While presiding over a divorce case in the 1990's I had a case that was exactly like this story. Fortunately I was able to see through the dynamics of the testimony and the witness's stories. It was my experience (as a former prosecutor) that I had concluded that the problem was the social worker's interview practices which suggested and expanded upon the facts. This was a very real problem for law enforcement back then. In addition, the "hypnosis scenes are right on! Typically persons under "investigative" hypnosis were usually pushed to discuss and describe the "issues" which supposedly gave rise to the investigation - usually sexual in nature. The push is to "help" the person recall their "repressed memories" of the alleged incidents. Unfortunately, due to a phenomenon known as confabulation, the hypnotized person will attempt to say whatever they think will please the interviewer. This results not only in the creation of a non-existent...
It isn't a movie about Satanism. It's about the real phenomena of recovered memory therapy in the 80's and 90's where therapists, so anxious to be a part of a new breakthrough therapy, that hundreds of medical professionals jumped on the crazy train. At the time, tv reports and magazines were full of stories of children "suddenly remembering" group abuse, sacrifices, rituals, etc. All found to be untrue. And this movie accurately depicts the mentality of those times.
** 2 Stars ** A creepy,sort of Gothic atmosphere, with good cinematography and solid acting (except for Watson). And the story is an important one (even if familiar to many). But ... then ... there's ... the .... pacing. It is glacial, and I mean painfully, achingly slow. The last half has a few moments of suspense, but by then I didn't care anymore, I just wanted it over (since I knew where it was headed, and you will, too). Emma Watson seems to have the same opinion, as she sleep-walked through the entire film. I'm not sure if the film could have been tightened-up - there's really only a short story here, not a a full film, IMHO. Thanks for reading... and if you watch it, keep some Red Bull handy.
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