Backtrack (2015) Poster

(I) (2015)

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If you stick with it, it's well worth it.
Sleepin_Dragon24 October 2018
I'm one of those people that came close to switching it off, I found the first half of the film excruciatingly boring, I've never watched a horror thriller before and found myself nodding off, with this I did. Possibly because I didn't quite get what was going on with the story, it wasn't explained in any sort of way, which I found frustrating, but once you become involved as a viewer, which is just over half way through, the film becomes gripping, captivating, and thoroughly enjoyable.

Very well acted, Adrien Brody is terrific, as is Sam Neill. Some terrific special effects, and good music, which doesn't overtake the film.

Second watch, and I'll enjoy it all the more.

The only scenario I can think of for this film, imagine being invited to a party where you don't know anyone, half way through you get to know the guests, have a drink, and engage. This film is the same.
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Haunted by the Past
claudio_carvalho13 May 2018
After losing his daughter hit by a truck, the troubled psychologist Peter Bower (Adrien Brody) moves to Sidney with his wife Carol (Jenni Baird) and his colleague and friend Dr. Duncan Stewart (Sam Neill) gets strange patients for him. When Dr. Bower discovers a secret about Dr. Stewart and his patients, he travels alone to his hometown False Creek to the house of his estranged father William Bower (George Shevtsov). Haunted by his past, Peter digs his recollections and uncovers a hideous secret from his past.

"Backtrack" is an above average ghost story, with a good screenplay. The cast has great performance and the plot is intriguing, entwining family drama with horror and the conclusion is well resolved. My vote is seven.

Title (Brazil): "Visões do Passado" ("Visions from the Past")
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kosmasp14 December 2015
The movie does play with expectations, but not in a "wink wink" way, we know you know or anything like that. It does feed into fears and it is very atmospheric to say the least. The main actors help elevate this into territory it might not have gone with lesser talent (no pun intended of course).

The story might be simple (if you look back at it), but it's the way they achieved what they set out to do. A thriller/horror/suspense hybrid, that takes you on a ride, without knowing where it will end and how we got there. There are the occasional jump scares and some might feel cheated by them, but it works all in favor of the movie. I'm not going to talk about the story, because you should dive in and find out, what is going on along with the character, peeling away layer after layer ...
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Pretty damned good
Phil_Chester10 November 2018
This is a cracking psychological/supernatural thriller. The obvious comparison is with 'The Sixth Sense', and in direct contrast to that masterpiece, this story does get a little bit silly right at the end, but you can forgive the film as a whole because of a wonderful mood and a couple of excellently well crafted jump scares. Adrien Brody is marvellous and the rest of the cast do a solid job. Definitely worth a look.
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Adrien Brody nails it again.....a must see....
wildsparrow1628 February 2016
When Adrien Brody stars, you know it will be good - you just are not sure HOW good. This movie is REALLY good and a better actor could not have been chosen to play this tortured soul struggling to hold onto his grasp on reality. To not lose his mind, he knows he must delve into his past where 'some memories are so unacceptable, we do whatever we can to keep them buried'- it has every element you want in a thriller. It is utterly haunting, moody, unpredictable, creepy, and emotional. Did I leave anything out? It is a cerebral thriller - not quick-paced - just enough to keep building suspense. And make no mistake - just when you think you have it figured out - you will be wrong.
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This is a movie that has a great idea, an exciting concept, but it never achieves what it could be.
cosmo_tiger17 March 2016
Warning: Spoilers
"You don't want to remember." Peter Bower (Brody) is a psychologist that has just discovered something that changes his life. All the patients he has been seeing, and his own psychiatrist do not exist. Mix that with the lost memory of a tragic past and Peter puts his sanity on the line trying to make things right. The more he remembers the more terrifying things become. This is a movie that has a great idea, an exciting concept, but it never achieves what it could be. I did like this and this had elements of the Sixth Sense which worked, but there was just something missing to make this as cool as it could have been. I can't say I was disappointed because I hadn't heard about this before I watched it, but I can say the set up and idea were more exciting than the actual movie was. This is still a good movie that is worth seeing, but it really could have been so much more exciting. Overall, I did like it but sadly the idea was better than the execution. I give this a B-.
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Well executed but a few problems in the script
ginocox-206-33696826 March 2016
"Backtrack" is well executed. The acting and cinematography are competent and professional. Special effects are more than adequate. It economically manages to convey a sense of desolation, solitude and creepiness.

Horror films generally adhere to a simple basic formula. A sinful act unleashes a supernatural power that wreaks vengeance on the guilty, but spares the innocent and those who repent. Occasionally films like "The Sixth Sense" and "Ghost Town" effectively embellish the basic formula in novel, interesting and dramatically gratifying ways.

