Regression is Alejandro Amenábar’s latest feature film starring Ethan Hawke and Emma Watson. Right from the opening scene, the director behind ‘The Others’ and ‘Agora’ succeeds in grabbing the viewer’s complete attention.
The story begins with a father being accused of abuse by his daughter (Watson) but who has no memory of committing the crime. Enters Bruce Kenner (Hawke), who investigates into the case and discovers, along with the help of a psychoanalyst, a much darker secret. The plot is set in Minnesota in the 1990s when there were many stories being covered by the media about satanic cults in the U.S.
The film revolves mainly around two themes: the psychological experiment called ‘regression’ and the satanic abuse rituals. There’s a climate of tension that you feel throughout the story, especially with Hawkes’ performance, and his emotional fixation and professional obsession as a detective with the case.
But we feel that, although the story is very interesting, some aspects could have been further explored, like the conflict between faith and science, collective hysteria and sanity, or even the relationship between Hawke’s character and the victim.
Without giving too much away from the plot, the most powerful scene from the film is most probably when Kenner explores the father’s workshop and imagines the horrible ordeal the victim must have been through, while listening to the tape of her testimony. We learn that fear can always find its way into a person’s head, even a tough police officer like Kenner.
How the story evolves from the beginning to the end is fascinating but if you are looking for a horror story then this is not a movie for you. ‘Regression’ is more of a psychological thriller that will keep you guessing until the end.