every so often a film comes along that manages to offer something clever to the sub-genre. Such is the case of THE TRIANGLE. Co-written and co-directed by David Blair, Nathaniel Peterson, Adam Pittman, Andrew Rizzo and Adam Stilwell, this feels less like found footage and more like an actual documentary. So much so that you can’t really grasp where the filmmakers are leading you until the final reveal. It’s an unusually beautiful film that is far more nuanced than your run-of-the-mill ghost flick with people running around carrying cameras.
THE TRIANGLE follows four filmmaking friends who receive a mysterious postcard from an old acquaintance, one who had gone AWOL three years before. Nathaniel (Peterson) invites them to pack up their equipment, and trek down to Montana claiming that he needs their help to film what is happening. Why and what they can offer is unclear, yet they ultimately decide to see what is going on. When they arrive to their destination, they discover a strange commune that has effectively gone off the grid. As they ingratiate themselves amongst the group of strangers, they discover an unsettling and unexplained event that is happening right in front of their eyes.
Out of respect to the PIttman, Blair, Peterson, Stillwell and Rizzo, I’d hate to give away anything more than that. Even this minor description feels like too much. The best way to experience THE TRIANGLE is to read as little as possible and go in cold. I will say even the most ardent horror fans probably won’t figure out much all that early on. This is certainly not predictable, even when it seems obvious the direction they are heading into. And while I did feel slightly underwhelmed by the final act, this odd little concoction stayed with me.
As previously mentioned, it’s easy to forget you are watching a found footage feature. Told in a documentary style with the actors and filmmakers sharing their namesakes with the characters they play, it all feels very real. This also helps raise this independent feature to higher standards because they can easily avoid having the shaky cam which can get frustrating. In fact, this fine feature offers up a number of beautiful images. There are lightning storms, the glorious Montana sky, and the design of The Triangle itself - this is what the commune calls the place they’ve made home - all creating a surprisingly impressive visual style.
And then there are the actors. Hell, at times it is difficult to decide if they are merely actors, or if we are watching a real life commune and all the intricacies involved. The way they live, the way the relate to each other as well as outsiders, and the clothes they wear come across as very authentic. As well, watching the guys react to this strange environment feels very honest. This is a group project that manages to offer a realistic moment in time and still add a sense of dread that lingers throughout. There is rarely a moment that I didn’t believe that these people really are who they appear to be on-screen.
THE TRIANGLE is not necessarily a scary film, but it’s effective in the way it tells its own unique story. There is a consistent tension that seems to linger which keeps the viewer engaged. More than anything, it manages to tell a realistic story that is also impressively shot. The performances feel genuine and the emotional and psychological terror on display is a fascinating twist on a worn formula. David Blair, Nathaniel Peterson, Adam Pittman, Andrew Rizzo, Adam Stilwell and the rest of the cast should be commended for crafting a very real and thought provoking tale that is refreshingly original.