Starring Sandra Bullock and Julian McMahon. Rated PG.
Bloody, psychotic visions? Check. Adorable, imperilled little girls? Check. String section sawing frantically on the soundtrack? Check. Avuncular priest? Oh yeah. Premonition revels in all the hallmarks of a supernatural tale. Unfortunately, despite director Mennan Yapo's scrupulous attention to continuity and writer Bill Kelly's devotion to key heebie-jeebie ingredients, the film's disappointing climax elicits more of an "Oh nooo" than a Sixth Sense–style "Oh my God!"
Sandra Bullock stars as Linda Hanson, a yummy mummy whose emotionally unfaithful hubby, Jim (Nip/Tuck's staggeringly photogenic Julian McMahon), dies in a car accident. Or so she believes. When she wakes the next morning, she discovers he's still alive—and showering in their ensuite. Rinse and repeat. After numerous identical premonitions, complete with nightmarish funerals, grief, and straitjackets, a freaked-out Linda is spurred to save her man and marriage.
It's because we like Bullock that we care about Linda. Watching her valiant housewife's feverish attempts to solve the Mystery of the Moribund Man is riveting. As she hurries to find out the reason that lithium pill bottle with her name on it is rolling around in the bathroom sink, why that mangled crow is spread-eagled on her lawn, and what the heck those Frankenstein stitches are doing holding together her eldest daughter's face, we enjoy being drawn down Premonition's weird, clue-strewn trail.
The stumbling block is that Linda is ultimately too Nancy Drew for a sleuthing job that cries out for Wonder Woman. Hey, if most of us deduced that our beloved would perish in a driving accident on Wednesday, we'd likely slam-dunk his car keys down the garburator, if not lasso him to a chair until Thursday. Not Linda. In keeping with the eerie, almost slo-mo dream state required of otherworldly tales, she instead stares silently at the back of her husband's head with the expression of a stun-gunned cow about to be shipped to market.
Fittingly, given that Jim dies and is resurrected more often than Jesus Christ, Linda finally seeks help from a man of the cloth. If we hadn't noticed yet, the preacher's opinion soon helps us recognize that the film has been subtly pushing a profaith, Focus on the Family agenda all along. It doesn't make Premonition awful. The film is just a bit less freaky than it should have been, proving that while God clearly won final-cut approval, the devil was still in the details.