Reviewed by: JimmyO
What's it about
When a newspaper predicts the death of his young daughter, a man's life begins to fall apart. Three years later the newspaper returns predicting all sorts of bad stuff...what's a dude to do? My sixth sense tells me it ain't good.
Is it good movie?
While watching this flick I had a strange sense of something… something mystical. A sense of… Déjŕ vu. Nope, no premonitions here; I’d seen it all before. From the cabin in the woods with videotapes revealing important plot twists to ghostly images of the dearly departed. Yep… all the J-Horror films are represented here with a touch of Final Destination thrown in, this is cookie cutter filmmaking. When Hideki (Hiroshi Mikami) finds a newspaper with the prediction of his young daughters death, he is pulled into a world where he reads about death before it happens. Yet he is powerless to stop it. But the rest of the world, including his wife Ayaka (Noriko Sakai) believe he is crazy. As he spirals downward, he begins to meet strangers who have also seen the “Newspaper of Terror” (Yes that is the translation in the subtitles). Folks; a videotape with freaky images…yeah, could be scary. A mother and son haunting people because they were killed off violently… yep, scary. A newspaper? Not scary. No matter how many times it floats around with that gust of wind. Even when it disappears into a CGI abyss… NOT F*CKING SCARY.
But I predict there is something that could have worked here. There is the beginning and end sequence that set up for what might have been a fairly creepy movie. Each sequence showed promise with a disturbing car accident and what could have happened if our hero had made different choices. Sadly everything in the middle was just plain dull and unoriginal. The cabin in the woods covered with newspaper articles about death and tragedy. And a VCR with a television in one corner and some sort of fountain in the middle. Where’s the creepy girl coming out of the TV? Premonition is not a bad movie. It was just a bland one; bland special effects, bland direction, just bland.
As for the actors, they did fine; although Hiroshi Mikami seemed to have the same “freaked out” expression the entire time. He was plenty scared enough that the audience really didn’t need to be. And trust me, you won’t. But Noriko Sakai fairs pretty well. She gives a good performance as a woman trying to figure out if her husband is telling the truth or just looney tunes. Maki Horikita is good as a student who sees dead newspapers too. So the question is… is it worth checking the morning paper? It all depends on this... life is short. If you’ve never seen a J-Horror flick then by all means check this out if you want. But if you have, there is nothing new here and there are plenty other headlines to read.
Video / Audio
Video: Widescreen 1.85:1 a good video transfer.
Audio: 5.1 Dolby Digital Surround and 2.0 Dolby Digital made the creepy wind sound plenty ghoulish.
The extras on this disc are not bad at all. But then again, it is Lion’s Gate and they usually pack a nice set of extras.
This includes Interviews with director Norio Tsuruta and actors Hiroshi Mikami, Noriko Sakai, Maki Horikita, Mayumi Ono and Kazuko Yoshiyuki where they ask the typical questions for this type of film; “Do you believe in premonitions?”, “Do you like horror movies?”. But still it was a treat just to see how cool these folks came across. And Noriko Sakai, Maki Horikita and Mayumi Ono are pretty damn attractive.
The Making of Premonition is a behind the scenes look at six sequences in the movie including; “The Boy’s Sick Room” (5:30), is it just me or did that kid look kinda like Jason Voorhees in F13 Part 1? Then we have “Crash Scene” (13:23), “Satomi’s Apartment” (8:19), “Psychology Lab” (4:14), “Train Station Platform” (4:25) and “High School Classroom”. These were fairly in-depth and good watch. The most in depth and probably the most difficult sequence was the crash scene. Worth a look.
A Press Conference (4:33) announcing the release of Premonition with the director and cast. I dig these press junket extras although this one cuts off rather abruptly which seems to happen with all the extras on this DVD.
Visual Effects (5:52) is a quick look at the effects for the movie. Most impressive here are the different composite shots used to create the car crash. This is a short but interesting little featurette.
And finally a number of Trailers including “Undead”, “The Devil’s Rejects”, “Infection”, “Ju-On” and “Alone in the Dark”.
Newspapers are not scary, no matter how many little CGI tricks or freaked out actors are involved. And that is what killed my premonition. This is a cookie-cutter version of other Japanese horror films done much better. We do get a few good performances and a couple of disturbing sequences in the beginning and the end but it all comes down to the “Newspaper of Terror”. Not a complete waste, but I think I’ll stick to getting my news from the web.