Saturday 26 September 2015

Zurich Film Festival - Regression

Regression (106 mins)
Director: Alejandro Amenabar
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆

Supposedly inspired by real events involving satanic rituals that took place in the States in the 90s, this decent thriller stars Ethan Hawke as a cop investigating the case a young woman (Emma Watson) who is suspected of being abused by her father. The father believes he’s guilty but doesn’t actually remember anything about it, leading the authorities to try regression hypnotherapy to unlock his mind. What follows is not a possession horror, thank goodness, because we’ve certainly had enough of those recently. All the same, some of the regression stuff is quite creepy when it comes to visions of black masses and the like, though the investigation doesn’t exactly rattle along and a few too many scenes are just people being interviewed. But Hawke is on good form, going for a forceful earnestness that recalls Tom Cruise, and the effect the case has on him is well handled. So while Regression is by no means great, the film’s ability to develop in unexpected directions is probably its strongest card and its cumulative power is eventually more than the sum of its parts.

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