written and directed by Alejandro Amenábar
Alejandro Amenábar has directed three movies that I’ve enjoyed very much, Abre los ojos (1997), The Others (2001), and Mar adentro (2004). This is a guy that clearly knows drama and suspense, so I have no idea what happened with Regression, a lame thriller in which a young girl (Emma Watson) in a Minnesota town accuses her father of rape. She also says he’s part of a satanic cult that has “branded” her. The detective assigned to the case (Ethan Hawke) starts to believe he’s being targeted as well. Devil cats show up, babies are sacrificed, and hypnotism seems to indicate evil is afoot… or is it?
It’s all moderately entertaining for a while, but in time the film falls prey to the ubiquitous third act trap where the payoff is not worth the setup. Even with the kernel of a good idea (mass paranoia), Regression is dull and illogical. Let’s hope Amenábar can bounce back and forget this ever happened.
Carlos I. Cuevas