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Premonition

Julian McMahon and Sandra Bullock in Premonition

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 3 out of 5

SANDRA Bullock’s second time-travel movie in succession is a very different beast from The Lake House but one that’s likely to engage and infuriate in equal measure.

The film is billed as a psychological thriller with supernatural undertones but works much better as an intimate character study driven by notions of fate and destiny.

It does contain silly moments and a disappointing final scene but it’s ultimately saved by two great performances, a premise that keeps you guessing and a generally downbeat tone that makes a refreshing change from most Hollywood films in this genre.

Bullock plays Linda Hanson a seemingly happy housewife and mother whose life takes a devastating turn when she is told that her husband Jim (Julian McMahon) has died in a car accident.

Overcome by grief, Linda eventually cries herself to sleep on the sofa only to wake up the next morning in bed and find Jim is alive and well.

Did she imagine his death? Or was it a premonition? As Linda bids to make sense of the situation, she finds herself going backwards and forwards in time and learning some of her husband’s secrets, before possibly being given the opportunity to prevent the tragedy. Or will she merely be delaying the inevitable?

German director Mennan Yapo has crafted an eerie, thought-provoking thriller that succeeds in spite of its flaws.

For while Premonition is undoubtedly silly in places (especially during a funeral sequence), it does keep you hooked attempting to make sense of what’s going on.

Bullock conveys the confusion of her central character well and has a couple of genuinely heartbreaking sequences that prove her worth as a dramatic actress, while McMahon is similarly engaging as the husband who must judge whether his wife is losing grip on her sanity.

The two stars display some nice chemistry that makes the tender scenes between them all the more convincing and the film itself work on a much more emotional level than viewers may have been anticipating.

This is much less about employing cheap shock tactics and much more about exploring the psychological in the same way as films like The Sixth Sense.

It’s just a shame that Yapo opts to tack on a ridiculous final scene that will doubtless produce more jeers than acclaim.

In most other respects, however, this is well worth sticking with as, unlike its name suggests, you won’t be able to see everything coming.

Certificate: 12A
Running time: 1hr 40mins