Ethan Hawke uncovers hideous family crime
Regression, which means an act of going back, stars Ethan Hawke and Emma Watson at the backdrop of Minnesota, 1990. The film follows detective Bruce Kenner (Hawke) investigating 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.
Director Alejandro Amenábar returns to the big screen with Regression, which represents a return to suspense, the genre of his feature film debut in 1996 (Thesis). Inspired by a wave of events that occurred in the United States during the 80s, the film is both “a reflection on evil and an exploration of the shortcuts of the mind,” says producer Fernando Bovaira. The initial accusations that served as documentation for the writing of the screenplay arose within the context of growing political and religious power inside the United States, and later spread to the rest of the world with unequal intensity, even reaching the point where it was classified as a global conspiracy, and not only by the most sensationalistic sources.
Bruce Kenner is the detective leading the investigation of a family accused of practicing satanic rituals in a small town of Minnesota. Recently divorced, he finds shelter in his work, where he can channel his obsessive personality into getting to the bottom of every case. His thoroughness and dedication routinely put him at odds with his colleagues and this time will plunge him into the darkest depths of human nature. “Bruce is a police officer that is investigating the alleged crime of a young woman who has been seriously abused by some people who have confessed to being part of a very strange satanic cult. And so it kind of takes Bruce down the rabbit hole, so to speak,” says Hawke of his role.
A challenge shared by the director and star, as Alejandro Amenábar highlights, “When we started shooting, Ethan said that it was the story of a man who was asleep. And my answer was: ‘No, it’s the story of someone who’s permanently awake, nothing gets past him.’ And I think he managed to build a character who is the smartest detective in town but who is kind of sleepwalking the whole time. What surprised me most about Ethan’s work is how he manages to find that range of extremely contained energy in someone who is extremely tough, who in the end is truly afraid.”
A family’s rotten secret will be unmasked on Oct. 14 when Regression opens in cinemas from Pioneer Films.