Triaphilia is the belief that bad things always occur in threes. The horror anthology Triaphilia, written and directed by Josuha Nelson, takes this idea to its natural extreme. At the antique store The Anointed Cherub, the owner (Kenny Ledee) steers his customers towards items that will ultimately lead to their doom. First up are Sal (Rink Patel) and Karen (Katie Raulerson), who buy a mirror from there as a gift to her parents, who he is meeting for the first time. Well, that mirror calls something demonic forth, and the family must fight to survive. Do they, or does the devil get his due?
The second segment is about three roommates, Bonnie (Ashley Laessig), Jeanine (Julia Wyrzuc), and Ruby (Mary Zaroura). They buy an urn filled with the remains of a serial killer from the shop. A short time later, Martha (Esra Ozgun) shows up at their house demanding her husband back, and she will murder anyone who gets in her way of accomplishing this goal.
The final tale sees Zoe (Chelsea Rose Barreto) and Ronnie (Saniye Reyhan) purchase a trunk for the grief-stricken Susan (Jenn Nobile). She just lost her child, Franklin (Daniela Favaloro), and the two friends are going to help their work colleague pack up his things. But, when Susan opens the trunk, she is greeted with a doll who knows her dark secret, a secret she will kill to keep.
“…steers his customers towards items that will ultimately lead to their doom.”
Triaphilia has a nifty hook in its shop of murdering items and its proprietor. The individual stories are not too bad either, as the characters are set up quickly, as are their initial desires/goals. None of the segments wait all that long before getting to the spooky happenings, and the entire thing wraps up in just 70-minutes. Nelson also infuses each tale with an underlying tension that manages to keep the atmosphere of dread relatively high.
However, the dialogue is often all exposition or too quick to let a quip or joke land. This isn’t helped by the cast, most of whom are pretty bad. Patel is never convincing as the “aw shucks,” shy boyfriend. He spews forth his lines in such a hurried fashion it is impossible to buy what he is saying as sincere. Sadly, he is not alone here. All of the co-stars in his section are also pretty bad. Wyrzuc and Zaroura have no screen presence, though Laessig proves to have some genuine comedic timing.
Though, the last story actually sees everyone do a good enough job. Barreto especially impresses as a caring co-worker, and once the fear sets in, she sells it well. Reyhan is lots of fun, as the more snarky of the two, while Nobile is quite creepy. For his part, Ledee manages to be the best actor of the bunch, as the off-putting, eerie shopkeep.
Triaphilia has a good idea at its core, and the director manages to create several suspenseful moments. The anthology features some well-thought-out stories, but the cast fails to bring the characters to life in a believable fashion, so much of the action feels passive. Still, the style and ideas work well enough for the whole thing to be fairly engaging. Plus, the last segment is very intriguing and intense, meaning despite its issues, this is just above average.
"…manages to create several suspenseful moments."