8 items from 2016
Consider yourself warned: Regression is not a horror movie. Despite the involvement of writer-director Alejandro Amenábar, best known for ghost story The Others, and a marketing campaign that has focused on the Satanic cults and human sacrifices wrapped up in the film’s messy premise, Regression is actually a finger-patronizing parable about the dangers of hypnosis and hysteria – and a largely intolerable one at that.
It all starts out promisingly enough, with committed Minnesota detective Bruce Kenner (Ethan Hawke) investigating the bizarre case of Angela Gray (Emma Watson), a 17-year-old girl who fled her family for the safety of a nearby church after saying she was ritualistically raped and scarred. It doesn’t take long for her father (David Dencik) to admit to molesting her – not because he remembers doing so, but because he is convinced Angela would never lie.
In an attempt to draw out his repressed memories, Kenner »
- Isaac Feldberg
Hey, remember Alejandro Amenabar? For certain viewers, the Spanish director seemed well on his way to becoming one of the great saviors of genre cinema in the late 1990s and early 2000s — the kind of guy who could take otherwise tired horror and science-fiction concepts and give them new life. His breakthrough 1997 hit Open Your Eyes (remade — inferiorly — by Cameron Crowe as Vanilla Sky), offered a mind-fuck psychological sci-fi thriller that was actually moving and not cheap and manipulative. His Nicole Kidman–starring classic The Others was the rare big-twist horror hit that actually improved upon second viewing. Later, the stylized quadriplegic drama The Sea Inside won an Oscar and firmly established Javier Bardem as one of the finest actors of his generation. His last film was 2009’s Agora, an expensive historical drama that dared to suggest the ancient world’s shift towards Christianity wasn’t necessarily the greatest thing »
- Bilge Ebiri
It’s been fifteen years since writer/director Alejandro Amenabar terrified audiences across the globe with his gothic ghost story The Others. The prolific filmmaker has found success in several other genres, as he’s responsible for such gems as The Sea Inside and Abra Los Ohos (Open Your Eyes), a.k.a. the original Vanilla Sky, but after all […] »
- Kalyn Corrigan
Back in the 1990s, Alejandro Amenábar was part of the incredible new wave of Spanish fantastic cinema. His first feature, Thesis, was a Hitchcock-style thriller about snuff films that was creepy and sexy; his second, Open Your Eyes, a subtle sci-fi thriller that was one of the most original contemporary puzzle films; his third, The Others, was one of the most interesting and effective gothic horrors of our time, managing to be completely terrifying with no gore or violence. He went in a different direction for his next two films; one of them, The Sea Inside, winning the Best Foreign Language Film at the Academy Awards. It seems fitting that his most recent film after six years would be a return to his horror/thriller roots. Alas, it...
[Read the whole post on twitchfilm.com...]
Originally scheduled to open last summer, Alejandro Amenábar‘s (The Others) thriller was pushed back to this February. The film, which stars Ethan Hawke and Emma Watson, was a promising return to horror for Amenábar — but sadly, it’s been met with an overwhelmingly negative response from critics. Regression opens in theaters this week, and The Weinstein Company has just released another […]
- Jack Giroux
One would not think that a thriller a) starring Ethan Hawke and Emma Watson and b) helmed by The Others‘ Alejandro Amenábar would be dumped so unceremoniously, yet The Weinstein Company — no strangers to such a tactic, if Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s T.S. Spivet and last week’s Jane Got a Gun are just the most recent evidence — will do such a thing with Regression, which opens in three days and, to my knowledge, still has not had a single press screening scheduled. The picture becomes a bit clearer when one looks at the initial round of reviews, a collection that’s at best complementary and at worst, well, you can imagine. Here, it seems, something didn’t exactly click and a major company wishes to get this thing off its hands already.
So less than 72 hours before its U.S. debut, we have a preview that seems designed to »
- Nick Newman
Amenábar aims for a noirish X-Files vibe, but preposterousness rules this inert trudge that does absolutely no justice to a terrible real-life phenomenon. I’m “biast” (pro): like the cast
I’m “biast” (con): nothing
(what is this about? see my critic’s minifesto)
Alejandro Amenábar (Agora) would like you to believe that Regression is based on a true story, probably in the hopes that that impression elevates its solemn silliness somewhere into the realm of the plausible. It does not… and anyway, there’s nothing true here beyond the most general of circumstances. Yes, in the 1980s and 1990s, mass hysteria about Satanic cults holding black masses in which babies were murdered, children were sexually abused, and adults were tortured did indeed sweep the U.S. and much of the English-speaking world. But the particular details of this story are wholly invented, and where Amenábar — who wrote »
- MaryAnn Johanson
A pair of ruthless upstarts, Reggie and Ronnie Kray, both played by Tom Hardy (Mad Max: Fury Road, The Revenant) have the time of their lives, ruling over London in the middle of the Swinging ’60s in Legend, available on Blu-ray™, DVD and On Demand on March 1, 2016, from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment.
In an amazing double-barreled performance, Hardy is mesmerizing as the gangster twins, dominating the East End of London for years, until a police investigation, Ronnie’s self-destructive tendencies, and the disintegration of Reggie’s marriage threaten to destroy the empire they built. An edgy and action-packed true story, Legend on Blu-ray™ and DVD also comes with filmmaker commentary and a behind-the-scenes look at the making of this instant classic.
- Michelle McCue
8 items from 2016
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