PREMONITION. 2004. WRITTEN AND DIRECTED BY NORIO TSURUTA. STARRING HIROSHI MIKAMI AND NORIKO SAKAI. REVIEW BY SANDRA HARRIS. ©
This is a Japanese horror film produced by Takashige Ichise, the chap who produced such J-Horror classics as RING, THE GRUDGE and DARK WATER. It's the story of an ordinary schoolteacher, Hideki Satomi, who has an extraordinary gift. He didn't ask for it, he doesn't want it and it's almost certainly going to destroy his life and the lives of his wife and daughter. What the hell is it...? You may well ask.
Poor beleaguered old Hideki has the power to foresee the future. Not the good stuff, mind you. Only the bad shit and the disasters, like train crashes or school students being stabbed to death by maniacs or little girls burning to death in a car crash. See what I mean about the bad stuff? The poor guy.
The foresight takes the form of newspaper reports, which appear mysteriously to Hideki just before the predicted disaster is due to happen.
Hideki only finds out he has this power accidentally, just a few seconds before his own adorable little daughter Nana is killed in a horrible automotive accident. This accident, which dominates the film and is extremely hard to watch, tears Hideki and his wife apart.
Hideki totally blames himself for not having prevented the accident in time, even though he only had a few seconds of forewarning. His missus, Ayaka, doesn't at first believe any of his nonsense about newspapers and premonitions and suchlike.
When Hideki continues to have premonitions that turn out to be spot-on, however, Ayaka has no choice but to hop on board the crazy train with her tortured hubby. Together, they track down a rather strange chappie called Rei Kigata, a man who knows even more than Hideki does about the so-called Newspaper Of Terror phenomenon.
On arrival at Kigata's eerily deserted home, the couple find out how Kigata handled his own unwelcome, uninvited premonitions and what effect his actions had on his own health and well-being. Hideki then decides that he will follow in Kigata's footsteps and try to prevent these disasters when he gets forewarning of them, regardless of the consequences to himself.
The main disaster he would have wished to prevent, however, is the harrowing death of his own beloved child. Can he go back in time and save his little girl's life? And what will be the cost of such an action? The climax will have you in floods of tears, just like it did me.
This excellent film doesn't really feel like a horror movie while you're watching it, despite the disturbing scenes it contains. Who- or what?- is crawling across the floor of that padded cell, for example, and who's that softly tap-tap-tapping on Hideki's door? Rather, it just feels like the tragic, really sad story of a man who blames himself endlessly for something that's not his fault.
It's hard to watch but it's so worth it. Don't watch it if you need cheering up, however. It won't cut that particular mustard, haha. Based on a cult manga comic book from the 'Seventies, it's a top-notch chiller that'll make you think, shudder and cry like a baby all within the space of two hours.
AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY OF SANDRA HARRIS.
Sandra Harris is a Dublin-based novelist, film blogger and movie reviewer. She has studied Creative Writing and Film-Making. She has published a number of e-books on the following topics: horror film reviews, multi-genre film reviews, womens' fiction, erotic fiction, erotic horror fiction and erotic poetry. Several new books are currently in the pipeline. You can contact her at: