There’s nothing like that feeling you get after watching a great, suspenseful thriller that leaves your head spinning for days after you’ve finished it. One such film for me that was full of mind-bending twists and suspense was 2009’s Triangle. If you haven’t seen it, I won’t spoil it completely, but it’s an awesome tale in which you’ll never know what to expect next.
If you have watched Triangle and want to find more epic, suspenseful thrillers that play with your mind and the notion of time, you came to the right place. I’m bringing you a list of the twelve best suspense thrillers that are like Triangle, ranked solely by their IMDb score.
I tried to leave out all the usual suspects, like, well, The Usual Suspects, Shutter Island, and similar thrillers everyone knows. Instead, we’ll focus on great movies that actually have some elements in common with Triangle, be it the plot, the twists, the location, or anything in between. Let’s dive right in!
12. Open Water (2003)
IMDb score: 5.8/10
What it’s about: Open Water is a movie based on a true story about a scuba-diving couple getting stranded in the middle of the ocean with no land in sight. The couple’s boat left without them, and they could not communicate with anyone. To make matters worse, the waters surrounding them are full of sharks.
Why it’s like Triangle: This movie is unlike any other on the list going forward, but I had to include at least one movie playing into the ‘stranded-in-the-ocean’ trope, which Triangle partially does. And Open Water is, like, my worst nightmare coming alive.
Imagine being stranded in the ocean, with no land in sight, literally anywhere around you. You have no way of knowing where to go, and even if you do, currents could be leading you in the other way without realizing it. And then, sharks. And the fact that the film was based on a true story. It’s a suspense-fest all the way.
11. Premonition (2007)
IMDb score: 5.9/10
What it’s about: A woman wakes up one day, learning that her husband had perished in a car crash the day before. Devastated and depressed, she wakes up the next day only to find her husband alive, at home. Then, in the morning, she wakes up in the world where he’s gone again. She tries to figure out if she’s losing her mind or if something else is happening.
Why it’s like Triangle: Premonition is a lot less bloody and a lot more dramatic, rather than being a real suspense thriller. However, several plot details make the movies similar.
Weird temporal ‘malfunctions’ happen all the time while the lead character struggles to find answers in both films, leading to a major twist. Also, both films have strong female leads, and I highly recommend both.
10. The Strangers (2008)
IMDb score: 6.1/10
What it’s about: What would you be capable of doing in order to survive? That’s what James and Kristen had to find out the hard way. After a wedding, the couple stayed in an isolated vacation home, but someone knocked on the door as night came.
The violent fight for survival ensued as three strangers with masks on their faces broke in and started torturing the couple with all kinds of weapons.
Why it’s like Triangle: One, both films are heavily suspenseful and will hardly let you take a breath throughout. Two, one of the assailants has a very similar mask to the assailant in Triangle. In both movies, the leads are attacked and forced to fight for survival for no apparent reason. And, four – both films can hardly be more violent than they are.
9. Time Lapse (2014)
IMDb score: 6.5/10
What it’s about: A group of three friends uncovers a mysterious machine that can take photos 24 hours in the future. They quickly come up with the idea to use it to win the lottery and perform other scams for their own gain, but suddenly, disturbing things start to happen – the machine starts developing images straight out of their worst nightmares.
Why it’s like Triangle: Time Lapse is another time manipulation movie but puts a different spin on the trope when compared to Triangle. However, in both movies, it doesn’t take long for the manipulation to backfire and become the main source of horror in the films. I loved Time Lapse for some of its deeper messages, and it would likely be higher on the list if I ranked it subjectively.
8. Exam (2009)
IMDb score: 6.8/10
What it’s about: Eight people are in consideration for a high-profile corporate job, so they are taken to an exam room to finish their final test and determine who gets the job. Things quickly spiral out of control as the room gets locked, and confusion steps in about the exam’s nature…
Why it’s like Triangle: If you’re looking for another time-loop-type of movie, you won’t find it in Exam. It’s a different story and a different narrative from Triangle entirely. However, what both things have in common is that I firmly believe that both deserve much more recognition than they have as insanely awesome suspense thrillers.
I won’t even get into the intricate details, but Exam is also kind of philosophical and urges you to try to understand the deeper meaning behind what’s going on.
7. Primer (2004)
IMDb score: 6.8/10
What it’s about: Four engineer friends believe they are on the brink of something exceptional as they try to invent a protein super-accelerator/incubator of sorts. What they create goes beyond their wildest fantasies – they inadvertently invent a real, working time machine. How they use it will change their past, present, and future in all the wrong ways.
