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Film / Triangle

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Triangle is a 2009 British-Australian psychological horror film directed by Christopher Smith (who also directed Creep (2004) and Severance).

The story revolves around Jess (Melissa George), one of the passengers of a yachting trip in the Atlantic Ocean who, when struck by mysterious weather conditions, jump to a deserted cruise ship only to get stuck in either a "Groundhog Day" Loop, Stable Time Loop, Alternate Timeline, Bad Future or Close-Enough Timeline.

Yeah... It's pretty confusing...Naturally, Everyone Is Jesus in Purgatory occurs.

Not to be confused with the 2007 Hong Kong film or the 1981 British soap opera of the same title.


Triangle provides examples of:

  • Abusive Parents: Jess, as it turns out (both physically and verbally). She really does love Tommy, but his disability takes her to her limits and beyond.
  • Action Mom: Toyed with. Maternal figure Jess reveals her decent combat skills while on board.
  • Alpha Bitch: Sally, to an extent.
  • Alternate Timeline: The first time the first Jess meets the second Jess ignoring the Killer Jess before a new timeline has been created where the other passengers died differently. Subverted in that the two timelines play off at the same time and each influence each other. For example the new timeline eventually causes the second Jess to have her own story, which we don't see, where she eventually killed some of the passengers as the second masked killer which eventually made the first Jess turn into the first masked killer.
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  • Ambiguously Gay: Greg seems to be viewed this way by Downey: "You are living on a boat with an 18-year-old boy and you are asking me not to bring girls." He later also inquires if Greg and Victor sunbathe together. He seems to be implying that the two are involved.
  • Amicable Exes: Greg and Sally used to date in high school, and still refer to each other as their "ex". They remain best friends to their late 20s when they die.
  • Amnesia Loop: Both versions of Jess who turn up at the harbor have undergone traumatic experiences and it is evident in their behavior. Later in the timeline of the first of them, she falls asleep for a couple of hours. When she wakes up, one of the first thing she mentions is "I don't remember". During the loop she seems to re-learn things that she had forgotten about. One interpretation is that the loop gives her temporary amnesia and she keeps attempting to recover her memories. When she succeeds, its time for the cycle to re-start.
  • Anti-Hero: In the end you realize that, basically, everything bad that happens to Jess and people around her throughout the film is her own doing.
  • Anti-Villain: Jess kills all her friends, but she did it in order to stop the time loop from happening.
  • Apologetic Attacker: "Mean Jess" from the second loop, after she's finished repeatedly stabbing Downey. "I'm sorry, but I love my son."
  • Arc Number: Several scenes occur in either the residence of Jess or a cabin of the Aeolus. Both are numbered "237" (see Shout-Out below).
  • Arc Words: Jess says "I didn't do this." whenever something her alternate versions do, going hand-in-hand with Poor Communication Kills. Given the lesson of the movie, it's probably to show that she refuses to accept responsibility/the fact that she killed her son and it can't be undone.
  • Asshole Victim: Arguably Sally, due to her bitchy and disdainful attitude towards Jess (even going so far as to snottily refer to Jess's son as a "retard").
    • Jess herself. At least, the original Jess, who was physically and verbally abusive towards her autistic son, and was killed by the 'Time Loop Jess' whom we follow through the movie. Also, 'Mean Jess', who brutally stabbed Downey and Sally, ends up getting beaten to death by yet another Jess (presumably an earlier iteration of herself).
  • Atop a Mountain of Corpses: Sally atop Sallys.
  • An Axe to Grind: Jess uses an ax to fight off Mean Jess.
  • Broken Bird: "Mean" Jess from the second loop. We don't get to see her full story, but Word of God believes her to be a Jess who has gone through the loop so many times she's become callous and psychotic.
  • Camera Abuse: When the record player plays the broken record, we see a couple of freeze frames in sync with the jumping of the needle.
  • Cassandra Truth:
    • Greg doesn't believe Jess when she claims that she's sure she's been on the boat before, trying to tell her that it's all in her head. Unless the entire movie takes place in Jess' head, of course.
