After seeing the marketing behind Michael Petroni’s new film Backtrack you could be forgiven for assuming that it’s a horror or thriller. Despite a few early ‘jumps’, Backtrack is more of a creepy psychological drama, with a crime angle thrown in. It’s another impressive example of the films coming out of Australia at the moment. Starring Adrien Brody, it boasts a good cast and and looks very polished.
Psychologist Peter Bower (Brody) moves back home with his wife Carol (Jenni Baird) from Sydney following the death of their daughter. The couple are both struggling to deal with the loss, and whilst his she stays in bed all day, Peter throws himself into his work. His life seems to drift by until he’s visited by a strange girl. All of a sudden everything is turned upside down again with memories of the events of his past coming back to haunt him.
Backtrack is a well acted and well directed film. It benefits from losing the ‘jump’ scenes early on and concentrating on the drama and mystery. However, the crime elements which surface later on in the proceedings do grate a little. It is very understated, dealing with concepts of guilt and grief with both subtlety and maturity, avoiding melodrama or superfluous action. Backtrack is a pretty decent psychological drama which gently builds tension without straining too hard to be something it isn’t.
Backtrack is out in cinemas on Friday.