MOVIE REVIEW: “Regression” stars Ethan Hawke (Predestination, Boyhood), Emma Watson (Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, The Perks of Being a Wallflower), David Thewlis (Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, The Theory of Everything), David Dencik (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo ), Lothaire Bluteau (Jesus of Montreal, Black Robe), David Dickey (Iron Man 3, Super 8), Devon Bostick (Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules, The 100 [TV series]), and Aaron Ashmore (Smallville [TV series], The Shrine). It is directed and written by Alejandro Amenábar (The Others, The Sea Inside). After a 17-year-old girl is sexually abused by her father, a detective by the name of Bruce Kenner (Hawke) follows a case that will lead him on a string of paranoia and thrills, shaking up his whole town along with it.
Having seen “The Others,” another film Alejandro Amenábar made, I was interested in seeing his new entry. I love his sense of suspense as well as his directing style, and after seeing the trailers for “Regression,” I thought that I would be receiving that same treatment. Well, it at least has one of those aspects. This movie was something I didn’t suspect, having a story that I was interested to see unfold, yet I felt like I knew what was around the corner at every turn. For anyone who wants to watch this, I will tell you that this is a weird film. The investigation that goes down in trying to figure out who the Satanists are was haunting (yeah, the case involves Satanists performing rituals). Not the real life questioning part, but the recounting of the past. I got to hand it to this director, he knows how to make scenes ominous. I was freaked out by almost all of the ritual scenes and at some points I could feel the way our main character felt throughout most of his investigation: paranoid. It kept me interested, and I don’t think a minute of this flick dragged. The acting was great, with Ethan Hawke giving another wonderful performance. Even the supporting actors were good like David Thewlis, Emma Watson, and Aaron Ashmore. Like I stated before, I love Alejandro’s sense of direction. He knows how to direct a scene well, with many great camera angles to pick apart. And he even shot on film instead of digital, which I could tell the difference. I have no preference myself, but I do think that some movies shot on digital look fake (typically they are bloated with CGI to make it that way). Although I shouldn’t compare films to other ones, especially when they aren’t related, I couldn’t help but try to align this feature with “The Others.” It doesn’t have the suspense that I wanted. Even the jump scare they had was lame (a cat with red eyes wasn’t that scary). When watching this, even though it had the workings of a great film, I couldn’t help but think that something was off. It’s like the story tries to pull you in, but has trouble in keeping you. I was interested, but I felt like there could have been so much more to hype me up. The ending would be the only other con besides that point. How this picture ended can be taken in two different ways by the viewer: they can either think it’s a great lesson, or they can hate that it pretty much wasted their time. I won’t spoil the ending, but it feels quite similar to another movie I have seen (I can’t say the name because you’ll guess the ending automatically). I am kind of in the middle of these opinions. I liked what the ending symbolized, but I also felt that it sizzled out the plot. From the feel that this movie gave for the majority of the time, I felt that it would end in a bang, but really it fell victim to mine and Captain Critic’s (who was watching it with me) predictions. Even the prediction had a deeper impact than what actually happened. It just…happened. And that was it. There are many things I enjoyed about this release. It has the criteria that a great film should, it just needed a better developed story. Although it sounds like a serious issue that could be detrimental to the movie receiving a good score, it is actually one con that isn’t too hard to swallow. FINAL SCORE: 81%= Juicy Popcorn
Here is the trailer: