Backtrack (2015)

Director: Michael Petroni
Starring: Adrian Brody; Sam Neil; Bruce Spence. USA/Australia. 1h 30m

Surprisingly dull supernatural thriller starring a couple of big names, refuses to make a splash despite having the makings of a depressingly creepy horror but it’s just too long winded and lacking on many fronts which is a shame as usually the cast shine above others.

Nothing Haunts Like the Past

Doctor Peter Bower (Brody), a psychologist who’s fighting his own personal demons, after the death of his daughter his life is upside down but it might not be all in his head. Struggling to understand the world through his new grief glasses he connects the dots that a group of his patiences aren’t suffering from anything psychological; they are in fact being attacked by ghosts. Realising that he might be in the same boat he attempts a trip back to his childhood home in Australia, to spend some time with his father to try and overcome his predicament with outlandish results.

The film is constantly overshadowed with darkness, a possible attempt to visualise the darkness of the characters grief, but overall the lack of tonal changes dulls the mind and the film begins to feel like one big monotonous scene. For the most part, the numerous couch sessions have a compelling downcast aesthetic, highlighted with paranormal interactions.

Some memories are so unacceptable

-Duncan Stewart

Sam Neill makes a handful of momentary appearances as Bowers college Duncan Stewart, attempting to help his friend through his grief, and Robin McLeavy takes off her Hell on Wheels tattoos to play Barbara Henning, a local fresh faced and good hearted officer helping Bower in his hometown. Ultimately it’s all down to Brody to make the most compelling show, which he does but it’s not enough to really lift the movie from chilled to cool, the energy is lost to whimsical and emotional pauses, but once you get through the puzzlement you’ll soon realise that the movie forgot to bring the proper horror. There are occasional frights, but this is firmly in the thriller box and one with a slick lashing of serial killer vibes but you’ll need to look past the plot holes first.


Rating: 3/10

Related: Postcard Killings (2020),

Lists:Scary Father Flicks

Spotlight: Adrian Brody, Sam Neill



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