    • Victor figures early on that something is off with Jess, because she had trouble answering where her son was and then claimed he was at school. On a Saturday. He warns Greg, who ignores the warning and theorizes that special needs schools are open at weekends. Jess is lying and her son is dead by this point.
    • The cab driver warns Jess that there is no point in trying to save the boy (her son). Yet she voluntarily re-enters the loop in an effort to do just that, despite the mounting (literally, in the form of mounting bodies of Sallys and seagulls) evidence that it is futile. One view of the events of the film is that the only way to actually end the loop is for Jess to finally quit trying.
  • Classical Mythology: The plot lays out a personal hell for Jess with obvious references to the story of Sisyphus. According to the myth, Zeus enchanted the rock so it would roll down before reaching the top of the hill. Jess's intent to save her son represents that enchanted rock which crushes her every time she rolls it up. That's why she always ends up dead no matter how the loop turns, either in the accident or killed by herself on the ship.
  • Come with Me If You Want to Live: Mean Jess asks this of Sally and Downey. They pay with their lives for trusting her. Though what exactly "life" and death" mean on that ship and in the film in general, and how permanent "death" is - that's anyone's guess.
  • Couldn't Find a Pen: Downey starts to write his killer's name on the mirror using his own blood, but dies partway through.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass/Dying Moment of Awesome: After being portrayed as a useless slacker and ending basically butchered by Mean Jess, Downey still muster enough strength to haul himself to the bathroom, open water tap (so it makes sound even after he will be long dead) and writes his killer name on the mirror.
  • Cynicism Catalyst: The car crash that kills Jess's son marks her Start of Darkness.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Victor. Per the backstory, got in trouble at home (wherever that is), run away, and spend time as a vagrant. Greg found him sleeping at the harbor and took him in.
  • Death of the Hypotenuse: Averted. Heather looked like the designated character to complicate the Greg-Jess relationship. However, she exits the stage before a serious Love Triangle could unfold.
  • Designated Girl Fight: Killer Jess vs Jess, when we watch things from Jess perspective. Later, when Jess is right next to dying Sally, she watches as another Jess murders Mean Jess with an axe.
  • Deus Ax Machina: When being chased by the Sackhead Slasher, Jess grabs a fire axe off the bulkhead of the ocean liner and uses it to defend herself.
  • Despair Event Horizon: Jess reaches this point twice. First on the ship when she realizes that she can't set things right and subsequently turns into a Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds. The second time this happens after the car crash that kills her son.
  • Disappeared Dad: Jess raises her son Tommy as a single mother. No indication what happened to the father, though she casually mentions that he was an asshole.
  • Discovering Your Own Dead Body: It's almost impossible to imagine what poor Sally must have thought on stumbling upon THAT pile... Alleviated a bit by the fact that she's arguably an Asshole Victim.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: When asked why Sisyphus was doomed to push the rock up the hill, Sally answers that he made a promise to death that he didn't keep. In the end Jess promises to return to the black-clad cabbie driver, but does not and begins the causal loop again.
  • Distress Call: The Triangle gets one from the Ghost Ship. It amounts to nothing.
  • Disturbed Doves: A flock of disturbed seagulls take flight when Jess bursts out on to the top deck and finds a wounded Sally crawling away through piles of dead copies of herself.
  • Does Not Like Shoes: Victor spends entire film barefoot, even before they leave for their cruise.
  • Downer Ending: The loop will repeat itself again and again. Though there's arguably a small bit of "Ray of Hope" Ending as well since we learn that Jess might most probably quit the loop if she's finally ready to accept the death of her son and move on.
  • Dramatic Unmask: When the Sackhead Slasher's identity is revealed.
  • Dreaming of Things to Come: While on board Greg's yacht, Jess dreams of her body washing up ashore on a beach. This happens much later on the film. Due to the nature of the time loop, this scene may instead be a fading memory of a previous cycle of the loop.
  • Driver Faces Passenger: Jess is distracted by her son in the backseat, so she turns around for several seconds without looking ahead and crashes into an oncoming truck.
