Saturday, November 26, 2016

Premonition/Yogen (2004)

Note:  This review was originally posted to my Epinions account.

I have this thing for picking out strange movies. I came across Premonition and I almost thought it was the one that's out in theaters now, but I took a closer look. This was another movie made and set in Japan. It's about a father that gets a warning via a newspaper that his daughter will die. Little does he know that he has only a minute or two to do anything about it.

The plot sounds a little like the American TV show Early Edition, but Hideki Satomi doesn't have all day to do anything about what he sees and the paper (or more appropriately, the article) doesn't come with a cute, furry cat every morning. Also, affecting the future has consequences. There's a reason that it's called the Newspaper of Terror.

Jump ahead three years and Hideki and his wife, Ayaka, are divorced. He's racked with guilt over not having done enough and she, a disbeliever at the time of the accident, is actually studying the phenomenon. It turns out that he's not the only one to have seen the Newspaper of Terror. Ayaka is studying a woman who can use a Polaroid camera to take pictures of the articles.

There are also three other people mentioned, but only to give contrast as to what fate awaits Hideki . One man had premonitions and did nothing. He aged rapidly. Another man successfully averted disaster on several occasions and eventually died a bizarre death. Soon after this, Hideki starts writing premonitions, like 18 people dying in a landslide. Some are vague, but some he can do something about. Thus, he has a choice. Does he do nothing and age rapidly or do something and die bizarrely?

You really have to feel for the parents. Ayaka has to come to terms with what her ex-husband saw while Hiroshi goes into denial, refusing to even look at a newspaper. He even goes after someone who's delivering a free subscription. He's living in his own little hell while Ayaka is able to come to terms with what happened to some extent.

Apparently, the Newspaper of Terror is an actual urban legend in Japan. The movie was a good length at just over an hour and a half. The writer made it into an interesting story. It's not really horror and not really mystery. It's more of a supernatural suspense movie. I don't think I'm giving anything away, but at the end of the movie, you're left to wonder what really happened.

I would definitely recommend this movie to people who are looking for a different movie. This wasn't like anything I had seen before. Even though I never experienced the loss of a child, I really found myself identifying with the parents. Definitely a five-star movie. After all, you don't screw with fate. 

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