Regression (DVD) – Movie Review
Follow Genre: Thriller
Director: Alejandro Amenábar
Distributor: eOne
Duration: 102 minutes

Regression (DVD) – Movie Review

Site Score
Good: Acting performances, Atmosphere
Bad: The predictable finale ruins the experience
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Rating: 6.0/10 (1 vote cast)

In the eighties there was a widespread panic that involved satanic cults and the gruesome rituals these groups performed to worship their evil monstrous ‘master’. While the panic was real, these rituals were never proven to be real, or there weren’t really any cults that actually have been uncovered, thus meaning it was either done so secretly that the law enforcement forces never found any traces of evidence or that a single event were) was simply blown out of proportion, causing a state of panic among the normal god-fearing populace. Inspired by true events, Regression takes us back to that state of panic.


Detective Bruce Kenner (Ethan Hawke) has always known his hometown to be a rather tranquil place, where of course crime still is a thing, but real horrible things never occur. When all of a sudden a report comes in where the seventeen year old Angela Gray (Emma Watson) accused her father of abuse, Bruce immediately tries to tackle the case . After calling in the father, John Gray (David Dencik), things take a turn towards the absurd, as John states he doesn’t remember doing the things Angela says, while adding the remark that Angela never lies, thus admitting the crime. When during interrogations John keeps telling Bruce he doesn’t remember it, the help of psychoanalyst Kenneth Raines (David Thewlis) gets called in. Kenneth is specialized in regression, which allows people to regain memories by a form of hypnosis. When performing the technique on John, takes become even more grim, when he states that in his memories, he was not raping his daughter, but recording the events that were happening, meaning there was someone else in the room. When John points out George Nesbitt (Aaron Ashmore), a fellow police officer, Bruce immediately brings in his co-worker and gets swallowed wholely by the case, trying to prove that this corrupt officer should stay behind bars, which is not fully appreciated by some of his other colleagues.

When finally being allowed to talk to Angela, things become even more dark and foul when she talks about multiple occurrences of rituals which involved many people in hoods, even sacrifices of human babies and when she proved that they even applied the mark of an upside-down cross on her body, Bruce is eager to uncover the rituals that are seemingly plaguing his hometown. Not only does he bond with Angela, he is slowly turning into a paranoid detective that sees conspiracies in all things surrounding him, causing his otherwise quick wit to decline, as this case is performing its own ritual on him, slowly paving a path towards insanity, as he simply can’t find the culprits.

Overall the flow of this movie is rather pleasant and there’s a constant sense of suspense which certainly helps build up the right atmosphere, even if it’s only for two thirds of the movie that things are kept qualitative. After that, you can simply smell the very predictable ending from miles away, pretty much ruining the entire vibe the movie already had going on, bursting the bubble of those who were captured by this rather realistically brought story.

Acting performances are very solid in this movie, especially when it comes to the two main stars of this flick, Ethan Hawke and Emma Watson. The latter actually portrays a seventeen year old quite convincingly, even though she is roughly eight years older in reality. Her emotions are spot-on, allowing you to be sucked into this absurd merry-go-round. Ethan shows us what a case such as this could do to haunt a man that is only trying to protect a ‘little’ girl and prevent such practices from happening again. The decline of both his body and spirit are presented with enough conviction to easily state that most of this movie’s atmosphere is carried by the two lead roles. Nonetheless, David Thewlis adds a certain edge to the formula thanks to his regression therapy and his very down-to-earth remarks about the things that are unfolding all around them.

While this DVD release of Regression doesn’t come with any extras it’s not really a bother as there isn’t much to present you with after the movie is over. Perhaps it would have been nice to learn more about what occurred in the eighties, or learn about some actual cases that were believed to be true, but all in all, the movie will paint the proper picture.


Regression is an ‘ok’ movie and if not for the rather predictable ending, this could have made an extremely good movie. Things turn from a very interesting  thriller to a cliché, but eventually if you like movies such as this, you’ll surely enjoy the entire flick, especially thanks to the lead characters, who steer this movie towards a decent experience. A rather big “what if” surrounds this movie, yet it’s still worth watching if you’re looking for a gloomy movie.

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Rating: 6.0/10 (1 vote cast)
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Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)
Regression (DVD) - Movie Review, 6.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating

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