  • Drop the Hammer: Jess smashing the original Jess's head in with a hammer.
  • Drowning Pit: The interior of the sailing boat becomes a Death Trap when water floods in during the storm.
  • Dying Clue:
    • Downey, with his last breath, manages to write "Jes" on the mirror using his blood. Too bad, Jess sees it first and subverts this trope by changing the message to "Go To The Theater".
    • Also Greg, before he dies, lets Sally and Downey know who killed him.
  • Ear Worm: "Anchors Aweigh" (especially in Glenn Miller's rendition) must be this for Jess.
  • Easy Amnesia: Jess goes into an Amnesia Loop by taking a nap in the cab and later on the yacht. She forgets everything that is going to happen. However, some vestigial memories remain which lead to her having deja vu moments upon entering the ship.
  • Enclosed Space: The crew being trapped on a Ghost Ship with a mysterious killer.
  • Endless Corridor: The ship features a couple.
  • Extremely Short Timespan: The story plays out within one day. Or so it seems; the exact nature of time loop is unclear.
  • Fate Worse than Death: Jess is stuck in a time loop (or purgatory, depending on your interpretation) in which she murders her friends and accidentally kills her son over and over again.Probably even worse is the fact that in the end she actually opts for it herself, to some degree at least.
  • The Ferry Man: The cab driver. Jess's promise to return to the taxi cab mirrors the promise Sisyphus made with Death. Read more about the mythological reference here. For more theorizing on his character see the WMG page.
  • Final Girl: Jess... sort of.
  • First-Name Basis: The main characters address each other by first name only: Downey, Greg, Heather, Jess, Sally, and Victor. No family name is ever given. Curiously, they are not that familiar with each other.
    • Greg is a longtime friend of Downey and Sally, and the current employer of Victor. Jess seems to be a recent acquaintance, and he has never met Heather before.
    • Victor was an 18-year-old vagrant who Greg took in as an employee and roommate. There is no real indication that he is particularly familiar with the rest of the crew.
    • Downey and Sally are friends with Greg and Heather. They don't know or care much for either Jess or Victor.
    • Heather is a friend of Sally, and an acquaintance to Downey. She doesn't know any of the others.
    • Jess became acquainted with Greg at her workplace, but this seems to be the first time they spend any time together. She has no known previous interaction with Victor, and does not actually know any of the others.
  • Fish-Eye Lens: Used for some of Jess's Sanity Slippage scenes.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • Tommy's capsized toy boat in the pool.
    • Jess dreaming of herself stranded at the beach.
    • Greg points out to Jess: "But you can't be everywhere all of the times". For most of the film, there are five versions of Jess roaming around the Aeolus.
      • And then there is a mirror shot showing three reflections of Jess at once.
    • Yet another one from Greg: "What is it? Is it Tommy? You feel guilty?"
    • The record player on the ship, playing the broken record, mirroring a timeloop. Moreover, Jess moves the needle backward on the record rather than forward, perpetuating the loop instead of moving beyond it.
  • Future Me Scares Me: Jess threw the masked killer overboard which she later finds out is herself. The second time it happens the killer has even been unmasked, but the new Jess tries to kill her anyways.
  • Futureshadowing:
    • Somebody ringing the door bell at Jess's, which later turns out to be her future self.
    • Pretty much everywhere on the ship, on account of the loop.
  • Ghost Ship: The Aeolus is deserted, its crew and passengers apparently long gone. The ship actually dates to The '30s and there is a photo of it dating to 1932. An interesting spin on the trope is that there seems to be no evil presence - or any presence at all, for that matter - on the ship apart from the characters we're already following (these might appear in unexpected different versions though). The ship itself is subtly implied to be sentient but its role in the events is basically limited to providing a fitting background for the plot to unfold - a symbolic one, too.
  • Gold Digger: Sally expresses the belief that Jess is after Greg's money, and that her sob stories about an autistic son are part of an extortion plan.
  • The Grim Reaper: The black-clad taxi driver who ferries Jess back to the Triangle is implied to be a stand-in, especially considering how Jess's broken promise to pay him mirrors Sisyphus's broken promise to death.
