Spain | Canada 2015
Opening October 1, 2015
Directed by: Alejandro Amenábar
Writing credits: Alejandro Amenábar
Principle actors: Emma Watson, Ethan Hawke, David Thewlis, Dale Dickey, Lothaire Bluteau
Regression is the compelling result of writer–director Alejandro Amenábar’s combining fact with fiction. When 17-year Angela Gray (Watson) seeks refuge in a church, police are notified. Questioned, John (David Dencik) does not deny his daughter’s accusations, yet cannot remember anything. For Cleveland (Peter MacNeill) and Bruce Kenner (Hawke), its imperative they move quickly. Grandma Rose’s (Dickey) farmhouse the family share is searched, concurrent to renowned psychologist Professor Raines’ (Thewlis) involvement. Clues are collected and followed, uncovering fresh options. Following an accident, Roy (Devon Bostick) returns to grandma’s bedside, whereas Angela discloses more to Bruce; Reverend Murray (Bluteau) passes out crucifixes. The magnitude of the crime, with far-reaching tentacles, consumes Detective Kenner’s every thought, and deed.
Amenábar set his story in 1990 a decade after purported satanic ritual reports began circulating, spreading fear throughout communities across the USA. Interestingly, 1950s studies of past-life regression associated with spiritual experiences promoted psychologists experimenting with the use of repressed memory techniques that Amenábar integrates. Cinematographer Daniel Aranyó’s atmospherically murky tableau is a becoming backdrop for the accomplished cast. Carolina Martínez Urbina suspensefully edits, just as Roque Baños’ enigmatic music unobtrusively boosts. About 35 minutes into the tic-too-long film, Amenábar exposes a big clue – see if you spot it. His first thriller since 1996, Amenábar’s incremental doses of veracity climaxes with an end twist that is most frightening of all, and all too real. 106 minutes (Marinell H.)