Movie Review: Backtrack (2015)

by StevenHelmer

A review of the 2015 mystery/thriller starring Adrien Brody and Sam Neill.

Synopsis: Still mourning the accidental death of his daughter, psychologist Peter Bower tries to run his practice while seeking therapy himself. When he learns all his patients are actually the ghosts of passengers who died in a tragic 1987 train wreck, he realizes there is a link between them and a suppressed memory from his past and travels back to his home town to collect his thoughts and confess his sins. Only, what he remembers isn't really what happened.


Getting a bit bored with "Law & Order" re-runs, I convinced my wife to watch a movie with me after putting the kids to bed. And, while searching Netflix options, I came across this film. I had never heard of it before, but I did recognize some of the main actors and decided to give it a try. As it turns out, it was a good movie.

There were a couple things I found I really liked about this movie. The main one was I loved the mystery behind Bower (Brody) and why he was seeing the ghosts. I knew, from the way the movie was introduced, it had something to do with his own daughter's death (specifically, what drew his attention away from her, allowing her to get hit by a car). But, at the same time, wasn't really sure how her more-recent death was connected to an event from two decades earlier (and in a different town).

Not to mention, because of his state of mind, it wasn't immediately clear whether or not he was really talking to ghosts or if he was just imagining it. As I told my wife when we were about halfway through this movie, it's one of those films that has the potential to have a twist involving him having a split personality (though that did not turn out to be the case).

As we began to learn more about his past and the reason his patients were dead, it only served to open up more of a mystery. This is because, even as he begins to remember the events leading up to the fatal train wreck, it's obvious there are still some pieces of his memory missing and, because of that, it's easy to tell there's more going on than what he thinks.

The other thing I liked about these movies were the ghosts. I loved how they started out normal enough to pass for the living but, as the movie progressed and they grew more restless, got scarier. The film never reached a point where I found myself constantly on the edge of my seat. But, some of the scenes were intense enough to make it a relatively reasonable thriller. If nothing else, it was much scarier than some of the other more recent movies I've seen in this genre and those thrills did keep it much more interesting.

Final Opinion

I wasn't really sure what to expect from this film. But, it turned out to be a pretty entertaining movie. If you haven't seen it, I do recommend it.

My Grade: A

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Updated: 06/28/2016, StevenHelmer
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