  • "Groundhog Day" Loop: Jess witnesses the death of her co-passengers from different views because apparently the whole situation starts all over again when they die.
  • Hero of Another Story: Mean Jess. She's part of the Stable Time Loop and eventually is murdered with an axe by unknown version of Jess note , but we never learn from where exactly she comes from and what is her backstory. It's only implied she's a version of Jess that lived through the "big" loop (boarding the yacht in the harbor) a few times too many (possibly, to really rub it in, without amnesia) and got really desperate, but that's all.
  • Heroic BSoD: Jess has one in the ship's machine room, after her desperate attempt to stop the ship's movement by demolishing the wheels and cogs.
  • Hollywood Autism: Tommy, son of Jess, is a mild example. Male child who is unable to live what most people would call a normal life. Otherwise his behavior is not that abnormal for a child, including an interest in painting, a tendency to leave his toys everywhere in the house, and leaving the occasional accidental mess when handling liquids.
  • Hooks and Crooks: The Sackhead Slasher on the ocean liner attacks Jess with a boot hook.
  • Hostile Weather: The sailing trip goes well until the weather becomes odd. The ship goes from a speed of 7 knots (8.055 miles /12.96 kilometers per hour) to 0 in mere seconds. A change which Greg, the only experienced sailor among them, quickly marks as strangely abrupt. Then some kind of strange electrical storm turns up on the horizon, heading their way. A quick communication with the coast guard establishes that there is no other report of any strange weather in the area.
  • I Cannot Self-Terminate: Jess can't bring herself to shoot any version of herself until reaching the stage of being Killer Jess. What's more, the first thing she does when she gets a hold of a shotgun for the first time is openly contemplating suicide... which she of course doesn't go with.
  • I Hate Past Me: Future Killer Jess, having gotten tossed off the boat, finds herself at the beginning of the day and sees herself physically abusing and yelling at her kid. Hating what she used to be, and having long since had her share of Jumping Off the Slippery Slope, she smashes her past self's head in and tries to take her place. Somehow this does not result in erasing herself from time, but sets up an infinite loop.
  • I Have a Family: First thing that comes to Jess's mind when the masked killer is about to shoot her is saying "I have a son". Which is the very reason why Killer Jess wants to kill Scared Jess and just go back home or at least allow one of iterations of Jess to never end up trapped on the ship. And of course let's not forget Tommy is dead at this point of the story anyway, making it all a (probably accidental) lie on part of amnesiac Original Jess and wishful thinking at best or outright insanity on part of Mean Jess. It Makes Sense in Context.
  • Idiot Ball: Jess during her Killer Jess phase. She quickly understands that she's in a time loop and tries to break it and after several failures, she comes up with a plan to stand on the boarding platform and stop the group from entering. It could very well work if she didn't purposefully run into the fight she had with herself in the first part of the movie even though she knows she will get thrown from the ship and obviously won't be able to break the loop. She could have let her past self run around and go to the platform or at least not do the same things she saw doing herself the first time. The only reason she does this seems to be to get her character back to the city and advance the plot. Though to be fair, in the end it's not clear if even the Golden Ending of the ship loop would really be a game-changer, as the triggers of the big overall loop seem to lie elsewhere and Jess would probably eventually lose the memory of that solution anyway.
  • Impending Doom P.O.V.: Some shots on board of the Aeolus are done this way, presenting the POV of Jess secretly observing the other passengers.
  • In Medias Res: It quickly becomes clear that the cast arrived in the middle of the loops on the ship. But not until the ending do we realize that the entire movie from even before the ship scenes is actually this.
  • Ironic Hell: Everything Mean Jess has tried to do to get back to her son (killing her friends being one of them) has led to her being directly responsible for his death, starting the sequence all over again.
  • It Was Here, I Swear!: When Jess wants to prove her point and show Victor the body of Downey floating in the water, it is gone.
  • Jumping Off the Slippery Slope: Jess becomes progressively violent as she becomes more and more desperate to end the loop. It's implied that Mean Jess is just a more extreme case of the same condition.
