The Triangle (SPOILERS!)

If you’ve seen the Triangle, this is a new thread to discuss it. If you haven’t leave now. The movie is best seen if you know nothing about it. No wikipedia viewing and no reviews; don’t even look at the poster. It’s an interesting horror movie. My guess is that reactions will be mixed, I myself am not sure yet what i thought about it. It’s available instantly on netflix, and there’s a non-spoiler thread about it.

Spoilers

Ok, so I have a couple continuity questions. When she gets on the boat the first time (for the viewers), why does she do the deja vu stuff? She doesn’t just think she was on there, she actually was. Why act weird? Does she forget while she’s sleeping or something? What are the rules for the dead bodies? We see the 20 different redheads all lying there, but no one else. The second time the people come back, when she tries to save them. We see Jes watch herself kill her other self (confusing right?), so wouldn’t they not come back because there are still 2 Jes’s? What’s with the food the goes rotten? How does that make any sense?

Ok, I know these are very nit picky, but they bugged me.I just felt like both Primer and Timecrimes did a better job with a similar idea. That said, it was still an effective movie.

The thing is, I think its supposed to be a mobius strip.

So when she comes back the second time, that’s when she should be “Headshot Jes”, and as long as the body falls into the water there won’t be a pile.

But we never see the full loop, because the film breaks it off by having her fall asleep and reset.

The problem is that
A: There would be a pile of bodies by the side of the road (of her and her son), and
B: You can’t have the loop occur where it does, because Jes would never remember anything to become “Headshot Jes”.

TimeCrimes was, and I hesitate to say this, a lot more consistent.

Right, so she kills herself the first time. She’s alone on the boat, and then it’s reset. She hits Victor in the head, but then she confronts “herself” and Victor. Then she goes to the theater and tries to resolve everything, but “Jes with Bag on head” shoots at her. How can there be 3 of them? Instead of going from 1 to 2 we go from 1 to 3.

I don’t think it’s nitpicky at all, it’s touching on what I see as legitimate problems with the movie.

The Jes we follow throughout the movie (other than the very beginning, which we only find out later involved two of them), we’ll call her “Jes Prime.”

My first problem was figuring out how things were layered on the boat. In the first “loop” we witness, we see everyone get on the boat, Jes Prime eventually confronts a masked Jes, and when they fight it out, masked Jes goes overboard. Now the second loop begins, and at first it seems obvious what will happen: Jes Prime will do everything the masked Jes just did in the first loop. It’s going fine until the confrontation with Victor back in the dining room, where Jes Prime clearly deviates from what masked Jes did in the first loop because she confronts Victor and the “new” Jes from the second loop. Ok, at this point the twist has twisted further. I’m starting to think it’s going to go all Primer on us (lots of overlapping layers).

But my initial objection to the movie starts here. This second loop ends with Jes Prime, after having followed the red-head up to the pile of red-heads, looking down as new Jes, and a masked Jes (right up until this point, Jes Prime being on her second loop but still not wearing a mask, we’re thinking maybe it’s going to be on her third loop that she actually dons the mask herself) fighting with the axes and stuff again, but this scene ends with new-Jes killing masked Jes instead of masked Jes going overboard.

Ok, so now you’ve lost me. Everything keeps repeating (tons of redheads), but obviously not reliably. We never see Jes Prime go through that same confrontation that ends in one Jes killing another (I mean on the boat) as either the killer or the victim. It’s no longer a series of interlocking layers, it’s now just the case that clearly this keeps happening, but there’s not a definite rhyme or reason to how it plays out each time.

It’s sending a sort of mixed signal that no, things don’t happen the same way each time, and yet at almost every turn there’s evidence that yes, this particular thing has happened many times.

I slowly came to terms with it in that vague, fuzzy sense, and the movie was kinda still working for me. Don’t try to analyze how the pieces fit. They don’t really, they just keep happening sort of haphazardly. Ok. Roll with it. We go through Jes Prime’s third loop, where she’s the masked Jes, which ends in the way the first loop did with the masked version going overboard, only now that’s Jes Prime, and we follow the story off the boat as she washes up.

