DVD Rating: **1/2

Reviewed by: Jennie Kermode

Read Jennie Kermode's film review of Backtrack
Adrian Brody and Robin McLeavy in Backtrack

Ghost stories unravelling their mysteries over time are well suited to multiple viewings so fans of the genre may well be pleased to add this one to their collections, and it comes with a hefty complement of extras. Unfortunately the quality of these leaves something to be desired.

The biggest problem is sound. No professional sound work at all has been done for the Behind the Scenes featurette, so we catch snippets of conversation between director, cast and crew but most of it is drowned out by the sound of background chatter and equipment being dragged across wooden floors. The effect feels almost voyeuristic, as if this were shot with a hidden camera and no-one was told about it until this DVD release. Just as people tend to watch televisions more intently when the sound is turned off, you may find yourself sucked in, almost hypnotised, but you won't learn much.

Copy picture

The sound work is unfinished on some of the deleted scenes, making them hard to follow. It's easy to see why they've been cut, not because there's anything wrong with them but simply because they're not needed to tell the story - there's no information here that fans of the film won't already have.

The interviews are a mixed bag. Adrien Brody talks as if he's either doing a William Shatner impression or suffering from severe jetlag; Robin McLeavy puts her heart and soul into it, as in the film, and is a bright splash of colour on an otherwise dull canvas. They'd probably all come across better if simply allowed to run, but caption cards every other sentence quickly become annoying.

As for the commentary track, it's rather dry - it really might have benefited from a skilled interviewer who could supply some prompts and inject a bit of energy - but if you felt let down by the Behind the Scenes section, this ma go some way towards making up for it, as it's heavily focused on the technical and artistic side of things. Nothing feels revelatory but ghost story afficionados may be intrigued by the deeper mysteries to be explored in Petroni's sources of inspiration.

It's a shame that the package isn't better produced, but with many DVD releases offering only a trailer, one can't really complain.

Reviewed on: 11 Mar 2016
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Backtrack packshot
A psychotherapist discovers a horrifying secret about his patients that leads him on a journey to confront his past.
Amazon link

Product Code: B0199YB2W2

Region: 2

Extras: Interviews with Adrien Brody, Sam Neill, Robin McLeavy, Gordon Shevtsov and Michael Petroni; Behind the Scenes; Deleted Scenes; Commentary by Michael Petroni and Stefan Duscio

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