  • Kill 'Em All: Mean Jess asks this of Jess and eventually this becomes true for every character but the cab driver.
  • The Killer in Me: Remarkable how the film blends together Amnesiac and Secretive varieties of this trope. When Jess boards the Triangle, she knows she is gonna kill the other crew members at some point and actually intends to do it. Soon after, however, she suffers from Laser-Guided Amnesia and forgets all about her intentions - only to gradually come again to the conclusion that she will need to kill them, all while her other version (which may or may not have gone through an Amnesia Loop of her own) is already doing just that. On killing everybody and then going through some other things, she eventually boards the Triangle ''again'', again intending to kill the crew - only to then again forget all about it, etc., etc. Yes, it's that confusing.
  • Lost in Transmission: Sally's Distress Call received by Greg on the Triangle cuts off before any vital information could be exchanged.
  • Made of Plasticine: In the midst of trying to convince Victor that they keep dying and coming back to start everything all over again, Jess accidentally mortally wounds him by pushing him into one of the pointed hangers attached to the wall, which appears to puncture his skull to the point that brains fall out of the hole.
  • Make It Look Like an Accident: Happens unintentionally. By virtue of the car crash, the corpse in the trunk turn from murder victim into casualty. An equally plausible reading is that Jess actually died in that car crash, and the "surviving Jess" is really her disembodied soul in the hell/purgatory where the entire movie takes place.
  • Mama Bear: To save her son Jess is willing to kill her best friend and everyone else on the yacht. And when she comes across a third Jess mistreating him she murders her.
  • The Matchmaker: Sally is not too subtly trying to be this for her single friends Greg and Heather. Greg is rather frustrated with the idea, and points out later that Sally keeps trying to bring him an eligible girl "every year". This subplot is dropped very quickly though, for the obvious reason that the supposed match literally disappears early on.
  • Meaningful Echo: Towards the end, once Jess exits the car, she suddenly hears that the marching band is playing "Anchors Aweigh" - same track as the one played on "Aeolus"... The Wham Shot (see below) comes right after.
  • Meaningful Name: The name of the ship, Aeolus, refers to a mythological Greek figure whose son, Sisyphus, was doomed by the gods to roll a boulder uphill for all eternity, where each time he reaches the summit the rock rolls over him and then back down again.
  • Mind Screw: You're gonna need multiple viewings to actually get everything, and even then you'll either be confused, thinking there's gonna be a sequel or that a sequel is impossible.
  • Minimalist Cast: The bulk of the story is told using five characters.
  • Missed Him by That Much: Jess and later Sally successfully hide from Mean Jess behind one of the many corners on the ship's maze of corridors.
  • Narnia Time: Subverted. Jess ends up back home where her son is still painting, but she's actually still stuck in the time loop.
  • No OSHA Compliance: The sharp hook for rescue rings installed at head level.
  • Ominous Visual Glitch: In the scene where Jess listens to the broken record on the ship, the screen jitters in sync with the record needle jumping back and forth.
  • One-Woman Wail: During the dramatic confrontation at the ballroom between rifle-armed Jess 2 and at her gunpoint Jess 1.
  • One-Word Title: As the yacht is named "Triangle".
  • Once More, with Clarity!: The opening scene shows several brief snippets of Jess's morning. We see this scene again toward the end of the film, and it becomes clear that the parts that were skipped over were Jess verbally and physically abusing her son - as well as that the snippets actually refer to two different versions of Jess and not to one and the same one throughout.
  • Perpetual Frowner: Jess. She very, very rarely smiles, and when she does, it seems to be forced rather than a genuine smile.
  • Poor Communication Kills: Part of it is due to the perfectly understandable case of Cassandra Truth, but still Jess never tries to fully explain or even demonstrate to her friends that there's a "Groundhog Day" Loop and that's why there's multiple Jess's running around. As a result, they're not sure if she's trying to help them or save them a couple of times and they think she's got some sort of split personality or is at the very least, crazy (which may be true, but for different reasons) and thus refuse to listen to her when she's trying to help them. Her plans as to her friends undergo a radical change after a couple of loops though.