"Backtrack" deviates from the basic horror conventions, but does not provide anything superior and is inconsistent. Arguably innocent people are caused to suffer. The supernatural forces torment the protagonist who is not the sole or even the most guilty party. They seem to want his help or he wants their help, but they seem equally capable of interacting with the most guilty party without him. It's not clear whether they need the protagonist's help or they want to involve him in order to help him expiate his guilt. The supernatural forces do not have a consistent understanding of their status.

The supernatural forces do not behave randomly, but even though they operate in concert, it's not clear that they understand their purpose or the master plan. Their motives for particular actions aren't always clear. They don't always seem to be on the same page.

Some of the early scenes are ambiguous. It's not clear whether the protagonist is alive, dead, dreaming, deluded, hallucinating or what. We have dreary, foreboding scenes of abandoned buildings and streets and empty trains. Everybody who visits the protagonist seems unusual. He never interacts with anybody who seems entirely normal. Then suddenly, his world is populated, but the reason for the transition is unclear.

The movie would have been stronger with a clearer concept of who and what the supernatural elements were, why they did what they did and what they know or believe about the events in question. If they need the protagonist's assistance to discover who was the guiltiest, that could have been clearer. If they have several suspects, why torment only the protagonist? One of the supernatural entities knows the whole story. Why they don't go after the guiltiest party directly is unclear, except that a negligent act gave him some special insights, but that resulted in the death of an innocent, so the story is less satisfying.
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Nice little movie with elements of horror/mystery/thriller...all combined into one
bcheng931 February 2016
OK...before i start on the review itself, i just want to say that i am giving this movie a 7/10 rating. So far this movie has a rating of 5.9 which is a little low in my opinion. The movie itself was very professionally done and the Cgi in the movie...about a minute in all was fairly well done. I went in to the movie hoping Adrien Brody just didn't needed a paycheck...and was very happy he didn't. Don't want to give the spoiler for the movie...just like the other reviewers said. Please give this movie a chance if you are a fan of either horror, mystery or thriller movies. I think you'll be fairly pleased with the movie overall, as there are elements of all three genres in this movie. Hahaha...still thinking about this movie and just wanted to say that its classified under horror. I am a big fan of a good horror movie also..especially...a good jump scare...hehehe. THis movie although you're watching it you will be thinking..OK..i know where this is going...the try for a jump scare is coming right now. This actually keeps happening for a while until you forget about it...because what you think might be a jump scare which you brace for never materializes....UNTIL...BOOMMM!!!. Hahaha...I swear i almost jumped out of my skin. For the reviewer who said it was a good movie with a god-awful would one close the movie???? There was only 2 ways out of the ending...and...the latter would have been to gloomy indeed, and would have made viewers very uneasy indeed. All in all a very worthwhile watch in my opinion for any fans of a good movie...and how long has it been since Brody made a movie?
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An emotional psychological thriller that keeps you guessing
ten-thousand-marbles10 April 2020
I'm picky, and am rarely impressed to any degree by the films I see. This is truly a great movie. The story continues to change up throughout, keeping you wondering from one scene to the next. It's got just enough scare factor, and the script and performances are stellar. There were a couple of things with the ending that didn't seem to fit, but that is easily forgiven. This is definitely worth seeing.
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SOLID thriller with some ghost horrors and a phenomenal ending!!! STAY TILL THE END!
joiningjt8 June 2021
This was an excellent ghost thriller not a lot of horror but there are some scary moments some jump scares and an excellent cast. The story takes awhile to get you engaged but it does have a gripping story and a fantastic ending. I'm so SICK of the new thing to have an incomplete ending or the bullsh.. reason is make up your own ending...NO i want a Complete film with an ending that we can understand and it has a payoff!! This movie is extremely Underrated, the cast and crew made a solid film I'm extremely glad I purchased the bluray!!
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Dark, Gloomy Atmosphere Sets The Tone Of This Film
Foutainoflife15 September 2018
While I enjoyed this, it seemed to drag out in parts. I found myself wanting to get to the answers more quickly but I understood it was meant to set up the ending. I have to take away some stars for being able to see what was coming. This did have the gloomy, dark tone and that, I loved. I also thought that Adrian Broody did a great job of being the focus of the film. The special effect were just ok for me. It's not bad. Check it out.
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A well paced mystery/horror that keeps you hooked till the end.
augusts-bautra20 April 2016
Backtrack starts off setting the mood. From the opening credits and first few minutes you know that Peter Bower (played by Adrien Brody) and his wife, Carol (Jenni Baird) are regaining their footing in life after some terrible incident.

