Playback from Michael A. Nickles stars a group of friends who are studying journalism. The lead character is Julian who is played by Johnny Pacar. As journalism students might do they start investigating a murder which took place over 15 years ago.
As they look into the past of the town they discover the story of a filmmaker who could apparently capture people’s souls on film. The group initially pass the idea off as just a legend but they soon discover that there is a very real link between the murder and this old filmmaker.
The movie starts off very well and it really sets the audience up for a good, original horror movie. Unfortunately, after this promising start, the audience will start to lose interest in the film. It starts to employ all the horror movie clichés such as curses and haunted items. It also utilises modern media which is coming to be regarded as one of the great clichés in modern horror movies.
The movie feels very familiar and those who watch it will be quite disappointed after such a good start. The filmmakers certainly had some good ideas and there are plenty of twists and red herrings in the film. The characters feel as if they have been taken out of movies from the past however and there is no real effort made on their development. They even have the token black guy in the production and today this just makes for an inappropriately funny moment that breaks the suspense.
The casting for the production is also not particularly well done and the characters, who are supposed to be young, look very much older. The reason for this is obvious, the actors who are playing them are significantly older than the characters. A main character in the movie is Quinn who is supposed to be 15 years but he is played by Toby Hemingway who is 28.
Many people will be pleasantly surprised to see the Christian Slater making a brief appearance in the movie. However, when you see his role it has become clear that he is willing to perform any acting job for money and a pay cheque has become more important to him than a good production. There is a moment in the movie when his character is being insulted by his boss and it almost feels as if it has been inserted just to insult Slater himself. This doesn’t make you feel good about the film and you will feel bad for Slater.
The acting in the movie is just fine but the actors are let down by a weak script and so their characters seem hollow. The music is also a bit disappointing and it could have done with some better editing. The special effects work more well and the kill scenes are definitely quite impressive. The movie is not a great horror film but if you don’t mind a lot of cliches then it could be worth your time. Official site