Backtrack (2015)

Backtrack Poster

Troubled psychotherapist Peter Bowers is suffering from nightmares and eerie visions. When he uncovers a horrifying secret that all of his patients share, he is put on a course that takes him back to the small hometown he fled years ago. There he confronts his demons and unravels a mystery 20 years in the making.

"Backtrack" is an Australian-British mystery thriller movie released in 2015, directed by Michael Petroni, who also composed the movie script. The film stars Adrien Brody as a distressed psychologist who discovers that his clients are ghosts from his past. The film weaves aspects of mental thriller, horror, and a touch of the supernatural, developing an atmospheric story that explores styles of guilt, repressed memories, and the conflict of one's past.

Plot Synopsis
The movie follows Peter Bower (Adrien Brody), a psychologist haunted by the tragic death of his young child Evie (Emma O'Farrell). In the midst of his mourning procedure, he has a hard time to keep his psychological health and expert life. When a new patient, Elizabeth Valentine (Chloe Bayliss), appears without a visit and shows odd behavior, Peter's life begins to decipher as he finds a chilling fact: his other patients are not genuine living people however are instead the apparitions of individuals who passed away on the same day 20 years previous.

Perplexed and scared by his findings, Peter digs deeper into his own reduced memories to uncover what binds him to these lost souls. His investigation leads him back to his hometown, where he discovers a dark secret about a train mishap that claimed the lives of his supposed patients. Peter's journey is both physical and mental, as he needs to piece together pieces of his fragmented memory to solve the mystery.

As the story unfolds, Peter reveals a web of deception, and it becomes clear that he is inexplicably linked to the awful event that happened 20 years ago. He understands that he has an obligation to help his ghostly clients find peace and release them from their limbo state.

Characters and Performances
Adrien Brody offers a compelling performance as Peter Bower, portraying a male deeply tormented by guilt and grief. The supporting characters, including Sam Neill as Peter's colleague Duncan Stewart, offer a strong foundation for the story as they add to the plot's unraveling and the lead character's steady realization of the fact.

The spirits Peter encounters are represented with a mix of sadness and eeriness by the stars, including layers of intricacy to the story. They each have their own story that ties back to the fateful day of the mishap, and through Peter's interaction with them, we acquire insight into the mental toll of unresolved previous occasions.

Themes and Atmosphere
"Backtrack" deals with numerous styles such as the repercussions of repressed memories, the process of grief, and the quest for redemption. The movie seamlessly shifts from being a psychological drama to a suspenseful ghost story, all while keeping a spooky and foreboding atmosphere.

One of the standout elements of the film is its capability to keep the viewers guessing, threading the line in between reality and the supernatural. The cinematography and sound design play important roles in constructing this tense, haunting ambiance, which underpins the unfolding mystery.

"Backtrack" is an appealing blend of ghostly apparitions and the intricacies of the human psyche. It takes the audience on a dark and twisting journey with Peter Bower as he deals with the satanic forces of his past and looks for redemption and closure. Despite its limited theatrical release, the film managed to gather gratitude for its brooding environment, strong performances, particularly from lead star Adrien Brody, and its unique take on the ghost story genre. As the plot twists and turns, causing a climax where past and present collide, viewers are left contemplating the complexities of memory, loss, and the courses toward healing after disaster.

Top Cast

  • Adrien Brody (small)
    Adrien Brody
    Peter Bower
  • Sam Neill (small)
    Sam Neill
    Duncan Stewart
  • Malcolm Kennard (small)
    Malcolm Kennard
  • Chloe Bayliss (small)
    Chloe Bayliss
    Elizabeth Valentine
  • Bruce Spence (small)
    Bruce Spence
  • Robin McLeavy (small)
    Robin McLeavy
    Barbara Henning
  • Jenni Baird (small)
    Jenni Baird
    Carol Bower
  • Anna Lise Phillips (small)
    Anna Lise Phillips
    Erica George
  • Olga Miller (small)
    Olga Miller
    Erica George (ghost)
  • Michael Whalley (small)
    Michael Whalley
    Officer Samuels
  • Matthew Sunderland (small)
    Matthew Sunderland
    Steve, Barry's Brother