Tim Pratt
SF and Fantasy Writer

WhiskeyHorror: Triangle

WhiskeyHorror report:

Manhattans with spiced cherry bitters, and later we had gimlets (not whiskey, I know, but it was warm in my house and we wanted refreshing). 

The film was Triangle (2009), and it was good! There are enough axe attacks, point-blank shotgun blasts, scary burlap sack murder hoods, environmental terror, contained nightmare, existential crises, and literally PILES of corpses (human and avian) that I think it’s unquestionably a horror film, but it’s not all that *scary* so much as it’s twisty psychological stuff, with some very good time-loop underpinnings. I might quibble a tiny bit with some of the time-loop mechanism but mostly it’s logical and self-consistent and satisfying. Starring Thor’s buff younger brother Liam Hemsworth and Melissa George (who was so familiar it drove me crazy and I finally remembered, she’s the gubernatorial ethics enforcer on The Good Wife) and I’m assuming a bunch of other Australians pretending to be from Florida.

11 Responses to “WhiskeyHorror: Triangle”

  1. Matt Holmes Says:

    One of the best mind-twist movies ever made. I highly recommend perusing the IMDB forums for deep theorizing about it, in particular this thread:
    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1187064/board/thread/193565705

    If this is your cup of tea, I’d also recommend the following similar (also well produced) movies:

    Cube – An extended (classic) Twilight Zone episode
    Timecrimes – Spanish movie similar to Triangle
    In the Mouth of Madness – Sam Neill in a Lovecraft story (you like Lovecraft I think)
    1408 – One of the good Steven King adaptations, haunted motel room story
    Mr. Nobody – The last mortal tells his story, examining love and indentity
    The Prestige – A battle of stage magicians (with David Bowie as NIkola Tesla!)
    Dark City – Noir Sci-fi movie that almost everything since cribs from
    The Machinist – Christian Bale’s version of Memento
    Memento – Guy Pierce’s version of Memento

    Hopefully you’ll get some enjoyment from these recommendations, as I’ve enjoyed all your books!

  2. Tim Pratt Says:

    You’ve listed many of my favorites there! Haven’t seen Timecrimes though.

  3. Matt Holmes Says:

    Well, Challenge Accepted then!

    Intacto – Spanish thriller exploring the power of luck (a conceit worthy of the film)
    Mary and Max – Australian claymation movie about an old NY Jew penpaling a young Australian girl and sharing their views on life. Funny and profound.
    Moon – Sci-Fi Sam Rockwell stuck on the moon – wait for it…
    Byzantium – A very unusual Vampire movie that tosses aside conventional approach
    Symbol – Japanese film wherein a man awakes in a clean white room almost alone. Also Luchadores in a parallel plotline. This one is hard to find, but funny and fascinating.
    Attack the Block – Aliens invade a poor neighborhood in the UK. Joe Cornish made his mark with this one.
    Solaris – A remake of the Russian film based on the Polish book (Stanislaw Lem) I’d recommend the George Clooney version. If nothing else, the soundtrack is gold.

    I deliberately left out most of the usual commonly-known films, figuring you’ve already seen them.

    A little bit of bona fides here, I’ve watched many thousands of movies (thank you working at Tower Video) and am pretty good at steering people towards what they like, not necessarily what I like.

    Enjoy!

  4. Tim Pratt Says:

    Three of those I haven’t seen! Recommendations are always welcome. I enjoy terrible movies too, honestly.

  5. Matt Holmes Says:

    If you can provide some of your most-enjoyed movies off the top of your head, I can narrow down the recommendations quite a bit. All of the previous recommendations are given with the consideration of your watching with someone else, perhaps with a fine cocktail or three. I believe at least some of these are on Netflix, but if you have any trouble finding any of them I’m happy to help find you proper resources. Hell, I’ll send you a DVD of any of them; I stand by my recommendations!

  6. Tim Pratt Says:

    For me, the only sin in cinema is to be boring. As long as I’m interested in what’s happening on screen, I’m content. I award extra points if a film (one with a more-or-less conventional approach to narrative) does something I don’t expect that is also justified by what came before. (I’ve been writing fiction for approaching thirty years, so it’s a rare plot twist I don’t see coming miles away.)

    My favorite movies — which is to say, if I happen upon them on TV, I watch them until they’re done — off the top of my head include The Royal Tenenbaums, Transsiberian, Goodfellas, The Big Lebowski, Clerks, Happy Accidents, Dangerous Liaisons, Fargo, The Philadelphia Story, Crisis on Two Earths, The Long Goodbye, Teeth, Ginger Snaps, Grave Encounters… Well. My tastes are broad. They tend to confuse Netflix’s algorithms. In general I like quirky dialogue, though a nice mood piece works for me too. And when it comes to horror I’m even more forgiving. I’ll tolerate two hours of predictable slasher stuff if there’s one weird character moment or out-of-left-field endearing line (and enjoy all of it, on some level). The only exception is horror movies that are all mood and no events, and torture porn, both for the same reason: I find them boring.

  7. Matt Holmes Says:

    What an exciting list! Alright *rubs hands* let’s get to it.

    You like Transsiberian, so I would recommend some of Brad Anderson’s other movies. The Machinist I think I already recommended, so I do so again. Session 9 is one of the best “haunted house” films nobody ever saw, extremely high recommendation. Vanishing on 7th Street is not a masterpiece but plays with lighting in ways you haven’t seen before.

    I’m going to skip Royal Tenenbaums only because Wes Anderson is a known quantity, so really any of his films you’ll probably enjoy. I’d put a star next to The Grand Budapest Hotel, but that’s just me.

