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Review Backtrack (2015): Dabbles in familiar territory but does it so well that it will be worth it!

genre: horror, thriller, mystery






Adrien Brody is of one of those good actors that somehow now only gets to star in average independent and B movies that are far from memorable or even worth your time. So naturally you will think twice to watch another film of his. Fear not, Backtrack is not one of them.

Backtrack may seem familiar because it might have borrowed from some older horror films. One in particular but I won't reveal which one since that could be considered a spoiler. Although it plays around with the concept so that it does feel fresh and creative. The mystery is the main focus still Backtrack doesn't pull any punches when it comes to scares. Mind you they are used very sparingly but when they occur they are very effective. Probably because director Michael Petroni understands that less is more. And that building tension and suspense is more important. He takes his time to tell you the story and what mystery needs to be told. Sometimes he even misdirects to make you doubt of what is going on. I know, doesn't sound highly original or fresh but if it's done so well is that really an issue? To me it's not and is one of the reasons why I love to watch these kinds of movies. I want to be misdirected and surprised. I want to be deeply enthralled into the mystery and then to be dazzled at the end with something I did not see coming. Well, Backtrack does a lot of this for the most part except for dazzling at the end. It's something you would expect. Yet it is endearing so no complaints from me. One minor issue I have to address is where everything is situated. The film never clearly mention what country Adrien resides in. At one point you realize it has to be Australia. I mean if the majority of the actors that are Australian isn't an indication the locations certain will convince you. That and some of the accents used. However Adrien Brody's character Peter Bower doesn't have an accent at least not clearly enough to make a distinction. It could be that they wanted to be vague on the locale since they want the audience to believe it's all situated in America. One of the questions asked in a dialogue between Peter and a patient of his is about the president of the United States. If everyone is supposed to be Australian why would they care about that? It's of very little consequence really but I felt the need to mention it. And what is up with Sam Neill? Doesn't seem like he is aging much. Need to find out what his secret is.

Backtrack is definitely worth your time as it hooks you into it's mystery and even manages to scare you a couple of times. It might not be epic or grand but what it lacks in spectacle it makes up with heart.




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