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Premonition / Yogen (JAPAN 2004)

Director : Norio Tsuruta
Cast :  Hiroshi Mikami, Noriko Sakai, Maki Horikita, Mayumi Ono, Kei Yamamoto and Kazuko Yoshiyuki.

Newspapers are used to tell the past, but for a few unlucky individuals, they foretell the future. When Hideki picks up a newspaper he knows what he will see…death. Foretelling ill-omened fate of everything from slaying to train crashes, there is nothing Hideki can do to stop the events…or is there? When the paper predicts the demise of his daughter in a car crash, Hideki seeks out others like himself, searching for a way to change the future.

by Edward Tang

With an interesting plot, a movie can be more hyped than anything. You can give a piece of shit movie a good plot on paper. This film follows that notion to a key. A movie about a newspaper that foretells your death? This could be interesting. But alas, the idea became skewed as the film basically fell down a pit and got lost in the land of throwaway.

Sure “Premonition” has a good story idea, but the point of that should be to give us something to remember. If you’ve seen such films as Ringu or Ju-on, stay with those films, because you won’t find anything new in this one. Sure there’s some “disturbing images” of faceless people and a little girl burnt up, but those images will pass with ease. The way the story follows is just plain stupid. We are thrown all these ideas, and we really never know how and why this newspaper strikes. The acting is over-the-top and forced, from anybody who cries in this film, to the weird cuts between deaths. Somebody dies and you just go home?

Maybe I’m a little bias for the fact that I hate Japanese horror films, but I don’t know how anybody could call this film good. In the first 40 minutes of this film, nothing happened! Absolutely nothing occurs to the point of moving the story along or improving characters to be actually considered likable. This film also tries to build a mystery aspect to it, which leads to nothing eventually. There is one point during the film that the couple reach a guy’s house, whom was doing research on the such paranormal apply named “newspaper of terror” or something to that degree. Anyways, when we learn of what has discovered, it leads to absolutely nothing. Basically I’m trying to say that the story leads no where. There are scenes in which try to further the story, but leave you wondering what the fuck actually happened. The main thing that pissed me off was that the story was uneven, what the newspaper actually did too people wasn’t explained. Or for that matter, why the newspaper decided to show itself to people in the first place.

But not to worry, if you can’t do without movies that are basically just a derivative of other more known films, this one is probably going to be your favorite. The lacking story is laced together with basic scenes that try to shock the audience. Granted, they don’t work, and seem forced more than anything. Then along with that, you get some moment where people get hit by cars, or are found dead in a weird way. Holy shit, how unique! Along with the gore, you are given some pretty good effects. I was impressed by a scene the involved a car that is engulfed by flames. That wasn’t the problem as far as I was concerned, at least it didn’t fall into the trap of using green blood. The film LOOKED good, but sadly what we saw other than effects, was basic trash.

The acting is basically overdone. The performances are pathetic, from horribly forced crying to people who just stand there and talk softly. Hiroshi Mikami plays the main character, and doesn’t do a bad job. I just thought his acting wasn’t anything special, I didn’t like the guy at the end of the film. But what I hated about this film is that it had characters who really didn’t mean anything to the story. There’s some woman who does something and tells the future? What the fuck? Then you’ve got the creepy girl who knows what is happening and talks really creepy. Oh I’m impressed. But the way the characters interacted, and how they dealt with situations was pretty pathetic. I mean this lady was dead in her apartment (maybe a dude) and the lady just ran away. That wasn’t nice. But I guess you have to have crappy acting to go along with a crappy movie, right?

Then we get to the finale, basically a cut-up version of the movie, throwing Hideki through a bunch of versions of death basically. This was his punishment for him changing the premonition. He knew what he had to do, he killed himself to save his daughter and wife. This did remind me of Sin City, in which Bruce Willis kills himself to save Jessica Alba’s character. But unlike Sin City’s, this ending is horribly cut and most of all, ineffective. We are given a bunch of “shocking” images and a bunch of different views of how the main event of the story goes down, but it goes so fast that you probably give a shit whether or not the conclusion is positive. I guess it isn’t so bad, but by the ending, I was sick of this movie.

This isn’t the worst Japanese horror film, and if taken in my hateful way of the following genre, you might not hate the film. But beware, we have traveled this road before and last time we weren’t knocked off our bike and raped. I’m sure if you like this sort of movie, you’ll get something out of this. Maybe I’m just cursed because I like good movies. Whatever the case may be, I say avoid this one.

Plot : 2/5
Acting : 2/5
Entertainment : 1/5
Overall : 2/5

Notable Scenes
- The final fight between Dong and Mishima

Buy this movie at YesAsia – Premonition

Comments (One comment)

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nmd uk / September 12th, 2017, 1:26 pm

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