Premonition review by Shane Roberts

Shane Roberts

Japanese horror films are undeniably seeping into the mainstream of western cinema. Remakes, retreads and straight to video releases have been turning up all over the place, ushered in by 2002s The Ring. Premonition proves this contribution is not always for the better.

The eerily expressive Hiroshi Mikami plays Hideki, a workaholic father and husband to the beautiful Ayaki. On a drive through the Japanese countryside to an unexplained destination, Hideki stops with his family to send an e-mail in a lone phone booth on the rural stretch. While he is enclosed in the booth he discovers a burnt clipping of a newspaper, (we are informed through the clumsy use of a gust of wind and a ridiculous sound effect this is no ordinary newspaper). The clipping foretells the death of his daughter, Nana. Understandably bewildered by this obituary for his very much alive daughter, he can do nothing but watch as a lumbering garbage truck promptly fulfills this prophecy. Its a shame that such a potentially powerful scene is marred by some obvious CGI, and thus begins the disappointment that is Premonition.

Closely following the formula of similar Asian thrillers, the lead becomes obsessed with the paranormal newsprint and begins to unravel a demonic mystery. The difference between Premonition and its well crafted predecessors is the fact that none of the research, none of the clues or the majority of the film reveal anything we didnt know from the first 20 minutes. The characters go from location to location on their hunt and rarely discover anything of importance to their situation. The second act of this film is basically Hideki and his now estranged wife discovering more and more newspaper clippings. It also does not help that all of the powerful imagery, that Asian horror is famous for, is absent.

As suspense is lacking the movie quickly becomes bland and is topped off with one of the most muddled and boring climatic sequences imaginable; then delves even lower into an uninteresting and predictable ending.

The film is presented in 16:9 widescreen, the image is fairly crisp and clean delivered by Lions Gate Home Entertainment. There are several in-depth features including a making of featurette, visual FX exposed and several cast and crew interviews; nevertheless after the film stopped rolling I had no desire to further the experience.

3 out of 10 Jackasses

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