Cool twists, ok, she comes back, kills herself at home, the beginning is explained, roll credits!

Or at least, they should have.

Cause now here we go, pelican to the windshield, ok, all this has clearly happened before. She’s not out of the loop. She’s just run the course of the smaller loops inside the bigger loops. The script was written with a spirograph.

Crash, bang, guess Jes Prime had better catch a cab to the dock and do it right this time, roll credits, now the movie doesn’t work. There’s been no indication throughout Jes Prime’s experiences that she’s had anything more than a fuzzy déjà vu regarding what has happened in the previous loops. But as the movie ends, there’s nothing to make us think she has now forgotten those experiences. So the movie is ending in a decidedly different place than it started. As far as we can logically assume, she’s heading onto the boat with full knowledge of how it all plays out. Now is when things should get interesting, right? Shouldn’t this be the start of the third act? Or is the point just that she will always be in this loop, but here is what it looked like the very first time it happened? Well what’s the fun in that?

There’s also the question of why any of this happens to Jes in the first place. I’m not asking for you to explain a spooky ghost ship, I’m ok with that as the central conceit of the movie, but there’s no explanation given for why Jes is in the middle of it. Why isn’t anyone else vaguely aware of the looping? I mean, you could argue it’s because they’re not surviving any loops, Jes is killing them every time, but that doesn’t work for me. Maybe you’ll disagree and think I’m splitting hairs here, but I can live with the macguffin being turtles all the way down. The ghost ship is stuck in a time loop because it is, because it is, because it is, because it is. Fine. But as it applies to our protagonist, I need a little more explanation for why she starts killing people in the first place, why they all have to die for her to get out of the loop. What makes her special to this story?

I think the reason this all disappoints me most is that there was a line about how her son gets upset if she doesn’t do everything exactly the same way. That would have been a great fit as the theme for the movie, and I was hoping it’d be the impetus for why this is happening specifically to Jes. I was even entertaining theories based on her opening consolation to her son about nightmares that this would turn out to be her nightmare, maybe literally, a breakdown from her struggles with her child. I was almost ready for this movie to pull off “And it was all a dream” in a satisfactory way.

But if they really meant the movie to work on that level, they completely ruined it. First by blurring the logic in the looping–removing the exactness that would have made it a thematic fit, and then leaving us with a non-ending as she starts the whole thing over with memories apparently intact, something that should have been explored itself instead of offered as a conclusion.

It’s cute the way the button at the end of my response still said “Post Quick Reply”.

Here was mine. Remember the first time she’s in the ballroom, and the dude stumbles in with his head all bloody and tries to kill her? We later find out that it was because she accidentally pushed him and a peg in the wall went through his head, but then when the next group arrives she changes that part of the loop by going after him with a shotgun. Her “new” other self then runs out of the ballroom, after clearly seeing her own self, and is never seen/mentioned again. What happened to that Jes that ran away?

We see her hack up the “Bag Head Jes” that Jes prime shot at. Right?

Crap. Now I’m going to have to watch it again. Sigh.

But then we never know who that bag head Jes is, if that’s not the bag head Jes that Jes Prime eventually becomes (who obviously does not get hacked up).

Every way I can interpret it, it points to the pieces not cleanly interlocking. Which is ok if the movie goes on to be satisfying in some different way, but it never really does.

Yeah, that was one of my biggest issues. How does this happen the first time? Because, her son never comes with them. But it seems like he was supposed to (but he can’t cause he dies). But the first first time through (not the first time we see) why wasn’t he on the Triangle? Also, since this time loop has been going for a while (meaning Jes Prime wasn’t the actual jes prime), how does Jes Prime not know what’s going on when she first boards. Is it explained by her falling asleep and having that bad dream that she doesn’t remember? That the dream was supposed to be the sequence shes about to go through?

This bugged me to. For the original time through (which we don’t see), before there were any killer Jes’s, how did this reset get figured out? Did everyone else just accidentally die?

