Psychological thriller Regression stars Emma Watson and Ethan Hawke – DVD review and giveaway

Regression Blu-rayThe psychological thriller Regression, inspired by true events and starring Ethan HawkeDavid Thewlis and Emma Watson, is directed by Alejandro Amenábar.

Regression follows detective Bruce Kenner (Hawke) who is investigating a case of parental abuse in 1990 Minnesota. Angela Gray (Watson), 17, has accused her father, John, of molestation, and he unexpectedly admits guilt, sending shock waves through their small town. However, he doesn’t actually remember the molestation or doing it.

Detective Kenner and psychoanalyst Professor Kenneth Raines (Thewlis) use an experimental treatment called Recovered Memory Therapy, or Regression, to regain these repressed memories. Shocking details begin to come to light, with Angela claiming to have been abused as a part of a satanic ritual. The list of suspects quickly piles up, with various family members and friends accused of being part of the cult. Kenner desperately tries to find the truth, all while dealing with his own demons.

Regression is based on real reports of satanic ritual abuse that ran rampant in early ’90s America, and explores the mass hysteria that followed and the controversial method used to extract the memories of the accused cult members.

It’s a dark, almost Gothic film that packs some thrills and suspense. However, the story itself just didn’t reach its full potential — to explore the cerebral depths of religious hysteria when society’s faith in God is threatened. This is a truly interesting idea for a film, and could’ve turned out much better if the focus shifted from being a cut-and-paste psychological thriller to creating a believable and nuanced story line. Even the super-serious scenes featuring satanic rituals and the regression method are overwrought.

But the biggest issue with this movie is that the majority of the story is seen through the eyes of Detective Kenner, who just doesn’t have much of a backstory. All we know is that he’s a divorced “non-believer” with a bit of an impulse problem. Angela, the center of the drama and probably the more interesting of the two characters, is rarely part of the deeper, psychological conversation, making any sort of climax very anti-climactic.

Regression is ultimately a surface-level, self-serious film that acts as if the stakes are much higher than need be, and because we don’t really know these characters, it makes it that much more difficult to care.

We have three DVD copies of Regression to give away – if you’d like to be eligible to win one, tell us below what is your favorite Emma Watson or Ethan Hawke movie?

Special Features: a French version of the film, and a scene index. 

If you’ve seen Regression and you’d like to write your own review and/or rate it, please click here. We’d love to know what you thought of the film. Also leave a comment below for our other readers!

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Comments & Discussion

  1. jennie • June 15, 2016 @ 11:18 AM

    My fave Ethan Hawke movie is Gattaca.

  2. gerri zihrul • June 15, 2016 @ 11:34 AM

    My favorite movie is Harry Poter

  3. amanda p. • June 15, 2016 @ 11:36 AM

    Emma Watson growing up through out the Harry Potter films.

  4. Arturo • June 15, 2016 @ 11:44 AM

    My favorite Ethan Hawke movie is Training Day.

  5. Barbara Pasqualini • June 15, 2016 @ 11:55 AM

    Favourite Ethan Hawke movie is Dead Poet’s Society
    Favourite Emma Watson movie is Noah

  6. Kirsten N • June 15, 2016 @ 12:46 PM

    I’m thinking my favourite Emma Watson movie is going to be Beauty and the Beast

  7. Dennis • June 15, 2016 @ 1:35 PM

    Fave Ethan Hawke is Training Day, fave Emma Watson is HP and the Goblet of Fire. Would love a copy of Regression!!

  8. Tricia • June 15, 2016 @ 2:10 PM

    My favourite Ethan Hawke movie Reality Bites

  9. Kerry Grant • June 15, 2016 @ 2:22 PM

    My favourite Ethan Hawke movie is SINISTER.

  10. Jacob • June 15, 2016 @ 3:12 PM

    I’ll watch anything with Emma Watson <3

  11. Natalia • June 15, 2016 @ 3:17 PM

    My favorite movie with ethan hawke is gattaca

  12. Rose Dambrosio • June 15, 2016 @ 4:42 PM

    I guess I have to say Ethan Hawke in Predestination. Not that I think it was an exceptionally good movie (it was ok) but for some reason I can’t stop thinking about it. It was a very strange movie, definitely not one you see every day and I thought both main actors were convincing. I like movies that keep me thinking. I would watch that movie again and I would recommend it.

  13. Belinda Charney • June 15, 2016 @ 8:05 PM

    Fav Ethan Hawke movie is 2004 Before Sunset.

  14. Gary Smith • June 15, 2016 @ 8:49 PM

    My favorite Ethan Hawke film is Gattaca.

  15. Daniel • June 15, 2016 @ 9:25 PM

    My favorite ethan hawke film is boyhood! Richard linklater is a fantastic director!

  16. Brenda Letain • June 15, 2016 @ 10:11 PM

    My fave Ethan Hawke movie is SINISTER.

  17. Hannah • June 16, 2016 @ 12:43 PM

    My favourite Ethan Hawke movie is Daybreakers!

  18. Donald MacLean • June 16, 2016 @ 1:58 PM

    Favorite Emma Watson movie(s) Harry Potter

  19. Dan • June 16, 2016 @ 3:03 PM

    My favourite Ethan Hawke movie was Boyhood followed by Training Day!

  20. paula • June 17, 2016 @ 2:36 PM

    I like Emma Watson in the Harry Potter movies

  21. kevin r • June 17, 2016 @ 3:56 PM

    My favourite Ethan Hawke movie is SINISTER.

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