The Triangle (DVD)

The Triangle (DVD)
A Sci-Fi Channel mini-series, now on DVD.
Updated: 03-17-2006

Although the plot seemed intriguing and the talent involved with The Triangle was redoubtable, I've been burned by the Sci-Fi Channel's original programming so many times before that it was with trepidation that I slipped this 6-hour mini-series into my DVD player.


Right off the bat, from the opening credit sequence actually, I was favorably impressed. The Triangle starts off in the thick of a brutal storm in the blackest heart of the Bermuda Triangle — a modern day transport ship collides with a Spanish armada… captained by Christopher Columbus. Are the 16th century explorers real? Or are they ghosts? Demons sent to terrify the living? It's a very well-done, gripping and chilling scene, and it's merely a prelude to a fast-paced thrill ride along the lines of TV thrillers like Surface and The X-Files.


With his crews and cargo ships disappearing at an alarming rate around the Bermuda Triangle, billionaire Eric Benirall (Sam Neill) hires a team of misfit specialists to understand why and to prevent future calamities. Handpicked for not only their talents but for their neediness, the crew consists of skeptical tabloid journalist Howard Thomas (Eric Stoltz), ocean engineer Emily Patterson (Catherine Bell), laidback scientist Bruce Gellar (Michael Rodgers), and famed psychic Stan Lathem (Bruce Davison).


With an irresistible financial offer made to each of them, the makeshift team investigates the legendary, mysterious, and dangerous Bermuda Triangle to find the answers Benirall seeks. But as their inquiry deepens, the crew finds themselves surrounded by bizarre occurrences that only become all the more nightmarish. Unknown the them, another man, Greenpeace activist Meeno Paloma (Lou Diamond Phillips) is launching his own personal war against the demons that have plagued him ever since his deadly brush with the Bermuda Triangle. Ghosts, disappearing corpses, alternate realities, and conspiracy theories abound… but how will it all end, and who will live to tell the tale?


The script, written by Rockne S. O'Bannon (and based on a story by producer Dean Devlin), is perfectly paced — yes, sometimes TV melodrama slips in, but it can't all be relentless excitement. This way, you get to know the characters better and it works well within the confines of the genre. The horror elements are mostly in the first half of the show, until the more scientific aspects of the enigma start to take shape in the form of government-sanctioned teleportation experiments (the USS Eldridge "Philadelphia Experiment" comes into play). Still, the suspense never lets up, which is a testament to the talents of director Craig R. Baxley (who's brought several Stephen King adaptations to the small screen). To top it off, the cinematography and special effects are extremely impressive — this movie looks great on a hi-def widescreen TV set.


Additional release material on the DVD consists of your typical puff-piece advertisement to herald the mini-series (this 30 minute making-of featurette did air on the Sci-Fi Channel prior to the mini-series' airing in December 2005). Still, it's slick and it moves right along, and is interesting enough if you're curious about how the project went from concept to fruition.


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Reviewed by Staci Layne Wilson

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