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Regression

✭ ✭   Read critic reviews

Spain, Canada, USA

2015

Rated R • 1h 46m

Director Alejandro Amenábar

Starring Ethan Hawke, Emma Watson, David Thewlis, Lothaire Bluteau

Genre Horror, Mystery, Thriller, Crime

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

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WHAT ARE CRITICS SAYING?

70

The Hollywood Reporter by

This carefully-crafted tale of collective psychosis, satanic ritual abuse and pseudo-science, starring Ethan Hawke and Emma Watson, is satisfying as a compact, if over-cautious, horror-tinged psychological thriller. But it's most interesting beneath its polished, doomy surface, where complex concerns about the cultural origins of our fears are skillfully explored.
30

New York Magazine (Vulture) by Bilge Ebiri

Perhaps a story like this needed to be a drama. Or maybe, with its constant, almost comical shifting of blame, a dark satire. Instead, it’s wound up as the worst of all possible alternatives: a disposable genre movie that cannot scare, convince, or enlighten.
38

Slant Magazine by Drew Hunt

It spends a lot of time considering the fear of knowing, which may explain why Alejandro Amenábar didn’t seem to know what kind of film he was making.
40

Variety by Guy Lodge

Though performed with some perspiring conviction by Emma Watson and Ethan Hawke — as a confessed victim of cult abuse and the agnostic cop investigating her case — the pic is neither disquieting enough to take seriously, nor lurid enough for fright-night indulgence.
40

Screen International by Lee Marshall

If some of this loud horror material looks frankly absurd, that’s only, Amenabar would no doubt argue, because it reflects the hackneyed, trick-or-treats way in which we give form and body to our night fears. Fine, but for a thriller to thrill, such didactic admonishments are not enough.
25

The A.V. Club by Mike D'Angelo

One can make a creepy demonic horror movie, or one can make a sorrowful exposé about a real-world phenomenon that destroyed multiple families, but it’s exceedingly difficult to make both at the same time.
40

The Telegraph by Robbie Collin

Amenábar is no stranger to psychologically vivid thrillers with ghostly overtones, but Regression feels depressingly like journeyman work.

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