Fear always finds its victim


Minnesota, 1990. Detective Bruce Kenner (Ethan Hawke) investigates the case of young Angela (Emma Watson), who accuses her father, John Gray (David Dencik), of an unspeakable crime. When John unexpectedly and without recollection admits guilt, renowned psychologist Dr. Raines (David Thewlis) is brought in to help him relive his memories and what they discover unmasks a horrifying nationwide mystery.

Title Regression
Director of Photography Daniel Aranyó
Runtime 1 h 46 min
Certification R
Release Date 1 October 2015
Tagline Fear always finds its victim
IMDb Id tt3319920

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Ethan Hawke takes on the role of Bruce Kenner, a detective in small town Minnesota who investigates a case of serious child abuse. The victim, Angela (Emma Watson), isn’t quite ready to speak to him as she is hiding out at the local priest’s home. Slowly more details emerge, as Kenner gets help from psychologist Dr Raines (David Thewlis), who uses regression as a tool to unlock hidden memories.

To cut it short: the movie is not really a success. It is trying to be a horror, but really it should a mystery first and foremost. It doesn’t really build character depth, and we are to buy into some pretty odd behaviours and choices without having built any understanding or trust in any of the characters; so fair enough, that may be for initial effect and the character depth should follow later – but it doesn’t. Emma Watson as the victim is a key figure of course, but we don’t get much from her unfortunately. The main role is Ethan Hawke’s but even his changes in behaviour are hard to really buy into – mainly because we don’t really care a whole lot for him, like any of the characters. As the story of Satanic ritual abuse expands, you don’t get sucked into it; instead, it leaves you wondering where this is going.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t really go anywhere: the conclusion is simply a letdown, and so poorly executed that it undermines almost everything that happened before. It feels like a poorly concluded episode of an investigative TV documentary. And this is part of the problem from the start: from the opening credits the story is claimed to be ‘inspired by real events’ – which then requires the utterly deflating ending. It might have fared better by foregoing that bit of reality and have it be completely fictional so the story could have been developed into a true mystery.

It’s not all bad, but it is at best a lukewarm bath finished off with an infuriatingly cold shower.



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