Sunday, December 17, 2017

The Overlook Theatre Reviews: The Triangle

10 of 10 viewers "Liked" "The Triangle" (2017, USA)
Here's what the creatures had to say:

The Great Hornito - "The Triangle is everything I love about POV horror/found footage movies. The story is something very similar to a documentary on YouTube titled "The Last Free City in America", so it felt like something that could really be taking place on YouTube right now. There was an extreme amount of tension throughout the movie and the pacing/editing made it feel like a real documentary. If you like found footage and supernatural mystery movies then you should love The Triangle." - 5 Stars

Lord Battle - "The Triangle is a faux doc made by horror fans trying to steer clear of the stigma attached to the found footage horror subgenre while still using the immersive narrative of an in-world camera. What does this mean? It means that The Triangle does such a good job at capturing the essence of a documentary that most audiences became confused, angry even, after discovering the narrative was not real. Well, fake isn't the right word, considering people played themselves, followed an outline, not a script, and had no idea what they were actually making until going over the 200+ hours of footage they'd captured. In a sense, the film is real, in a slanted reality with some amazing privileged moments kinda way." - 4.5 Stars

Wandering Panda - "An eye-opening portrayal of an odd way of living. I liked this movie especially the way the first travel montage was shot. The last 30 minutes just weird but were interesting enough to stay invested." - 3 Stars

Dabbles - "This was a bit weird and it made me uncomfortable but in a good way. I didn't know where it was going but I'm actually glad I stuck it out." - 3 Stars

Trash - "When it comes to first-person fiction films, it's undeniable that horror is the immediate genre that comes to mind. Horror popularized the storytelling format as it lends itself so well to scares, but some of the most creative movies in the medium eschew horror to play with science fiction and drama. The Triangle sits right on that ledge, presenting a mystery with sci-fi elements, constructed out of real life. Using the sense of realism they created from actually building and living in their desert set, improvising conflicts between the group in the commune, this movie is really fascinating and weird. Additionally, it looks amazing, the desert is beautiful, and their Burning Man lifestyle means there's lots of crazy colors and lights. These guys are good filmmakers who know how to use the sound and visuals to give the audience a visceral experience. I love this movie, I think it's so impressive, even if some aspects of the conclusion turn me off due to being a bit too literal in a kind of silly way." - 4 Stars

The Ascendant - "Filmmakers Adam Stilwell, Andrew Rizzo, David Blair, Nathaniel Peterson & Adam Pitman pull triple-duty in their 2016 Found-Footage film, The Triangle, serving as Directors, Writers and (a portion of) Actors. In its (oddly whimsical) split-screen opening credits (and through a mysterious Postcard), our group of filmmakers bring a sense of immediacy to the film's plot, as we travel from Los Angeles, California to Montana, searching for more answers to the echoing sense of dread stewing in our bellies. I mistakenly interpreted early portions The Triangle to Ti West's 2013 film The Sacrament, as they both toy with the ideas of communities living outside of society's rigid boundaries. What I received instead was a surprisingly naturalistic Found-Footage film, that (at least for most of its run-time) had more in common with Road Films or Documentaries. Like its overall approach, what was most impressive here was how ridiculously natural all of the film's Actors & Actresses were, which made performances a bit more believable, tossing a much heavier anchor on my shoulders when the film's plot twisted me in directions I wasn't quite expecting. The Triangle is less a film and more of a shared experience, one where entering with little knowledge proves beneficial. Wait for the (now infamous) piece of Sound Design to rear its ugly head and try not to vomit. I dare you." - 3 Stars

Huntress - "After an unsettling and somewhat spooky opening scene, four friends get into a car to drive cross-country to reconnect with a friend they haven't heard from in years, because he has something to show them that can only be done in person... I didn't need to know much more to be intrigued by The Triangle, but this is one of those rare cases where the more you know, the more you can appreciate this very experimental narrative. I could have watched the documentary style interviews for hours, especially since everyone's restraint and hesitant answers tickled my imagination to unbearable levels. I had no idea what kind of direction things would take. There seemed to be an endless list of ways that a secluded desert society could implode on itself, so I didn't even try to guess how this would end. And anyway, I was too caught up in the natural human drama happening between the visiting camera crew and inhabiting mad-people in the desert. Definitely watch this at least twice!" - 4 Stars

