A chance spotting in a charity shop, we found Regression, the new film from Alejandro Amenabar, who made the supernatural film The Others starring Nicole Kidman. The film was at a fairly cheap price, so with the added bonus of helping a charity shop we took it home with us.
Now we didn’t know much about this film, it passed us by in cinemas, but with a cast including Harry Potter’s Emma Watson, following Daniel Radcliffe into the horror genre, and Ethan Hawke, no stranger to the scary film, having recently starred in The Purge and Sinister.
The film which would probably best be described as a psychological thriller rather than a horror film is made a lot creepier in that it was inspired by true events.
In 1990, detective Bruce Kenner (Hawke) is investigating the case of John Gray (David Dencik) who has admitted to sexually abusing his daughter, Angela (Watson) now in the protection of the church, after she has written a confession, even though he has no memory of this happening.
Bruce calls in Professor Raines (David Thewlis) to use experimental regression techniques to help trigger memories for John, however in doing so he sees himself taking pictures and the actual offender to be Detective George Nesbitt (Aaron Ashmore)
Once they detain George, they find no evidence against him, but with the visions of pictures being taken and Angela’s testimony, detectives believe that a satanic cult may be involved, because her hooded abusers all wore masks as well.
Bruce takes on the case, meeting Angela’s brother Roy (Devon Bostick) and with Raines, they use regression techniques on him, and he too, recalls hooded figures entering the room!
Bruce now suspects their grandmother Rose (Dale Dickey) of having involvement too, but like George, when searched no evidence is found. Is Angela making this up or is she telling the truth?
Bruce is now having nightmares, based on the stories Angela has told him. These includes claims she saw the cult involved in, including human sacrifices. She also shows him she has a demonic mark on her. Bruce needs to find more evidence to close the case and keep Angela and others safe from harm.
What follows may not be what it seems, but you will need to watch the film to find out how it all ends.
The film starts up really well, the scenes in particular with the regression, involving Thewlis are great for building the story, but the trouble is the film just feels very slow.
Hawke as ever, is good as the detective, desperate to find the truth of the case. Watson, following turns in The Perks of Being A Wallflower; Noah and The Bling Ring joins Daniel Radcliffe in showing she may have a career away from Potter.
The trouble with films of this genre now, is we often find ourselves thinking this could have been done in an X-Files 45 minute episode where as this is stretched to just under 2 hours.
If you get the chance to watch, we think it is certainly worth a go, due in part to the 2 leads performances, but we would be first to admit there are better films about Satanic cults out there.
Have you seen Regression? What are your favourite films involving Satanic Cults? We would love to hear from you here at Barking Mad About Films
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