Emma Watson's Role In 'Colonia' Marks Her Third True Crime Story & The Start Of A Promising Pattern

While I was never much of Harry Potter kid (LOTR forever!), I've always rooted for Emma Watson. With her graduation from Brown University, and her collaboration with the United Nations for the pro-feminism HeForShe campaign, Watson seems to be doing the Hermiones of the world proud. And, as she builds up her resume, Watson enters new territory with the Apr. 15's Colonia . Watson's true crime thriller is a suspense narrative set during the Chilean military coup of 1973, starring Watson as Lena and Daniel Bruhl as Daniel, two German sweethearts swept up in the violence and captivity of Augusto Pinochet's dictatorship. And although the movie begins with lots of hot and heavy smooching, things turn serious all too quickly.

In the film, Pinochet's troops track down the two foreigners in Santiago and take Daniel captive, tossing him into a hellish prison disguised as a religious compound, Colonia, for some gruesome interrogations. It's up to Lena to rescue Daniel, and so she plots a daring scheme to infiltrate Colonia, posing as a spiritual devotee and squeaking her way in past the facility's Nazi leadership and terrifying nuns. And it turns out the truth is even stranger than this fiction — Colonia is based on a true story, although the tale of Daniel and Lena is purely fictional. Still, with its backdrop in reality, Colonia marks Watson's third try at a crime narrative, and it looks like the genre is quickly becoming her sweet spot.

Colonia is set during the very-real time of Pinochet's dictatorship, an era that left behind a legacy of horror in Chile. Yet taking on that type of scarily-real movie might be off-putting to some actors, Watson has become familiar with turning true horror stories into art.

The Bling Ring

In 2013's The Bling Ring — another one of Watson's forays into true crime — the movie connects glitter, money, and the paparazzi in a truly captivating way. In a universe wildly different from that of Colonia, Watson played the head of the titular bling ring, Nicki, the queen bee of a group of teens obsessed with fame and fortune. Nicki and her crew broke into celebrity homes and robbed them blind — in a tale entirely based on an all-too-real story out of California.


Then there was Watson's other crime drama, Regression, which arrived in 2015. Unlike the other films, Regression is not based on a true story, though it deals with a very real issue. In the film, Watson played a teenager named Angela Gray who claimed that her father sexually abused her. Her father admitted to the crime, though he claimed he could not recall actually committing it. The detectives in the film's fictional case used a real, controversial technique called hypnotic regression therapy to find an answer, and the father's comments while undergoing the therapy revealed a widespread cult of satanic worship and ritual abuse. According to ReligiousTolerance.org, there may be up to 100,000 Satanists practicing today.

Watson has taken on some dark material lately, and it's led to some truly eye-opening films — even if they terrify fans while providing some must-see entertainment.

Images: Giphy; Majestic Filmproduktion