KillDozer - "Those who know me know that I am not shy about speaking out when it comes to my dislike of the "found footage" or "POV" sub-genre of horror. Rarely does it follow its own rules, have a believable cast, or tell a story worth investing in (in my opinion). The "POV" titles I have connected with are few and far between, but they do exist! Lake Mungo, and Night Light to name a few. I can honestly say that when The Triangle screened at the Overlook Theatre, I was going in with a biased attitude and ready to pick it apart from the title, to the description, to the vague poster art with the cliche bull skull or bearded "hipster" staring into the sun (I have a beard so I can make fun of bearded people). Little did I know that each of these things was a necessary set up for me to truly enjoy what I was going to experience on screen. The Triangle was beautifully shot, well acted, and thought-provoking. A title for those true genre fans who embrace diversity. By the end of the screening, fans were divided in a way I hadn't witnessed in a while. This film inspired questions in a good way and connected with some while leaving others wondering what they just witnessed, which to me means that this was a true piece of art on film." - 4 Stars (collection worthy and worth showing to those who "don't like horror" or downplay the art of genre film)

Clark Little (R) - "The found footage/faux documentary sub-genre has yielded some of the most creative and satisfying horror films in recent memory. Another thing that it has done is cultivated expectations of shaky cameras, jump scares and monsters lurking in the woods. The Triangle lures you in through its deliberate pacing and makes you question what is real and what is staged or if anything is either one of those things. That is the highest compliment I can pay a film of this nature. Because of its ambiguity, it is polarizing. And because it is polarizing, you should seek it out." - 4 Stars

Math Mage - "I wonder about the origin of the title, The Triangle was almost a red herring. I suppose it wasn't called "The Skull" to avoid confusion with the 1965 movie? This film doesn't seem scary unless you think about it, but then when you do, you might realize the terror comes from realizing your whole life has been part of a larger journey. It might not even be a bad thing but its still scary." - 3 Stars

The Overlook Theatre Final Rating* 
(Below is for after you've seen the film)

Sometimes we screen a film here at the Overlook and it's near impossible to read the room. I mean we have a theatre filled with characters, most of whom are not afraid to voice their opinions during a film. So when a movie plays and everyone is silent after the credits, either everyone fell asleep or they're feeling out the room before speaking up. The latter usually indicates people loved/hated the film and don't want to offend anyone. But after we screened The Triangle, silence represented a voice of confusion. I can only speak for the audience I saw the film with and I'm confident that our moment shared in silence was the proper response and the several questions that followed seemed only natural, so in the pursuit of the "truth", KillDozer reached out to the Adam Stilwell for a segment of Digging Up the Dirt.

The Triangle is in a sense, less a movie than it is an abstract play. The film's false reality is given a living stage that grows an honest and organic culture from fully immersed actors stepping out of their identities and into their living characters. Characters that are allowed to come into their own while constructing a sandbox for their audience of 1 single camera to explore. The play eventually must end, leaving behind 200+ hours of lifestyle footage, interviews, and B roll of documented faux reality. The final product is a beautiful example of how cinema verite attempts to find its truth via film.

Needless to say, the creatures were very taken by The Triangle and its dreams, dinosaurs, and advent. So in an attempt to clear the cloud of confusion left behind by the screening, we've spoken with Director/Writer/Actor Adam Stilwell a couple of times. First KillDozer interviewed him for one of my personal favorite installments of Digging Up the Dirt. We then invited Adam back for an episode of the Overlook Hour Podcast, which also became one of our favorite to date.

- Lord Battle

The Overlook Theatre materialized in a residence for a screening on 9/21/2017
*Based on the star ratings turned in by character reviewers, others viewed and got to "Dislike" or "Like" but that does not affect the rating.

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