Backtrack full movie review - Poor Logic, Generic Plot, Yet Atmosheric
So to start with positives, the acting in this film was decent. Adrien Brody's acting is talented and entertaining to watch.
The atmosphere is interesting too, a lot like many other Australian films (particularly Till Human Voices Wake Us). It's hard to explain, rustic? Old- time-y? Either way, it's unusual and interesting to watch. Last positive, occasionally the movie has a very creepy element to it.
Now, the negatives.
The story, while new, still contains many of the generic elements of other horror films. Particularly those where the dead come back to revenge their deaths; a good guy is really the bad guy and a goodie confronts the baddie alone.... Only to be overcome. .
In addition to these completely predictable plot points the film also involves many illogical events. For example, the ghosts wanting the help of the main character but still scaring and attacking them (obviously so the viewer gets a jump scare).
Shortcoming number 2. It's stated that a coroner performed a report on all of the corpses from the accident. Yet the dad strangled the girl to death and any half decent coroner would notice this (plus the lack of bruises which would be present on someone killed by a freaking train crash would have to raise some eyebrows surely!). But of course this is conveniently overlooked/ missed to allow the plot twist.
Another shortcoming, the second brother commits suicide out of guilt because he believes it was his (and his brothers) bikes on the train track that caused the derailment. But when Adrien Brody's character confesses that he and his brothers bikes caused the derailment, the detective shrugs it off basically saying "Come on, two bikes didn't cause a train to derail. You know that." If it's that obvious (which it sort of is to the characters not being plagued by ghosts) then why would the brother commit suicide apart from helping to advance the plot??
One last shortcoming is the detective's realisation that the head of police is evil because his car was at the crime scene. She claims his car must have been there before the accident because the road was blocked by the derailed train...... As if he couldn't have possible driven his car around the train? People drive off-road all the time and the terrain was flat grassland.
Last irk, the coincidences of the story become pretty unbelievable towards the end. Specifically the synchronicity of all the events that occurred in the past and present. Daddy being in the same place as his children.
Ultimately, I've knocked this film quite a bit, but it's not that bad. The illogic and plot holes are quite blatant but overall it's still an unusually interesting film. The tone of the film is unique in an Australian way and the acting is mostly adequate (Brody is good). If you can look past the generic scares and plot twists it is an OK film to experience, like a creepy local urban legend.