I don’t need to have everything in a movie explained to me, I just need some internal consistency. That’s what made Primer great. Even Timecrimes does this.

Edit:

Yeah. Like I said earlier, in that situation there are 3 jes’s running around. Which shouldn’t be possible.

Timecrimes was awesome with continuity. I especially liked how they made it easier to follow the story as it progressed by naming each time-travelled version by number. Like, the first to go back is Hector 1. The second to go back is Hector 2. Etc.

Yeah. Like I said earlier, in that situation there are 3 jes’s running around. Which shouldn’t be possible.

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Well, it should be.

When Jes Prime loops back in then you have “Headshot Jes” who is the Jes that goes back for a second helping and is killed in the attempt.

Then you essentially have two (slightly) alternating timelines, one with “Headshot”, and one without.

I’m guessing that was the original plan, and they punked out (or screwed up) somehow, and put in the dream sequence to cover it. The only thing that doesn’t make sense from that point of view is Jes Prime arriving at the docs with her “kid in school”, although you could see something else being the cause of that initially.

The only issue there is that the Highway should be littered with Dead Jesses and her dead sons.

If it only resets when there’s one person left on the ship, how could there be 3 Jes’s? Even fi there can be 3, it doesn’t explain where Headshot comes from.

Yeah, I agree that some of this stuff I’d be okay with letting go of, but that movie didn’t really have anything deeper than the time-shifting aspect (I don’t care about the characters, there’s no deeper meaning or message). When that’s the only part of a movie that matters you have to make sure it’s real tight. I just felt like the movie was trying to go somewhere and never quite made it.

Thus all the Sisyphus referencing!

Oh what the fuck. The Wikipedia page used to have a lengthy analysis of the plot that explained the Moebius strip timeline and described it as, essentially, her version of Sisyphus’ punishment in hell, which all made a lot of sense to me. But it’s not there anymore.

That’s really unfortunate, I’d love to read some of the different theories. I just feel like there’s something to the movie that I’m missing. It’s like when you lose a couple pieces to a jigsaw puzzle. I want to like it, but I just don’t. But I’m still thinking about it.

Yeah, I sorta picked up on the parallel with Sissyphus, but I just didn’t get the point of that. Why is she in this hellish scenario?

I liked it better than Timecrimes, but only because Hector was such to complete chump in that movie that I ended up really hating him.

I’m still trying to figure out how her keys got on the ship in the first place-- Future Jess dropped them, giving them to past Jess, who later repeats the process, but the keys never leave the yacht with any iteration of Jess (or past Jess would have had her own set when the set from future Jess is found), so there wasn’t an initiating chain of events to start the loop. Similarly, there were other events that didn’t have a plausible initiation event-- the “Kill them all to get off the ship” note and the locket hanging from the grating, but I guess those could have been left by the original Jess Prime some 60 iterations prior and started behavioral echos in the subsequent Jess copies.

She was a crappy, abusive parent. Presumably that trait led to her doing something truly unforgivable; now this is the hell she’s in. She can try to run from it, she can try to deny it and repress her memory of it, she can try to use violence and rage against it, but none of those things lead to escape. Those failed things have some strong thematic ties to an abuse cycle, I think. Granted, the “reason” for her hell-loops is never unambiguously shown. The ambiguity’s part of the reason the movie worked for me, plus I’m a sucker for cyclical hells. (The “she’s in hell” reading is also why the continuities apparently not quite meshing up* didn’t bug me either.)

  • I do vaguely recall the now-AWOL plot analysis, and it really is unfortunate it’s gone away. There was apparently at least a couple recursive loops involved, but I’m fuzzy about that. Future me will leave a cryptic clue for myself, so I won’t worry about it.

Is this kind of stuff only fun because it’s in modern day, or do you think a genre movie like, let’s say, Event Horizon, would be entertaining if it had this kind of plot?

I would watch almost any kind of movie if it had weird brainhurty timeloops and such. I promise nothing about -liking- the movie. (For example, Primer really didn’t click for me.)