Apr 272016

Although it could’ve been better, I was pleasantly surprised by Regression thanks to Amenábar’s writing and direction combined with yet another great performance by Ethan Hawke with honorable mention for Emma Watson and David Thewlis.





The Movie
| Special Features | Video Quality | Audio Quality | Overall

Genre(s): Horror, Thriller, Mystery
Anchor Bay | R – 106 min. – $26.99 | May 10, 2016

Date Published: 04/27/2016 | Author: The Movieman

Directed by:
Alejandro Amenábar
Writer(s): Alejandro Amenábar (written by)
Cast: Ethan Hawke, Emma Watson, David Thewlis, Lothaire Bluteau, Dale Dickey, Devon Bostick, Aaron Ashmore, David Dencik
Digital Copy: Yes
Formats Included: Blu-ray
Number of Discs: 1
Audio: English (DTS-HD MA 5.1)
Video: 1080p/Widescreen 2.39
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
Disc Size: 20.0 GB
Codec: MPEG-4 AVC
Region(s): A

THE MOVIE – 3.75/5

Plot Synopsis: Minnesota, 1990. Detective Bruce Kenner (ETHAN HAWKE) investigates the case of young Angela (EMMA WATSON) who accuses her father, John Gray (DAVID DENCIK), of an unspeakable crime. When John unexpectedly and without recollection admits guilt, renowned psychologist Dr. Kenneth Raines (DAVID THEWLIS) is brought in to help him relive his memories and what they discover unmasks a horrifying nationwide mystery.

Note: This portion of the review contains MAJOR SPOILERS so please skip if you don’t want to know some plot points.

Quick Hit Review: Regression is a movie I heard of in passing but as it minimal theatrical release stateside, making a paltry $55k (though pulled in $17M overseas, the bulk in Spain), it was in and out. I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect but in the end, although hardly perfect, I was pleasantly surprised. Ethan Hawke proves once again to be one heck of an actor with the ability to carry a film and Emma Watson is making the most of her post-Potter career playing against type here. The movie keeps up the mystery element so well over the course of the 100-minute running time to a satisfying finale.

Now, as I said, it’s not perfect. There are certain parts that don’t entirely make sense and the idea of mass hysteria doesn’t entirely mesh with what was shown, that is not only John Gray seeing things that didn’t happen, but it happens to the agnostic Kenner as well, to the point where is physical appearance begins to unravel right along with his mental state. They’re shocking and intense scenes for sure but once the “twist” is revealed, one can’t help but look back and wonder if the filmmakers cheated just to keep the mystery, not to mention supernatural aspect, alive.

Alejandro Amenábar, director of Abre los ojos (remade as Vanilla Sky by Cameron Crowe) and The Others, presents a thoughtful take on the genre that calls into question more the ideas of faith than some run-of-the-mill supernatural horror that we’ve all seen countless times before. Combined with his style, his screenplay is well written and keeps the mystery going at brisk pace until the very end.



Ethan Hawke: Bruce’s Obsession (2:04; HD) is a brief interview with the actor, and the writer/director, as he discusses his character. It’s nothing in-depth and was made to advertise the movie than to inform.

Emma Watson: The Complexity of Angela (2:30; HD) is more or less the same as Watson gives some minor insight into her character.

The Cast of Regression (2:26; HD) covers the entire cast and pretty much encompasses some of the same interview snippets.

The Vision of Regression (2:43; HD) is more interview footage delving more into the story.

Also included inside the case is a redemption code for the Digital HD copy.


VIDEO – 4.0/5

Regression arrives on Blu-ray through Anchor Bay Entertainment presented with a 2.39 widescreen aspect ratio and given a 1080p high-definition transfer (the usual MPEG-4 AVC codec). The picture quality isn’t terrible in spite of colors being toned down in keeping with the horror-supernatural genre while the darker shots, especially in dark rooms or nighttime scenes, show off stark black levels. Detail also isn’t terrible though it does have a veneer kind of look to it due to the lack of any film grain or noise.


AUDIO – 4.25/5

The DTS HD Master Audio 5.1 track is fairly solid providing for clean dialogue throughout but where this lossless track comes to life is with the haunting score/soundtrack as well as when the intensity picks up such as during the ceremonial scenes. It’s nothing outstanding but has some robustness that gives it some nice depth.


OVERALL – 3.0/5

Overall, although it could’ve been better, I was pleasantly surprised by Regression thanks to Amenábar’s writing and direction combined with yet another great performance by Ethan Hawke with honorable mention for Emma Watson and David Thewlis. The Blu-ray released through Anchor Bay offers good video/audio transfers but the special features have much to be desired.





Check out some more screen caps by going to page 2. Please note, these do contain spoilers.

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