Playback Directed by: Michael A. Nickles Starring: Toby Hemingway, Alessandra Torresani, Christian Slater Rating: R Release Date: March 9, 2012
TRAILER SCORE: 5/10
Thoughts by TSR: I experienced a few ups and downs while watching this trailer for Playback. When it started I was instantly turned off, feeling like I’ve seen this type of schlock a hundred times before. In the middle I started to soften up, insofar as I began thinking it could be a decent bit of horror fun. Unfortunately, it all felt a bit tedious by the end. I can’t say this film will definitely be bad, but I’m not particularly compelled to watch it and find out.
Even if it feels awfully derivative, there are still ways to have fun with this type of story. I’m just not feeling it. The cast doesn’t do much to impress, and Christian Slater as the one “name” involved fails to instill much confidence (though, to be fair, I think he’s pretty great in 2007’s He Was a Quiet Man). No one else really registers, but Toby Hemingway dons some ghoulish makeup that makes him stand out.
I wish this looked either really good or really bad. At least then I’d feel something, but instead I’m just disinterested. The good news is Magnet Releasing has put out some highly entertaining genre films lately, so perhaps Playback will end up being a pleasant surprise. It certainly can’t be any worse than the trailer’s intertitles that say “Once you get caught in his lens… you’re captured.”