Backtrack, Blu-ray (2016)

by | Apr 22, 2016 | DVD & Blu-ray Video Reviews

Basically a horror film, but without the demons and gore. Well done.

Backtrack, Blu-ray (2016)
Cast: Adrien Brody, Sam Neill, Robin McLeavy
Director: Michael Petroni
Studio: Lionsgate (4/26/16)
Video: 2.40:1 for 16:9 screens, 1080p HD color
Audio: English DTS-HD MA 5.1, DD 5.1
Subtitles: English, Spanish
Extra: “The Psychology of Backtrack” featurette
Length: 89 minutes
Rating: *****

This is a very well-developed and directed paranormal mystery film with a suspenseful plot twist near the end. I didn’t realize until I saw one of the Amazon reviews that the older psychiatrist (Sam Neil) for the star, Adrien Brody, was also a ghost and referred his patients to Brody. This film really hits on the “I can see ghosts” bit of Sixth Sense, and Brody does a great job of playing the nervous, gloomy and put-upon man whose young daughter had been killed a year earlier in a bicycle accident when he looked away briefly in a store window.

A new young patient who doesn’t talk appears in Brody’s psychiatric office, and she appears and disappears suddenly. It turns out that all of Brody’s patients are ghosts, and all have one thing in common, which is the wreck of a train near Brody’s home over 20 years ago. The session with the jazz performer is especially unnerving. Brody mentions that the club he said he played in last weekend has been closed for years, and asks him who the president is. He says Ronald Reagan.

Brody does some research about the train wreck, for which he has long wrongly blamed himself because he and a friend left their bikes on the tracks. He ends up returning to backwater Australia and his dad’s place to confront this event from his childhood. The friend commits suicide after he gets there due to his supposed guilt. The film has plenty of plot twists and layers which come off much like an onion. Bravo for most every aspect of this fine film.

—John Sunier

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