Why it’s like Triangle: Primer also plays with time manipulation and encounters another version of yourself. It’s a great movie that actually takes the opposite approach – in Triangle, the characters are thrown into the ordeal against their will, while in Primer, they use the time machine willingly.
6. Timecrimes (2007)
IMDb score: 7.1/10
What it’s about: Hector and his wife are just about to move into a new house. He sits and watches through his binoculars as he often did and spots a girl in the woods, completely naked. Hector follows her, only to find her lying on a rock while a masked man attacks him and stabs him in the arm with scissors.
Soon, Hector will realize he inadvertently stepped into a time machine, taking him back about an hour. He’ll encounter himself from an hour ago, which will lead to a chain of horrifying events.
Why it’s like Triangle: Timecrimes, aka Cronocrimenes, was, in my humble opinion, a masterpiece. It’s a Spanish-language film, so it didn’t catch as many eyes as some others on this list, but if you have the opportunity, check it out. It’s a time-traveling story told the right way, with major twists and an incredibly gripping storyline.
Not only does Timecrime play with time manipulation and encountering yourself like Triangle, but the character also wears a similar mask on his face.
5. Coherence (2013)
IMDb score: 7.2/10
What it’s about: A group of friends gathers for a nice dinner party. However, the fun is quickly spoiled as strange, mysterious things start to happen while a comet flies over the skies. The astronomical anomaly caused something weird to start happening, and the friends struggled to figure out what was going on.
Why it’s like Triangle: Just like Triangle, Coherence will take you on a mysterious journey where you’ll struggle to make anything make sense, and just as you think you figured it out, another twist will shake you and keep you hooked. Both films are amazing in their own right, but Coherence might even be my favorite of the two.
4. Identity (2003)
IMDb score: 7.3/10
What it’s about: A horrible storm leaves several guests stranded in a Nevada motel in the middle of nowhere. The ten strangers get to know each other, but soon, it’ll be hard to trust any of them, as they start getting slaughtered one by one. Who is behind the murders, and how can they stop? You wouldn’t guess if you tried eleven times.
Why it’s like Triangle: Identity has that same element of suspense, mystery, and violence as Triangle but is objectively a much, much more complex and compelling story. You’ll find it on most good thriller movie lists simply because the entire plot tells you one story, but then twists make you revisit and rethink everything you thought you knew.
Identity deserves a higher IMDb score, no doubt.
3. Predestination (2014)
IMDb score: 7.4/10
What it’s about: A temporal agent from the future is on his final assignment before retirement – he pursues the temporal criminal that’s been evading him through different timelines. However, what the agent uncovers will become a huge philosophical yet paradoxical question of love, identity, and destiny.
Why it’s like Triangle: Predestination and Triangle both play with time travel, in a way, but the thing is, Predestination is one of the smartest movies when it comes to executing and challenging some of the biggest taboos, misconceptions, and paradoxes relating to time travel.
Without spoiling the movie, I can’t tell more, but you should know that the film will have you gasping in suspense at one moment and smiling in shock the next.
2. Source Code (2011)
IMDb score: 7.5/10
What it’s about: Colter Stevens, a US Army veteran, wakes up on a train one day, realizing he’s in another man’s body. Soon, he’ll realize that he’s part of a secret government program trying to prevent an insane terrorist from detonating another bomb somewhere in town after he had already bombed the train Stevens was riding.
Why it’s like Triangle: Source Code does what Triangle does the most similarly – meaning, the main character is stuck in a time loop. However, Source Code, much like Predestination, goes deeper into the time travel theory to break some myths, or at least play into them very intelligently.
It’s one of Jake Gyllenhaal’s best roles and an absolutely amazing movie that will have you blown away. It’s more action and less thriller than Triangle, but a wild ride nevertheless.
1. Memento (2000)
IMDb score: 8.4/10
What it’s about: Leonard is a former insurance investigator who suffers from serious short-term memory loss – meaning, he can’t store information in his short-term memory at all, and he forgets everything from the past day every morning he wakes up.
Despite his condition, he still tries to find a way to find his wife’s murderer… What he’ll discover might shock him to the core – but the thing is, he wouldn’t even know anymore the next day.
Why it’s like Triangle: Now, Memento is more of a psychological thriller, but there’s enough suspense there for this masterpiece to find a spot on the list. In Triangle, the characters are stuck in a mysterious, inexplicable time loop that haunts them to infinity.
Imagine being in such a loop without anything supernatural or mysterious actually happening, and you get Memento. Intelligent and incredibly well-directed, Memento quickly became a mystery thriller classic. If you haven’t seen it yet, you missed out on one of Christopher Nolan’s best films ever.