Academy Award nominee Ethan Hawke (“Boyhood,” “Training Day”) and Emma Watson (“Harry Potter” saga) star in “Regression,” the return of Academy Award Winner Alejandro Amenábar (“The Sea Inside”) to genre, where he previously had great success with “The Others,” which grossed over $200 million worldwide. The film, based on Amenábar´s original screenplay is produced by Fernando Bovaira with whom he has also worked with in “The Others”.
“Regression” brings us to Minnesota, 1990. Detective Bruce Kenner (Hawke) investigates the case of young Angela (Watson), who accuses her father, John Gray (David Dencik), of an unspeakable crime. When John unexpectedly and without recollection admits guilt, renowned psychologist Dr. Raines (David Thewlis) is brought in to help him relive his memories and what they discover unmasks a horrifying nationwide mystery.
Alejandro Amenábar returns to the big screen with Regression, which represents a return to suspense, the genre of his feature film debut in 1996. “The term ‘regression’ signifies, among other things, going back,” says Amenábar. “For me this project is about revisiting mystery, returning to the genre that marked the beginning of my career with Thesis, a film that explored the nearly hypnotic power that contemplating horror can sometimes have upon us, continued with Open Your Eyes, a hallucinatory and feverish glance in which dreams and reality co-exist, and culminating with The Others, an attempt to recover the taste of old classic suspense films. I always look for what drives me, what motivates me, that energy which you find sometimes exploring things that are completely different. That’s why I’ve explored different genres: drama, horror, suspense, or the mix of genres you find in Agora.
“Some of the things that happen in Regression would fit into the horror genre,” explains Alejandro Amenábar, “although it’s treated as a psychological thriller with crime overtones. It’s influenced mainly by thrillers and American horror films from the seventies: The Exorcist, Rosemary’s Baby… which all have an element of restraint that I wanted to bring back. The Others was inspired by films from the forties, fifties and sixties, and this film by the seventies. I wanted to bring back that tempered and slow-moving tone. But more than anything, I wanted to take the story I was telling very seriously.” Respect for the genre permeated throughout the members of the crew who participated in the project, from the actors to those responsible for the film’s aesthetic. “When Alejandro proposed making this film to me,” says Daniel Aranyó, the Director of Photography, “he said that for him it was very important for the story to be believable at all times. That you should feel like you’re watching a movie in the seventies, with contained dialogue and a somber feel, that he wanted there to be a close connection with the characters and the credibility of the story he was telling. We had to stay away from the devices people use today to create suspense in a thriller. And let the story guide you along slowly.”
“Regression” opens September 2 from Pioneer Films.