x Abu Dhabi, UAE Friday 21 July 2017

Playback

Two stars is quite generous for lame horror thriller Playback.

Christian Slater in Playback. Fontenay Films Ltd.
Christian Slater in Playback. Fontenay Films Ltd.

Playback
Director: Michael A Nickles
Starring: Toby Hemingway, Christian Slater, Alessandra ­Torresani, ­Ambyr Childers
**

Notorious for being the lowest-grossing US theatrical release of last year, Playback took less than US$300 (Dh1,102) in its one-week run. It is tempting to declare this gory horror thriller a misunderstood cult classic - until you actually sit through it.

Frustratingly, there is the ghost of a great film at its heart. It opens with the enjoyably absurd theory that the real-life 19th-century cinema pioneer Louis Le Prince was a demonic killer who continues to pass evil through the camera.

However, this potentially rich angle is soon forgotten in a bloodthirsty contemporary yarn featuring a film archivist (Toby Hemingway), a crooked cop (Christian Slater), lots of violent death and underdressed young women. An intriguing premise, but the execution is too sloppy to rise above train-wreck curiosity status.

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