I’ve mentioned before that cults both fascinate and horrify me. The thought that people can be brainwashed into believing even the most reprehensible things are acceptable is terrifying. But cults that worship Satan are even more so. For me, the religious aspect of Satanic Cults makes them an even more chilling organization. This underlying fear is what drew me to REGRESSION, a recent release from Anchor Bay. And I have to say: this is one film that will stay with you after the credits roll.
If you are not familiar with REGRESSION, here is the plot synopsis courtesy of Anchor Bay:
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.
I’m surprised this film is not getting better reviews than it is. It is a gripping thriller, but it also contains bold images of horror that will surprise and shock you.
REGRESSION is shot very well and looks great onscreen. The production value appears high, and the mood and tone of the film are perfect.
The acting is excellent, with Ethan Hawke and Emma Watson heading up a great cast. I’ve enjoyed Hawke’s performances for a very long time (going all the way back to 1985 when he was in EXPLORERS), and Watson once again proves her versatility as an actress. They are joined by the talented David Thewlis, who is almost a screen legend, and a host of lesser-known (but no less talented) actors.
The plot of REGRESSION is where this film shines. It is compelling and mysterious, and the fact it is based on true events (I’m not sure how many liberties were taken) makes it even more so. My sole complaint about the plot is that a couple of things are implied (pretty obviously), but then they are never confirmed. This is a minor gripe, but it is enough to keep me from giving the film five stars as opposed to four.
Still, I greatly enjoyed REGRESSION, and I suggest giving it a look. It is an evenly-paced horror/thriller hybrid that will make you question how well you know your friends and neighbors. The film is available now in a variety of formats, so give it a look.