Playback (2012) – Review

2 1/2 Stars


Playback is yet another horror movie in which a video is possessed, albeit this time there’s a Michael Myers type opening sequence in which a young man brutally murders his family. An evil soul is being passed down from generation to generation through the use of moving images (that’s motion pictures- film and video). As the cops show up at the scene of the grizzly murders the evil soul is interrupted in the middle of a transfer to a baby. Years later it’s unleashed after an unknowing young man watches news footage of the massacre. Now it possesses them one by one and will stop at nothing to get to its rightful heir.

Playback is a visceral and gory horror flick that’s unafraid of getting dirty and bloody. Aside from a few jumps though there’s little in the way of true scares here. The acting is decent, the direction is superb and the cinematography is beautifully disgusting. But the story and flow of the film are incredibly lacking.

The strange thing here is the sudden pop-up of Christian Slater a bit over twenty minutes in. I swear this guy is wandering onto low budget film sets like an alzheimer patient and just including himself in these films. His presence does nothing to elevate the production and his character is completely unnecessary.

In the end Playback is no more than an exorcise in horror filmmaking. It’s what happens when talented people get together to create something, yet really have nothing to say. A nice calling card for the cast and crew, but nothing substantial enough to launch anyone’s career. Worth a watch for horror fans.

Director: Michael Nickles
Stars: Johnny Pacar, Toby Hemingway, Ambyr Childers

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