Title – Backtrack (2015)
Director – Michael Petroni (Till Human Voices Wake Us)
Cast – Adrien Brody, Sam Neill, Robin McLeavy
Plot – Australian psychologist Peter Bower (Brody) finds himself haunted by the past and a recent tragedy as he discovers a horrible secret about some of his patients. To unlock the mystery at the heart of his troubles, Peter must journey back to his hometown and face the horrors of his past.
“Some memories are so unacceptable we will do anything we can to forget them”
Review by Eddie on 11/08/2016
An Australian psychological thriller that harbors a potentially powerful narrative, The Rite and The Book Thief writer turned director Michael Petroni’s film fails to capitalise on his stories potential as Backtrack squanders a capable cast in amongst some dire execution, tired storytelling tropes and an overall feel of mundanity that ruins any chance Backtrack had of finding an audience or fans.
Hiring Oscar winner and one time blockbuster participant Adrien Brody and acquiring the services of the refreshed Sam Neill may’ve seemed like a nice stepping stone for Backtrack’s audience acquisitions but not even the two seasoned performers can save this stinker from wallowing in its own self-made problems of ineptitude.
The career of Adrien Brody needs particular attention paid to it after his largely lifeless and badly Australian accented turn as psychologist with a past and ghostly visions Peter Bower sees the star of King Kong and The Pianist continue on a career bender to the edges of obscurity that not even the shores of Australia can save.
Since Brody’s win at the Academy Awards way back in 2003, the actor has put his name to such projects as Giallo, High School, Third Person, Dragon Blade and American Heist and his presence in Backtrack ads absolutely zilch to proceedings as Petroni’s film starts off uninvitingly and continues on its merry way with neither the scares, chills or emotional heft to make the mystery of Bower’s past and his ghostly friends worthwhile and Petroni struggles to culminate proceedings in a satisfactory manner as things take a turn for the downright ludicrous as Bower’s father William and Robin McLeavy’s kindly police officer Barbara Henning become involved in the various uninteresting twists and turns.
There’s a decent film somewhere at the core of Backtrack but this is a highly lacklustre Australian offering that will be neither well received on home soil or abroad and in a local industry that is already facing an uphill battle to maintain a loyal local following, films like this certainly help the cause very little.
1 plastic poncho out of 5