Movie Review: Regression (2015)

by StevenHelmer

A review of the 2015 crime thriller starring Ethan Hawke and Emma Watson.

Synopsis: A detective, with the help of a psychoanalyst, investigate the alleged rape of a teenage girl in Minnesota. She blames her father and, even though he can't remember the event, he accepts responsibility. However, when they investigate further, they discover the rape might be part of a satanic cult ritual.

Who's In It?


I hadn't even heard of this movie until coming across it on Netflix a couple weeks ago and, mostly because the description made it sound a bit like a "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" episode (one of my wife's favorite shows), I decided to get it on DVD. I had hoped the movie, which had some recognizable names, would, at very least, be a good rainy night film. But, as it turns out, it really wasn't as good as I was hoping.

I think my biggest problem with this movie is I was really expecting it to be more of a mystery. The girl (Watson) accuses her father (Dencik) of raping her and, even though he doesn't remember, he confesses because she never lies. Yet, within the first few minutes, there is plenty of evidence indicating she did, in fact, lie about the events. And, because of that, the rest of the movie really just seemed to drag on to it's inevitable conclusion.

Yes, the filmmakers did make an effort to keep the plot from getting too predictable by throwing in the whole satanic cult thing. But, while there were moments when that seemed like it would be an interesting twist, it never really took off the way I think it was intended to. In fact, there were times when it just seemed like a lot of filler material, meant to keep the movie from being over in 30 minutes.

I also found I was very disappointed by Watson's performance in this movie. She's a talented actress and never really got to realize that potential with her role, mostly because her character seemed to be a bit bi-polar at times (again, the ending wasn't overly difficult to figure out). I personally think the filmmakers made a mistake casting Hawke in the lead role and would have been better served with her as the lead detective on the case and another (lesser known) actress in the role of "rape victim." At least then, she would have been able to show us a bit more of her acting chops.

Final Opinion

I was definitely unimpressed with this movie. I know what the filmmakers were attempting to do and, had they pulled it off, it probably would have been a memorable film. However, the movie never really got a chance to reach its full potential and was very forgettable as a result.

My Grade: D

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Updated: 07/25/2016, StevenHelmer
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