Dir. Michael Petroni
Reviewer. Martyn Wakefield
Adrien Brody is a chameleon of acting taking in such serious roles as those seen in THE PIANIST and KING KONG as well as lending his hand to more comedic roles with THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL and HIGH SCHOOL. In his 27 year career, the horror genre has not been one he’s missed out on with star turns in SPLICE and PREDATORS and here he again returns to deliver a suspenseful supernatural mystery that will have you on the edge of your seat. Before I begin with the synopsis, this is not THE SIXTH SENSE. The element of surprise is left for a long time after the revelation.
Psychologist Peter Bower (Brody) and his wife are mourning the death of their child when Peter leans the patients he is seeing are not of the living. Determined to understand why he suddenly has a case of the Haley Joel Osment, the source of his visions comes from a train route that leads straight back to his childhood.
Playing like a murder mystery for the INSIDIOUS generation, BACKTRACK has plenty to keep you immersed in the supernatural world that highlights a darker edge to the living. While Brody takes centre stage, support from horror veterans Sam Neill and Bruce Spence and favourite Robin McLeavy (THE LOVED ONES) mange to spin a web of investigations creeping back to a sinister past.
There are elements of BACKTRACK that feel familiar to any fans of the supernatural with the typical blend of suspense and jumps in the dark but nothing ever feels tired and with a running time of 90 minutes, manages to cram in a lot of twist and turns that feel genuine. Add in a terrific performance by Adrien Brody as well as a strong supporting cast and director Michael Petroni (whose previous writing credits include THE BOOK THIEF, THE RITE and QUEEN OF THE DAMNED) delivers a chilling mystery that is haunting until the very end.
While this may be a small budget chiller, it certainly holds its own against some of last year’s mainstream releases and really shouldn’t be missed if you like your horror dripping in story and character as well as ghosts and ghoulies.