02nd Jun2015

‘Backtrack’ Review

by Richard Axtell

Stars: Mark Drake, Sophie Barker, Rosie Akerman, Miles Jovian, Callie Moore, Julian Glover | Written by Mick Sands | Directed by Tom Sands

Backtrack-poster

Ralph is a 26-year-old regional journalist who’s been having recurring nightmares in German. To help him understand his troubling dreams, his friend Claudia, a 22-year-old hippie, uses her undeveloped psychic powers to give him a profound past-life regression, which floods his mind with memories of being a Nazi commando on a mission in and around the South Downs in 1940. Deciding to investigate, Ralph and his friends go on a camping trip in hope of piecing together his life. What none of them realise is that the past Ralph is trying to find is now stalking them and plans to exact a terrible revenge on all four campers for crimes committed nearly 70 years ago…

Those Nazis are at it again, being all evil and stuff. And Backtrack decides to explore the idea of past lives coming back to haunt us in this self proclaimed ‘intelligent’ psychological horror film. Unfortunately, they forgot to tell anyone else that. Awkward editing leads to long pauses on character’s faces for no particular reason, repeated lines and incredibly slow pacing which will leave you wondering where all this ‘horror’ is that they mention.

Along with that, the story makes less sense than you would probably like. Alright, Ralph was a Nazi in a past life… but it all seems too convenient that the bad guy just happens to be communicating with demons who happen to tell him that Ralph is the Nazi (although he isn’t anymore, mind you) they are looking for. So it is only after these highly unlikely turns of events that the whole film reaches its conclusion. To me, that screams less ‘intelligent’ and more ‘let’s make a horror film about Nazis and past lives and things!’ Overall, it didn’t seem the most thought out storyline.

I am going to continue to give Backtrack a beating, I’m afraid, by moving onto the acting. I think I definitely lost all faith when Ralph turns to his friend and says, ‘This is just starting to get interesting,’ in a voice which could at best be described as lifeless. Throughout, possibly scary moments are destroyed by wooden acting and any possible tension that could have been built up peters out.

A point on the plus side is that there are some pretty gory scenes which made me wince and look away from their grossness, but that is all the horror that really happens.

All in all, Backtrack didn’t work for me. This ‘intelligent, psychological horror’ leaves a lot to be desired.

Backtrack is out now in the UK under the title of Nazi Vengeance. The film is also available in the US under the full (and more obvious) title Backtrack: Nazi Regression.

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