Review: Backtrack (2015)

SYNOPSIS: Psychologist Peter Bower’s life is thrown into turmoil when he discovers a strange secret about his patients. Risking his own sanity, Peter delves into his past to uncover a terrifying secret which only he can put right. But is the reward worth risking more than a single life? – via IMDB

I went in for this for Sam Neill. Unfortunately I did not get nearly enough Sam Neill as I had been hoping for, and instead got a rather generic movie that tried to be so much smarter and darker than it really is, which is unfortunate. It does not mean that it is the worst way to spend your time, but it certainly is not the best thing to chuck on.

First and foremost, the movie is not sure what it wants to be. A mystery? Drama? Thriller? Horror? This messes with the pacing as well as how the story is set out. Initially it hard sells as a horror, then spirals into a totally mysterious, dramatic thriller. The issue with this is that it is not as mysterious as it hopes to be, as there were no plot twists that shocked me. I was also not attached enough to the character and his past to really feel for his melodrama, and the movie is not thrilling enough to hook you.

All of that is a serious pity because the story is actually good, and I mean really good. It is just so messily put together, and it pulls the final product apart at the seams. They should have presented it in a more solid style, and then it would have all the power to resonate, and to stick with you. It is an intense story being told, but the harried fashion it is told in makes it pale and rickety, and so I was not sold on it all.

Ultimately Backtrack is a messy film that is not as unpredictable as it hopes to be, and is rather unforgettable when all is said and done, though Brodie and Neill both deliver quite good performances in a story that could have been so much more. So much wasted potential, because the story really was a solid thing.

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