A renowned radio star experiences a hellish night when two masked assailants hijack his recording studio with bloodthirsty intentions. Feedback is a jaw-dropping, intensely gripping thriller which marks the directorial debut of Pedro C. Alonso.
Despite only being Alonso’s first feature film, Feedback is a solid effort, that carries an air of confidence on its shoulders. Well crafted from start to finish, Alonso utilizes the environment of the deserted radio station to evoke an intensified sense of anxiety that builds throughout the film. The plot is unrelentingly compelling with plenty of twists and revelations to keep its audience on edge.
Feedback stars a stellar cast who each deliver engaging performances. Eddie Marsan plays Jarvis Dolan the charismatic radio host of a failing long-running, late night show, ‘The Grim Reality’, a series that isn’t afraid of tackling and discussing taboo subjects. When we meet Jarvis, he decides to enlist the help of an old friend, jack-the-lad and larger than life, Andrew Wilde (Paul Anderson) to help boost ratings. As the night progresses, the two find themselves held hostage and threated within in inch of their lives. The long-time friends are pushed to their limits, in a nail-biting cat and mouse game.
Marsan brings in an incredible and dynamic performance, meaning there is more to Jarvis than meets the eye. He is a complex character with Marsan expertly depicting each side of him. There’s the ruthless radio host then the overprotective father. Marsan effortlessly creates a character that is three-dimensional and ultimately human. In contrast, Paul Anderson’s character Andrew feels overblown, almost like a caricature. He’s that laddish, working class chancer come celebrity clinging onto the glory days of past fame. The two performances compliment each other well, and it remains gripping to see whether they will stand by each other or turn against one another when confronted with danger.
Feedback boasts a fantastic supporting cast alongside the two leads, comprising of Ivana Baquero, Richard Brake, Oliver Coopersmith and Alexis Rodney. Without giving away too much detail about their characters due to the risk of spoilers, what can be said is there’s plenty to be invested in, enabling for a captivating ensemble piece. Anthony Head also makes a welcome and delightful appearance in a small role at the beginning.
Feedback delivers a tightly woven plot and an assault of brutal violence that refuses to lessen its grip as the film progresses. There are harrowing moments aplenty that really push the envelope, signifying that the assailants truly mean business and will stop at nothing until blood is spilled. Even though the masks donned by the antagonists are simplistic and of a rubbery quality there is certainly something creepy about them which is a testament to the performances by the actors behind them.
Its wholeheartedly worth going into this film without knowing too much about the plot, motives or twists to become fully absorbed in its suspense and intensity. With that said, it does address distressing subject matters, which is worth bearing in mind for more sensitive viewers. However, the fact that the film doesn’t hold back is what makes it disturbingly enthralling and will make viewers eager to see it out until the explosive end.
Unmerciful and at times mean-spirited, Feedback doesn’t tread new ground when it comes to the horror genre but its still a worthwhile watch for its claustrophobic setting which in turn creates a stifling atmosphere, excellent performances and its stark commentary on the unfounded power of celebrity status.
Feedback screened at Arrow Video Frightfest back in August 2019 and will soon be available on DVD this February.