Peter works in some psychiatric capacity, seeing patients. The weather is drab, the routine - taking it's toll, home life is yet in shambles. First cracks start to appear as odd occurrences, then things get progressively more inexplicable and Peter comes to shocking realizations, explanations to which must be sought in his past, back at his home town...

It is rather commendable that Backtrack manages to start off disguising itself as a psychology mystery, but slowly progresses into a cool detective.

I was not a fan of the cheap jump-scares, I would have liked Peter's confusion and anxiety communicated differently. I did, however, thoroughly enjoy the ghost story symbolisms of doors that just won't stay shut, pages that just won't burn etc.

Cinematography in Backtrack is very well done - colors and lighting always play well with the tone of scenes, especially the dark and shadowy beginning portraying hopelessness and brightness in the end signifying new vitality.

The classical score is also to be praised - it works well to accent the continually growing suspense of the story.

The unkempt Brody works extremely well as the morally crushed Peter Bower, definitely matured since the 2005s The Jacket, shining in key scenes like "saying her name" and "after confession". Honorable mention to Robin McLeavy's senior constable Barbara Henning, portraying sensible competence and also managing to be the damsel in distress when necessary.

Backtrack is not perfect. "Some characters were not developed enough" is a legitimate complaint. "That scene did not make sense/was unnecessary" is also an understandable criticism. Nevertheless, the movie does not bore, nor does it get tripped up by it's own flaws on the way of delivering a convincing mystery that always hangs by the last thread to make sense of it all.

8/10, would backtrack again.
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Makes the Most of its Low-Budget with Mood and Feeling
LeonLouisRicci20 June 2016
At times Familiar but Moody and Atmospheric Film that is a Hybrid that Avoids Singular Compartmentalization. It's a Horror/Supernatural/Psychological Thriller that Feels Comfortable Flirting with Conventions and Delivers a Good Looking Movie that Captures the Audience with Twists and Turns, Revelations and Melodrama.

Adrian Brody is Virtually a One Man Show as He Struggles with the Death of His Young Daughter and a Past that Haunts Him Endlessly. Two Traumatic Events have all but Destroyed this Sensitive Man and the Story is a Compelling One of Discovery as He Uncovers Secrets and Lies.

It's quite Scary at times and the Audience is given a Number of Chills and Thrills. A very Low-Budget is Not Evident as the Acting and the Feel of the Film is First Rate. The Cinematography is Excellent and Haunting as is the Whole Movie.

Overall, a Fine Australian Production that is an Underrated Indie that's Worth a Watch. It Captivates with its Stylish Story.
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slowly, but surely gets you.
ladcrooks-26-19289326 March 2016
It was slow to start and had me wondering, do i carry on? Maybe i am impatient or was it my mood that day? Then the mystery starts to unfold and you think you know, but you do not ha! The mystery almost holds it self to the very end.

I'm from old school where the Exorcist still remains my top scary film.

Freddy Kruger and Jason ...... Well them films are for kids, cos they have no imagination and have to live with special effects.

This film is about ones conscience even though he is not aware of for some time. A past that got locked out but comes back when his daughter is involved in a car crash

I gave it a 7 because it was good film
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Way beyond your expectations
AhmedNammour6 April 2016

Mystery, thriller, drama. The whole package

A simple plot when you look back at it, But the exquisite story telling that keeps you at the edge of your seat for the whole run time is what really makes it a masterpiece.

Also an amazing achievement in giving an atmospheric mood.

The tune is creepy but entertaining at the same time.

Gotta give credit to adrien brody for an outstanding performance. Alongside with the whole stellar cast. Just wow !!

You can't ask for more.

Buckle up and enjoy the journey, it's worth it.
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Why the low ratings?
redrobin62-321-20731131 July 2016
Maybe I was in one of my rare good moods, but there could've been worse ways to spend 90 minutes than watching Backtrack. Yes, I did think the movie plodded along slowly, but given what it was supposed to be - an atmospheric thriller - it did that well, so I can't complain.

Technically, this film has been made before in some other kind of iteration so the reveal wasn't that surprising. The music carried the movie well as did the acting; it only falls into cliché land with some of the more predictable ghostly elements, something that's very common in Korean films these days.

