Plot: What’s it about?
The cover for Regression shows two of the actors featured in the film (Ethan Hawke and Emma Watson) at the top and bottom, respectively. In the middle of the cover shows a barn with a rusted roof and the woods in the background. This may seem like a strange opening to a review, but I’m a sucker for small town settings. Since I knew next to nothing about this film, this did excite me somewhat. Little did I know that it’s another run-of-the-mill thrillers involving an exhausted, but determined cop. In this case, his name is Detective Bruce Kenner (Hawke), and the story is not only inspired by true events, but set in the early 90’s. Stating that the story is based on fact shouldn’t make a world of difference any more. It seems all these types of films throw that tag at us just to draw in a larger crowd. A girl named Angela (Emma Watson) has gone missing and has been seeking shelter in the sanctuaries of various churches. Her father, John (David Dencik) is accused of sexually assaulting her, and naturally, he denies this and has no recollection of doing such a thing. The film’s title comes from a form of therapy known as “Regression Therapy”. David Thewlis shows up as the psychiatrist who works with Detective Kenner. And so this sets up the film and we’re treated to far too many loud noises and attempts at jump scares. None of which are the least bit effective.
We’ve been flooded with films like this for years, and there’s nothing that sets this one apart from the rest of the pack. It’s a slow burner that never really amounts to much of anything. Part of the problem is the general disinterest we have in the story. If we don’t care about the outcome, the destination hardly matters. These both prove to be fatal flaws upon themselves as the mystery is dull and routine and then the outcome hardly matters. It would be one thing if we cared enough, but maybe the ending let us down, but there’s just so little of interest here that the film becomes a chore to sit through. The loud score attempting to startle us only serves to irritate after a while. Dull and unexciting, Regression is a dud.
Video: How’s it look?
Let it be said that at least the film looks nice. Colors are nice and warm, flesh tones accurate and the print pristine. Fans (are the fans of this film?) will be pleased. Background details remained strong and consistent as well. It might not be an overly flashy or colorful film, but the transfer serves it accurately.
Audio: How’s it sound?
It mentioned the loud jump scares and those get the most usage here, for better or worse. Vocals were fine, but you might want to keep the remote handy as the film tends to go from loud to quiet in an instant. I found myself constantly turning it up and down. Otherwise, there were no noticeable issues with this track. It serves the film as it should.
Supplements: What are the extras?
- Ethan Hawke: Bruce’s Obsession – This is more of a praising for Ethan Hawke and what he and his talent brought to the film.
- Emma Watson: The Complexity of Angela – Essentially the same exact thing as above, only with Emma Watson.
- The Cast of Regression – We get a look at some of the minor players in the film along with some duplicated footage from the above two features.
- The Vision of Regression – An overall look at the film, complete with some montages which ends up playing out like a glorified trailer.
The Bottom Line
Slow, dull and not the least bit exciting, Regression never amounts to much. There are no thrills here and the story has been told far too many times. It also fails to make much of its small town setting. I suppose the potential is here for an interesting film, but we don’t get it here. Skip it.