Michael Dorman is venturing out on his yacht with a group of friends (Rachael Carpani, Henry Nixon, and Emma Lung among them), as well as his new girlfriend Melissa George. George, mother to an Autistic son whom she is reluctant to leave behind, is viewed with suspicion by the others, especially the catty Carpani who actually tries to set Dorman up with Lung. A freak storm capsizes the yacht, and after a while, a cruise liner comes out of nowhere to seemingly rescue them. Unfortunately, when they climb aboard, it seems the vessel is empty. Well, except for the masked figure who starts to bump them off one by one. But believe me, that’s not even the half of it. Some very strange things happen onboard this ship, as the film’s title might well suggest.
The idea of a British-Australian co-production filmed in Australia with partly Australian funds and Australian actors adopting American accents makes this 2009 flick from British writer-director Christopher Smith a little odd at first. But once you understand that the film is set in Miami, it’s less of an issue. The question is, can it be claimed to be an Australian film? Well, since it’s a really good yarn and I’m an Aussie, hell yes I’m going to claim this as one of ours, damn it. Besides, you guys still owe us for the Bodyline series as far as I’m concerned.
All cricket-related kidding aside, what looked at first like a lame “Ghost Ship”-style film, actually ends up more in league with “The Twilight Zone” meets “The Shining”. Or to put it another way, it’s a different kind of ‘ghost ship’ story to “Ghost Ship”. It’s intriguing stuff, even if the characters are a bit clichéd and mostly pretty unlikeable. I also think the order of deaths is wrong, the most interesting character for me gets bumped off very early. Aside from Rachael Carpani, who I’ve never liked, the acting from a familiar cast of Aussie actors (from TV and film) is all fine. I was especially impressed by Michael Dorman, one of the better actors from the disappointing “Daybreakers”, once again solid here. Liam Hemsworth, meanwhile is at least a better actor than his brother Chris, who sounds like he has a permanently blocked nose.
Excellent cinematography by Robert Humphreys is a major asset, with some great shot composition and a very crisp, clean look. It’s definitely got a touch of Stanley Kubrick about it. It’s all very weird, clever, and watchable, much more psychological than I was expecting. The most memorable scene involves one of the characters finding themselves...amongst a whole pile of themselves. When you see the film, you’ll know what I mean, and it’s very unsettling. By the way, who in the hell calls a yacht ‘Triangle’? Isn’t that tempting fate a bit? The ending didn’t quite add up to me, but oddly enough that didn’t bother me, I still kinda liked it.
This doesn’t reinvent the wheel and the characters are dull, but this is still a clever and entertaining yarn. A solid genre effort, no matter which country you consider its origin to be.