  • Precision F-Strike: Jess employs the F word several times during her The Reason You Suck speech directed to her son Tommy after he spills the paint.
  • Protagonist Journey to Villain: Jess's journey from Damsel in Distress to Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds. Only the journey seems to have actually first happened a good many loops before the beginning of the movie...
  • Punk in the Trunk: Original Jess's corpse in the trunk of the car, which soon after becomes an accidental crash victim.
  • Reset Button: Killing the other passengers is a sort of this. Probably.
  • Rewatch Bonus: Jess's strange behaviour in the beginning of the movie - especially her apologizing to Greg - makes much more sense in hindsight.
  • Riddle for the Ages: The second Jess got a totally different story which may or may not have influenced the first Jess to become the masked killer of her own story which can either be a Plot Hole for the sake of the story or Riddle for the Ages for a sequel.
  • Rule of Symbolism: The "Mean Jess" (as she was nicknamed by the director) from the second loop (the killer who was a lot more callous and brutal than the other Jesses) has a bullet skim the top of her head, causing blood to run down it. Later, the "past" version of Jess who is seen abusing her son has blood running down her face in the exact same pattern, from the exact same spot.
  • Sackhead Slasher: Jess and her friends are stalked and murdered by a mysterious person wearing a burlap sack mask. The killer is an iteration of Jess at a different point in the loop concealing her identity from herself and friends.
  • Sanity Slippage: Jess experiences this over the course of events on the Ghost Ship. One might be hard-pressed to determine whether and when she ever was "sane" to begin with though...
  • Set Right What Once Went Wrong: This is what Jess tries to do but only created another timeline which we don't see completely in the movie. More generally, in the end it turns out that this is what kept, keeps and will keep the plot as a whole in motion to begin with.
  • Shout-Out:
    • According to the commentary, the killer wearing a sack as a mask is a Shout-Out to Friday the 13th Part 2, in which Jason Voorhees wears a pillow case over his head prior to the iconic hockey mask.
    • The film makes many oblique references to The Shining. As seen several times through the film, there is a message written in blood on the mirror of room 237. The Aelos is deserted as was the hotel. We see a ballroom and an ax at work.
    • There is a seagull which constantly follows Jess around, and which she is revealed to have killed in a traffic accident prior to the sailing trip. Per the director, this is an allusion to The Rime of the Ancient Mariner. The seagull is a stand-in for the albatross which the mariner killed, the event which set off his curse.
    • Another allusion to the tale of Ancient Mariner is the weather pattern of the sailing trip of the Triangle. Following the death of the albatross, the fair breeze blows and all seems right. Until they realize that the breeze led them to uncharted waters ,and then that breeze fades to dead calm. Trapping the ship of the Mariner.
    • The Mariner and his companions also met a ghost ship in the poem. A ship with only a deathly-pale woman and Death as its only passengers. Notice how pale Jess looks for much of the film. As for the description of the woman in the poem: "And is that Woman all her [ghost ship's] crew?/Is that a DEATH? and are there two?/Is DEATH that woman's mate?/Her lips were red, her looks were free,/Her locks were yellow as gold:/Her skin was as white as leprosy,/The Night-Mare LIFE-IN-DEATH was she,/Who thicks man's blood with cold."
    • The music in the record that Jess listens to is a rendition of Anchors Aweigh by Glenn Miller and his band. Miller famously disappeared while flying over the English Channel in 1944, and the music is probably an allusion to the fact that Jess and her companions are not about to return.
    • The original Sisyphus, who Jess seems to imitate, is said in the film to have cheated death, though the characters fail to remember how. While there are several versions of his myth, there is one where he broke a promise to the death gods. His family failed to offer him proper funeral rights, and he convinced the death gods to offer him a second lease at life in order to prepare his own funeral. He promised to voluntarily return to the Underworld and then failed to do so. In Triangle, there is a sign which says Goodbye, Please Return and Jess later promises the cab driver (a ferryman like Charon?) that she will come back to him and pay for her ride. Which she doesn't actually intend to do.