The movie wasn't a waste of time. Is it a must see? Not really; there isn't really anything here you've never seen before. I just thought that watching it didn't feel like a waste of time like a lot of other travesties I've been exposed to.
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Cool movie
nickharvey-2839127 December 2018
Brody is excellent in this. The plot / storyline could have been better but the ambience was good.
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Beautifully Photographed Psychological Thriller
lavatch1 May 2016
Warning: Spoilers
In the bonus segment of the DVD version of "Backtrack," actor Adrien Brody refers to the film in the following terms: "soul, truth, and ghost story." That is an accurate capsule of this psychological thriller.

Brody plays a psychiatrist, Dr. Peter Bower, who is traumatized by the death of his young daughter in an auto accident. The death is followed by a number of visions appearing to the psychiatrist, which leads him to put to rest the demons from his past. As a child, he felt responsible for a devastating train wreck that took the lives of forty-seven people. Now, as an adult, Peter returns to the scene of the accident, and his supernatural visions help to lead him to the truth. Sam Neill and Robin McLeavy are also excellent in their roles.

The film was directed by Michael Petroni, who has an excellent touch with set-ups, locations, and camera angles. "Backtrack" is beautifully shot with many memorable moments and images. Perhaps the most haunting is that of a toy railroad track and switching booth in a department store window. It is that image that holds the key to unlocking the past of Peter Brower.

MAJOR SPOILER ALERT FOLLOWS: In the pop psychology of "Backtrack," it is clear that the filmmakers were exploring the Oedipal complex in the relationship of Peter Brower and his father. In the DVD bonus segment, the director described his goal of evoking the theme that one cannot escape one's past. In uncovering the repressed experiences, Peter Brower must confront the one person he has avoided in his life: his father.

While the final twenty minutes of the film may be overly melodramatic, writer-director Petroni nonetheless succeeded in "keeping the audience guessing," and evoking effective suspense in an above-average thriller.
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Brody convincing ... the movie wasn't.
peterp-450-29871620 June 2016
"Pete … I'm here to help you. I really appreciate it. At least you're still alive to help me."

Adrien Brody failed in maintaining his level of acting after getting an Oscar for his brilliant part in "The Pianist". His contribution to "King Kong" and "Splice" still was acceptable. But his participation in the (in my opinion) very lousy movie "American Heist" was definitely a low point in his career. Was this promising actor on his way to build some sort Willis-Cage reputation? It looks like it. Especially after I've seen "Backtrack". This psychological thriller isn't a bad movie and cinematically it also looks pretty decent. But you can't really call it impressive. Similar movies have been made frequently. It doesn't take long to make a comparison with "The sixth sense" (a film from the heyday of Bruce Willis). The facial expression Brody used in "American Heist" was partially preserved. So expect a tormented look throughout the whole movie, while the cabinet of this psychologically cracked and grief-stricken psychologist gets visits from some strange patients.

You can hardly call this horror. There's practically not a single scary moment. The atmosphere is quite creepy and there are a few attempts to provide a jump scare, but in the end most of them are rather disappointing. It isn't original by any means and the subject has been widely used in other films already. As in "The Babadook" the main focus is a grieving process and the psychological impact it has on a person's psyche. The biggest problem is cataloging this movie in one particular genre. Is it a psychological thriller? Or a typical ghost story? Or can you label it as an old-fashioned murder mystery? You can expect some skeletons being found in the closet. Both literally and figuratively.

"Backtrack" isn't exactly a film that will leave a great impression. It isn't exactly bad either. And this because of the convincing acting of Brody. It's not high quality cinema, but it's appropriate to entertain yourself during a rainy Sunday. Even though the plot is a tad too predictable. Unfortunately it's also one of those many films you can't remember anything from the other day.

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A great horror thriller about guilt and the supernatural
Gordon-115 May 2016
This film tells the story of a psychologist who has been having visions of people. After investigations, he uncovers that these people all died on the same day. He sets out on a journey to find out what happened on a fateful day in 1987.

"Backtrack" is a surprisingly good film! The plot is engaging and thrilling. It mixes supernatural elements in a distressed individual, making the boundary between hallucinations and ghostly happenings rather blurred. This makes the plot even more interesting and captivating. I feel for the poor teenagers who are victimised. As a result, the satisfying ending makes me happy and glad. "Backtrack" is a great horror thriller, I enjoyed watching it.
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Great thriller/drama!
catfanatic88831 August 2021
Very interesting and Brody just hit it out of the park in this one. Overall very good movie. Not boring at all.
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Great Movie With a God Awful Ending
This was an interesting movie to say the least. I saw this movie at the Tribeca Film Festival so I had no idea what I was going to see. This movie sets up the interesting premise of a psychiatrist, grieving the loss of his daughter, seeing ghosts who are trying to show him something he blocked out of his mind. Adrien Brody plays said psychiatrists and, as expected, gives a great performance but I do feel this movie was way too laid back for his standard and he basically felt, well, complacent. Though some parts of the plot may seem familiar it was a brilliantly written story until the last 20 minutes in which the writers pulled as much as they could out of their asses before this potential filled movie ended. All and all I would give this movie a 70 or a B+. Its a great movie in every aspect except its ending.
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There and back again, a trip of guilt and memory
quincytheodore1 February 2016
One cannot be mistaken when casting Adrien Brody, he delivers one hundred percent regardless of the movie's genre or budget restriction. One of the better parts of "Backtrack" is his believable struggle to overcome his past. It also manifests a few intense scary moments from its fantastically eerie atmosphere, although it has lesser amount of horror finesse when it finishes than when it starts.

