This might be the best combination of horror and thriller I’ve ever seen. To outright describe it as a horror would be wrong, because there really aren’t a lot of scary moments, but to call it a thriller would undermine the incredibly well crafted and tense scary scenes, as the ones that were in the film really freaked me out.

Regression Review
The face of somebody whose career defining franchise is already over

Regression follows detective Bruce Kenner (Ethan Hawke) and psychology professor Kenneth Raines (David Thewlis), as well as a number of other police officers as they try to solve the mystery of a father who is accused of a sexually assaulting his daughter, a crime he half admits to, but has no memory of. The further they look in to the crime, the more it seems like it’s part of a bigger issue – satanic cults.

The film opens by saying that it’s based on a true story. A lot of times, that can take me out of a scary film, because I find myself thinking ‘this can’t have actually happened’, which isn’t something you want to be thinking when you should be scared, but here it simply added to the fear I was feeling. It was all handled and presented so realistically, but it still managed to have a unique flavour with artistic flair. This is almost certainly the doing of writer / director Alejandro Amenábar, who’s really created a fantastic piece of cinema.

Regression Review
I’ll never speak in the cinema again

To put it simply, everything about this film works. The tone is dark and consistent, with the characters acting exactly how you think they should in every situation. The actors all deliver, especially Hawke and Thewlis, who have the kind of chemistry most long running police TV shows don’t have. Even though the scenery is nothing special, it’s wonderfully filmed and consistently interesting to look at, and more importantly than all of this, there’s a solid mystery element to the story, and the information is given to you at the perfect pace.