THE TRIANGLE **** USA 2016 Dir: David Blair, Nathaniel Peterson, Adam Pittman, Andrew Rizzo, Adam Stillwell. 94 mins
L.A. based wannabe-documentarians are “in between projects” when they receive a postcard from an estranged pal, suggesting that the off-grid community in which he now resides would make a great documentary subject. Arriving at their camp in the Montana mountains, the aspiring filmmakers are warmly welcomed by friendly people enjoying an alternate way of living, but their refuge from conventional modern life conceals a dark secret.
As with many found-footage horror movies, this has the cast, crew and directors portraying characters with their real names, though it’s much more consciously cinematic than most of its kind. The showy style incorporates montages, split-screen, an original score, overlapping dialogue, evocative use of sound and a vivid sense of the expansive location that adds significant production value. The first hour captures a subtle sense of unease as murmurs of sickness in the commune and the impact of climate change on self-sufficiency alternate with debates about what constitutes a “cult” and understated hints of nature’s wrath : “The land doesn’t give a flying fuck what we call important…” Avoiding many of the clichés of this over-populated sub-genre, it pays off with a final half-hour in which an escalating sense of dread and panic surrounds an obliquely conveyed malevolent force – a force far greater than humankind’s flawed understanding of the environment it takes for granted. The quintet of directors / actors take the “less is more” approach to horror and have crafted something truly chilling for those lured down its sinister rabbit-hole.
Review by Steven West