Peter (Adrien Bordy) is a psychologist who is either being haunted or having a mental breakdown, he's seeing people who isn't there and constantly harassed by them. Hoping to attain some manner of peace he travels back to his past. Adrien Brody is a master of the art, he can convey the dread of the character, be it from body language or actual pleading word.

For the movie to work, audience must be inclined to invest on his ordeal, and it surely succeeds in that. There's a hefty amount of seclusion as the movie follows Peter in his lonely endeavor. The rest of the cast play their parts commendably, Sam Neill and Robin McLeavy help in setting the tone as characters Peter encounters. They add to the mystery aspect on early and latter parts, respectively.

The set-up is one of the more alluring horror starts in recent days. Its perpetual raining and view of trains leaving the station are astoundingly good. However, the opening vistas fare better in graphic department than the rest. It also tends to falter around the last act since it might not be as equally captivating as the opening act. Few of the horror apparitions work better on the expectation of entity rather than the showing itself.

The mix between horror and mystery is a nice invite, it may hit a few bumps on latter half, yet the precise acting from the lead and cool atmosphere are worth the trip.
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Enjoyable thriller blending terror , suspense and a lot of twists and turns
ma-cortes10 July 2022
Hokey but decent chiller with horror , thrills , suspenseful and plot twists. Troubled psychiatrist/psychotherapist Peter Bower's (Adrien Brody) lives a bitter life along with his distressed wife (Jenni Baird) . His life is thrown into turmoil when he discovers a strange secret about his patients (Anna Lise Phillips, Bruce Spence..) . He is still haunted by his daughter's death records and often has weird visions . Risking his own sanity, Peter delves into his past to uncover a terrifying secret which only he can put right . As he travels alone to his hometown False Creek to the house of his estranged father William Bower (George Shevtsov) . But is the reward worth risking more than a single life? Nothing haunts like the past.

This supernatural horror-style story contains intriguing events, thriller , chiller , suspense , tension and disaster images about a train wreck . This is an interesting and engaging film whose plot develops little by little, including surprising twists when our starring digs his recollections and uncovers a hideous secret from his past . Moderately eerie chiller/thriller , professionally made , it is impressively lifted thanks to a nice cast . As main and support cast are pretty good . Including interesting and surprising script by director Michael Petroni himself with plenty of twists and turns . This genuinely frightening and intriguing movie features awesome acting . Adrien Brody excels as psychoanalyst Dr. Samuel Frankswho heads back to his rural hometow to find out incredible enigmas from his dark past . Being finely accompanied by a good support cast , such as Jenni Baird , Bruce Spence , Anna Lise Phillips, George Shevtsov, Jesse Hyde , Poppleton and special mention for veteran Sam Neill.

It displays a thrilling , exciting musical score by composer Dale Cornelius , accompanying alrightly to the frightening events . As well as colorful and appropriate cinematography by cameraman Stefan Duscio , shot in various locations across two Australian states, Victoria and New South Wales . This terror/mystery/thriller picture was well directed by Michael Petroni . This slick craftsman Michael Petroni was born in Australia and being a prestigious writer, director and producer , known for writing prestigious films, such as Messiah , The book thief , Possession , The Rite , Queen of the Damned, The dangerous lives of Altar boys , The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader . Occassionally he directs some movies , as his film debut was Till Human Voices Wake Us and this Backtrack (2015) resulted to be his second and last one . Rating : 6.5/10. Better than average. Well worth watching for Adrien Brody fans.
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Well worth the watch.
asage1918 April 2020
Adrien Brody is terrific in this, as is Sam Neill, of course. The rest of the cast is no less believable, though mostly unknown to me. It's a solid thriller/semi-horror. It builds slowly, never missteps and delivers an unexpected ending. Special kudos for the young woman playing the cop in the small town. I really also enjoyed the setting, and the score, which was never intrusive, but did everything a score should do :)
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