  • Slashed Throat: Downey, in the second time loop. This doesn't kill him straight away, and he ends up being stabbed repeatedly by Jess. He lives long enough to attempt to scrawl the name of his killer in his own blood, but dies partway through.
  • Soft Glass: Played absolutely straight, even if there is just no way for Vic to break through the plexiglass with nothing more than the weight of his body - he would sooner get few bruises and bounce off than smash it. It's used on sailboats precisely due to the durability against blunt impact and general resistance. It exists solely to fill the yacht with water.
  • Sole Survivor: Heather in this interpretation. The interpretation being the whole group is actually dead and only Heather survived the accident on sea.
  • Spoiler Cover: One of the most widespread posters subtly hints Jess is the masked killer by simply putting a mirror image in a poodle of blood. By itself it affects nothing, but quickly turns into a massive suggestion during the movie. But absolutely nothing beats one of the posters used on leaflets that consists of exhausted and bloodied Sally sitting right next to entire pile of mutilated Sallies, some of them already decomposing, with word "Triangle" written at the bottom.
  • Stable Time Loop: Jess comes to the harbor looking dazed and eventually ended up being on the mysterious boat and threw a masked killer overboard. She realizes the "Groundhog Day" Loop and tries to break the chain by killing herself becoming the masked killer and getting thrown overboard. She drifted back to the shore where she was able to hitchhike back home seeing herself with her son. She killed her other self and wanted to dispose of the body which resulted in a car accident killing her son. She gets on a taxi to go to the harbor. She comes to the harbor looking dazed and eventually ended up being on the mysterious boat, etc. etc. etc. Note that the time loops on the ship are not always stable, but in the end that matters little because the main, overarching loop is.
  • Stopped Clock: The clocks on board the ship are stuck at 8:17 a.m. signifying the time of the car accident. Same goes for Jess's wrist watch.
  • Temporal Suicide: The movie involves various versions of Jess killing the other versions.
  • Throwing Your Gun at the Enemy: Mean Jess throws her rifle at Jess when she runs out of ammunition.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Mean Jess, having gone through an Heroic BSoD and subsequent Face–Heel Turn, becoming a Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds.
  • Trunk Shot: Shot on Jess's face from within the trunk of her car where she loads the corpse.
  • Vehicle Title: Triangle is the name of Greg's yacht.
  • White Shirt of Death: Both Greg and Downey sport white shirts which later get drenched in blood.
  • Unresolved Sexual Tension: Jess and Greg, though exactly how sexual it is could be up to debate.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: At one point Greg mentions that he decided to invite Jess to the sailing trip on an impulse. The previously smiling Jess stares at him and then adopts a sullen expression. One view of this scene is that she just realized that Greg and his impulse unwittingly set off the events leading to the time loop and all the carnage involved - though she should have already lost those memories by that time.
  • Villain Protagonist: From one point of view, anyway.
  • The Walrus Was Paul: Christopher Smith has stated that the movie is supposed to be ambiguous to let people interpret the movie in different ways.
  • We Hardly Knew Ye: Due to the time loop, viewers meet several versions of each main character except Heather, who is lost at sea before the main events begin. She is only there for the introductory scenes.
  • Wham Shot: One word will suffice: seagulls. So powerful the effect is that it is even listed under the "Nightmare Fuel" entry, despite the shot as such not being particularly horrible. The movie rushes to its Downer Ending right after.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?; What happened to Heather after their ship capsized? Other than the surviving suspecting she survived, got on the cruise, and dropped her keys (which was done by Jess by the way), we never know whether she survived, died, or became part of the time anomaly.
  • Who Wears Short Shorts?: Jess does, with no tights. And the film takes place mostly on the yacht and a cruise liner. What's notable about this example is how little it all has to do with Fanservice (of which there is almost none in the film).
  • Why Don't You Just Shoot Him?: Justified. Mean Jess hesitates to pull the trigger on her other self on the deck. Naturally, this leads to the other Jess escaping the assault.
  • Yank the Dog's Chain: On a rewatch we suddenly realize that the entire movie up to the Wham Shot is this.


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