Alejandro Amenabar directed, produced, and wrote this 2015 supernatural thriller, starring the following:

  • Ethan Hawke as “Bruce Kenner” (Detective)
  • David Denik as “John Gray” (Angela’s father)
  • Emma Watson as “Angela Gray” (Alleged victim)
  • Devon Bostick as “Roy Gray” (Angela’s brother”
  • Dale Dickey as “Rose Gray” (Angela’s grandmother)
  • David Thewlis as “Kenneth Raines” (Professor)
  • Aaron Ashmore as “George Nesbitt” (Police officer)
  • Aaron Abrams as “Farell” (Another detective)
  • Peter Mcneil as “Cleveland” (Police chief)

 

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The film poster above creates a ominous tone through the use of dark colours in the long shot of John Gray’s workshop highlighting the setting of the film. As well as, the audience feel intrigued to find out why Angela Gray has such a worried facial expression, in which she may be fearful of something; and Bruce Kenner’s stern look makes it seem like he is also scared but for an unkown reason.

Then after watching the trailer you can find out more about what’s going to be revealed in the film…

The plot of “Regression” is centred around the detective Bruce Kenner who investigates the case of Angela Gray who says that she was sexually abused by her father, John Gray. As he is detained, Bruce and Professor Kenneth Raines use an experimental technique in order to regain John’s memories of what had happened. He suspects Police officer George Nesbitt had something to do with it, and Bruce arrests him even though they have no evidence. Then Bruce and the professor go to Roy Gray who left Minnesota for an unknown reason, they seek to find out. After using the regression technique on him, he claims that there were hooded figure in his room; making Bruce suspect that their grandmother (Rose Gray) was involved, once again there was no evidence. But Bruce begins to have nightmares after speaking with Angela who said that her mother died from seeing the cult (mysterious figures in the street staring at her) as well as receiving strange phone calls. Angela also shows him the upside down cross, a demonic mark that once she’s shown him, the cult will kill her and him. Meanwhile, Rose Gray experiences a demon cat trying to attack her in her home, so she jumps from her bedroom window as a way of trying to escape it; she’s left in hospital, severly injured. Bruce meets up with Angela in her mother’s cemetry, where she kisses him, he leaves her and returns back to his house. On the way, he sees an advertisement sign where he recognises the woman in it as the same person in his nigtmare; making him believe that therapy causes the mass hysteria. He tells Professor who agrees with him, then is attacked by two hooded figures back at his house, they reveal themselves to be George Nesbitt and Farell, wanting revenge for being seen as a child molestar after being detained. Then Bruce makes him admitt everything that has happened in return for him forgetting about the previous situation.  Bruce confronts Angela by saying things (although not revealing that they aren’t true), in which Angela admits they did happen. Therefore, Bruce comes to the conclusion that Angela fabricated the whole thing as she hated her family who were “drunklards” and wanted to escape them. But Angela tells him no-one will believe him as he kissed her in the cemtry; he leaves to go and tell John about everything. However, John still wants to plead guitly in order to gain respect from his daughter and in hope that she will forgive him one day.  The film then ends with statements about similar cases that were reported in the satanic cult era.

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What I liked most about the film was the idea of the character Bruce Kenner having nightmares as the audiecne can then see that not only were the Gray family affected by the satanic cult, but others were too. Adding to this, the best scene out of the whole film has to be when he walks into the character John Gray’s workhouse/garage and listens to the tape recording of Angela explaining what had happened in there, as he walks around the audience can see all the things he imagined had occured; foreshadowing the ending where the audience connote that Angela hasd an influence on many people including Bruce. For the reason that she made him belive everything she wanted him to believe; he picture exactly what she wanted him to.

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However the presention of the hooded figures in the film, were not scary at all, their makeup was simply white powder on their faces with dark lipstick on. I thought that the suspenseful build up to finally revealing their faces would have meant that they would have special effects done on them, as this film is categorsied in the supernatural genre, we’d expect to see a more fearful impression of a demon. But instead they didn’t seem frightening at all.

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Moreover, the scarriest scene is when Angela’s grandmother Rose goes slighlty insane, beliveing that she saw a demon version of a cat, which attacked her pet cat in her son’s workshop; this is clear that special effects have been used, altough the audience see the animal briefly. So when Rose jumps out the window as it’s all become too much for her, the audience believe that she has comitted suicide and has died. But she makes it through with a severe injury; slightly impossible despite her falling from high up and jumping through glass; making the audience question whether she is a part of the evil, instead of just being the grandmother to Angela. This is not the case at all…

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I feel that the film should have centred more around the demonic animal aswell as, not just a short scene that was shown in the film.

Adding to this, the scene contained quite a graphic element because as she is sitting on the stairs in shock, there’s a close up shot of the gap between the door with bright red blood pouring through it; suggesting that the demonic cat had killed her pet cat. The audience don’t know whether this is true or not because the cat is never shown in the rest of the film. Posssibly hinting at the fact that what had previously happened, was all in her imagination; revealing the main theme of Angela fabricating the whole situation.

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The trailer made the John’s workshop seem eerie, creepy and firghtening all at the same time, so when I watched the film I thought that there would have been more scenes focussed in there, but there was only a couple. Although they were good, I feel that the trailer made the audience misjudge what was going to happen, as the door would open/shut frequently resulting in us believing some supernatural force was behind there; this wasn’t the case at all, why the door opened by itself was never revealed in the film.

Overall I would rate the film…

2-stars

For the reason that, the film “Regression” had only a few good scenes that made me fell anxious and uneasy, as it is classified as a thriller, even though it lacks some of the element/conventions of the supernatural genre that I wanted to see. As well as, the film left questions unanswered, which really annoyed most of the audiecne watching, including me.

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