    The Big Lebowski is a very commonly liked film (that I never “got” so it’s not on my favorites list, despite that being sacrilege apparently) but I’d recommend most of the Coen Brothers movies right off the bat. In particular, I’d point at Miller’s Crossing and Blood Simple in case you haven’t seen them, since most people haven’t. In both cases they are fabulously rich in production design and artistry and highly worth watching. Neither is funny, but they are both the seeds from which No Country for Old Men was harvested.

    You liked Teeth, Grave Encounters, and Ginger snaps, so it seems you have a taste for ballsy low-production value horror films. Well, buckle up. First recommendation in that category would be “Slither,” written and directed by James Gunn (of recent Guardians of the Galaxy fame) and starring Mal himself, Nathan Fillion. Second is “Dead Snow” which did “Cabin in the Woods” before Joss Whedon polished it up – Dead Snow is, no spoiler, Nazi Zombies, so honestly you can’t go wrong there. Third, The Signal – BOTH movies because one is from ’07 and one is from last year and they’re completely different stories but both excellent low-budget horror/sci-fi.

    If you like Character studies, I’d suggest Bronson and Chopper, both of which are the biopics of notorious real-life criminals and which put Tom Hardy and Eric Bana, respectively, on the map. Both have humor and horror and I’d advise turning subtitles on because the accents are THICK.

    I’m also going to toss in Midnight’s Chidren, written and narrated by Salman Rushdie, about a bunch of very special children growing up in India over the transition to independence. It’s a Fantasy movie. Yeah, like an Indian Harry Potter, only not. Not on my A-list, but I think you’d enjoy it.

    Bon Appetit!

  8. Tim Pratt Says:

    I’m a glommer when it comes to books and movies — when I find an artist I like, I read or watch it ALL, so I’ve got both Andersons covered, and the Coens too. Seen all those horror movies as well, but I like them, so your suppositions regarding my taste are right on target. (Seen Devil’s Pass? It’s in the same vein as Dead Snow in a lot of ways, though neither is as majestic as Troll Hunter.) Haven’t seen Bronson and Chopper though! Have read Midnight’s Children but never seen the film.

  9. Matt Holmes Says:

    Ok, I like a challenge… I’m going to have to crack the archives and get serious. Tomorrow.

    (I haven’t seen devils pass or troll Hunter, YET. They are in the queue along with Monsters.)

  10. Tim Pratt Says:

    Monsters is good, very moody and atmospheric. Troll Hunter is ridiculous in all the best ways. Devil’s Pass is decent, and ultimately more clever than I expected it to be.

  11. Matt Holmes Says:

    So I had to do a bit of digging and realized many of the more obscure movies are very very hard to find, making it difficult to seriously recommend them. So I decided to link Netflix where I could and pop trailers in where I couldn’t. I’m also not sure how high your tolerance is for subtitles/foreign movies so I limited those to what I think are the more palatable.

    Once again, bon appetit!

    John Dies at the End – http://www.netflix.com/WiMovie/70228191
    Written by one of the editors at Cracked.com, I cannot recommend this enough. If you don’t watch anything else on this list, watch this. And good luck to you.

    Nightwatch – http://www.netflix.com/WiMovie/70028896
    2004 Russian movie that blew away most of what the US produced a decade ago. The best description I can give is it’s very Clive Barker, at his best, painted with a Matrix brush.

    Let the Right One in – http://www.netflix.com/WiMovie/70099621
    Remade as “Let me in” with Chloe Moretz, it shoudn’t have been. The original Swedish film is far better, and lucky you it’s on Netflix!

    Grabbers – http://www.netflix.com/WiMovie/70228190
    Great Irish horror-comedy.

    District B13 – http://www.netflix.com/WiMovie/70051102
    Remade into “Brick Mansions” in the USA, but really, really shouldn’t have.

    The Faculty – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ig9HztI9-nY
    You’ve probably seen it, but if not I’m putting it on here as one of the more obscure American horror movies.

    The Chaser – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fxm72hmhdXU
    Korean horror, has a tiny, tiny touch of torture porn but the other 99.5% of the movie is a breathtaking thriller. Really good stuff.

    Blue Ruin – http://www.netflix.com/WiMovie/70278931
    A recent drama/thriller that is one of the more realistic depictions of revenge and it’s consequences. Not realistic as in “looks real” but as in “nobody is that smart or superhuman.” It’s a hidden gem.

    The Mothman Prophecies – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cQ4RHPFaVBE
    Really surprisingly chilling movie, considering it’s goofy premise.

    Knowing – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=taMfvCQRDVA
    A lot of people hate this movie, but it’s Alex Proyas doing his thing with Nick Cage. That’s the good kind of crazy. Also has some of the most amazing scenes you’ll see.

    Ravenous – http://www.netflix.com/WiMovie/20559455
    Guy Pierce and Robert Carlyle chew up the scenery in this frontier period piece. Really good stuff here.

    Dale and Tucker VS. Evil – http://www.netflix.com/WiMovie/70129463
    I’m sure you’ve at least had this recommended, but if not, watch. An awesome send up of cabin-in-the-woods horror. A great pairing with … Cabin in the Woods.

    Also dug up the Netflix links for previous mentions, because I was already there:
    Bronson – http://www.netflix.com/WiMovie/70113944
    Mr. Nobody – http://www.netflix.com/WiMovie/70117580
    Mary and Max – http://www.netflix.com/WiMovie/70111503

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