Review by Sean Boelman
Feedback, co-written and directed by Pedro C. Alonso, is a new horror-thriller set in the world of broadcast radio. Ultimately, even though Alonso and co-writer Alberto Marini seem to bite off a bit more than he can chew with the script, the style with which he approaches the film allows it to be a lean and effective chiller.
The movie follows a controversial radio star who gets targeted by stalkers during a broadcast, forcing him to reveal secrets about himself and others. The basic premise of the film is pretty simple, but as a result, it works quite well. When it comes to thrillers like this, simpler is often better, and this movie definitely fits that bill.
Ultimately, the film does suffer from some pacing issues, but those mostly occur in the first act. Once the stakes are truly established, thanks to some grotesque imagery used very sparingly by Alonso, the intensity really ramps up and the movie becomes the tense thriller it so obviously hopes to be. The second and third acts are both consistently tense and suspenseful.
One of the most impressive things about this film is the way in which Alonso is able to take advantage of the movie’s confined setting. Taking place almost entirely in a single radio studio, the film is able to capture a sense of claustrophobia, and this really drives the tension. The cinematography does a good job of making the viewer feel trapped right along with the protagonist.
That said, the script could have used some more work with its characters. The protagonist is a controversial figure, and as a result, he isn’t entirely likable or sympathetic. Of course, the violence he is experiencing is horrifying nonetheless, but it likely would have packed even more of a punch had more been done to give the audience a better reason to care about him.
Star Eddie Marsan does an excellent job as the protagonist. Known primarily for his character work, it is nice to see Marsan finally get a shot as the lead. Like many of the characters Marsan has played in the past, the character exists in a moral grey area, and while he is close to being typecast, he does a good job.
The movie also doesn’t do a great job in addressing all of its themes effectively. The political commentary that Alonso and Marini introduce feels underbaked, as do the themes about bystanders and complicity. There are definitely some interesting threads in the script, but they should have been explored with more depth.
Feedback is certainly a bit uneven at times, but because of a highly-stylized and tense nature, the film manages to be mostly enjoyable. As a thriller, this movie delivers more than most.
Feedback is now in theaters and on VOD.