What is Meaning of The film Triangle? Explained Ending

The mystical thriller “Triangle” was released back in 2009. But even now, after 10 years, watching this film can cause a resonance, dividing those who looked at two groups: those who did not understand anything, and therefore are not impressed. And those who understood, and therefore impressed. Among these, quite warring groups, a third was also concealed. Those who liked the movie, and even managed to catch some sense, but still did not understand it to the end. If you belong to this category, then below you will find an analysis of the most incomprehensible moments in the film, an explanation of the ending and meaning. Go.

Brief information

“Triangle” was the third work of aspiring director Christopher Smith. Unfortunately, after The Triangle, the director’s filmography remained at an unusually low level. Based on this, we conclude that “Triangle” is his best film. Unfortunately, this fact did not save the picture from a complete failure at the box office – with a budget of $ 12 million, the film collected a little more than half a million. Not happy with the ratings of the audience – 6.9 at IMDb. Critics are almost the same. 75% on Metacritic based on 9 positive reviews and 80% freshness on Rotten Tomatoes. It would seem that all of the above should provide the film with complete oblivion. But the picture was saved by a rather unusual plot.


Plot Summary

The young girl Jess soothes her crying son, wipes the spilled water from under the paints, collects things, gets in the car and arrives at the port in order to go on a yacht with friends. After a couple of hours in the open sea, a storm overtakes the company, leaving one of the girls without a trace. The remaining heroes drift on an inverted yacht and meet a huge cruise ship. Climbing aboard, the company discovers that the ship is empty, and only some strange signs give out the presence of a person. Examining the liner, all members of the group, except Jess, die at the hands of a maniac in a black robe. The girl herself throws the killer overboard. Immediately after that, her friends on an inverted yacht again approach the liner.

frame from the movie "Triangle"

Karpman Triangle Allusion

The Karpman Triangle is a well-known model of human relationships characterized by the presence of three main roles: the victim, the savior and the persecutor. As a result, at the same time there are three Jess on the liner.
1. Newly arrived Jess with a group of friends.
2. Jess, in front of whom all her friends were killed, and who herself throws the maniac overboard. She is confused and does not understand anything. He is trying to explain to his new friends that they will be killed soon, and that he must escape from the ship. Ultimately, he finds the bodies of the murdered girlfriend and many pendants explaining the cyclical nature of this process.
3. Jess-killer, who understands that the death of all friends “resets” the timer and they sail again. In this case, she will try not to let them on the liner. Unfortunately, after their murder, Jess No. 2 throws her overboard.

frame from the movie "Triangle"

When Jess’s friends died

All of Jess’s friends, except for Heather (the girl who was carried away by the storm), die during the storm, as the stopping time on their watch says – 11.30. Thus, Heather remains the only survivor of the entire group. Jess herself dies even earlier, with her son in a car accident. Her time is 8.17.

frame from the movie "Triangle"

Explanation of the ending of the Triangle

After falling overboard, the girl is on the shore, catches a car and goes home. There, through the window, she sees herself screaming at her son. The boy spots Jess in the window and spills water accidentally. A copy of Jess in the house gets angry and starts wiping the stain. In the end, the “real” Jess hammers her, soothes her son, hides her body in a bag with things, and gets in the car in order to leave. On the road, looking somewhere to the side, the family gets an accident. Son dies, Jess turns into a ghost. The time on the watch is 8.17.


Who is a taxi driver?

After the accident, a random taxi driver, but actually the carrier of dead souls Charon, offers to take Jess anywhere. The girl agrees and understands, in order to see the living son again, she needs to go to the bay and board the yacht. Arriving at the destination, the taxi driver asks if she should be expected. She answers in the affirmative. Thus, giving a promise that can not keep.

frame from the movie "Triangle"

Allusion to Sisyphus

This action leads the heroine to a situation in which the ancient Greek character Sisyphus fell. The son of the lord of the winds Aeolus (the name of the ghostly liner), who decided to deceive death, and therefore was punished by eternal useless work. This comparison brings us to the realization that no matter what attempts Jess makes to break the loop, all this will turn out to be meaningless Sisyphus work. Realizing this, the girl apologizes in advance to Greg (the owner of the yacht). Most likely for his murder.


Once on the “Triangle”, the tormented heroine falls asleep, and therefore forgets about her goal to break the loop. Everything that happened earlier becomes an ordinary nightmare, about which she speaks to a visiting friend.

Meaning of the Triangle movie 2009

The situation in which Jess falls after her death is due to the fact that it was she who caused her son’s death, a poor attitude towards him during her life and a promise that she gave to Charon, but did not fulfill. Her stubbornness in trying to get her son back is amazing. Scenes with pendants, Sally’s bodies and birds on the shore are proof of this. By the way, there are only three such scenes, which also refers to an endless loop.

Is the film a myth about Sisyphus in a modern way? Maybe. But where does the triangle come from? Everything is simple. A key character in the film, the liner “Aeolus,” is an allusion to the god Aeolus, who doomed Sisyphus to suffering. In turn, Aeolus is the name of three ancient Greek characters, originally unified, but divided over time.


Triangle (2009) Ending Explained + Greek Mythology – Youtube Video Review & Analysis


As a result, among other things, “Triangle” managed to combine three genre principles: a strong psychological drama, a complex mystical thriller and a classic noir, manifested in an atmosphere of hopelessness and cynicism of the heroine towards her friends.

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  1. Isha

    Great post. Thank you for the explanation.

  2. Yan Doe

    Thanks for the explanation!