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BEYOND THE POWER OF AN EXORCIST
The mid-1970s saw the rise in popularity of films centring on the subject of parapsychology, led by Carrie Brian De Palma s classic tale of telekinetic terror. Precognition, or future sight, would be the topic under exploration in Robert Allen Schnitzer s contribution to the psychic craze: the chilling and much-overlooked The Premonition.
Mother Sheri Bennett (Sharon Farrell, Night of the Comet, Sweet Sixteen) is assailed by terrifying visions in which a strange woman attempts to steal away her five-year-old daughter Janie. Are these bizarre occurrences the result of some sort of mental disturbance, or is something much more sinister afoot?
Featuring a haunting score from accomplished classical composer Henry Mollicone, The Premonition has remained unjustly obscure over the years but is heralded as a true classic of 70s US horror moviemaking by genre aficionados.
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I was not disappointed in the least, and in fact, I was delighted in the most.
Full of subtle nuances (the poetic), there is an abrupt appearance (for instance) of a child's pet turtle that brought me to tears (it does not get hurt thank goodness, but the segment just reflected "innocence in turmoil" during a particularily emotionally-charged scene in a way I hadn't expected).
This also stars Sharon Farrell and Jeff Corey who both bring additional substance to the suspenseful plot.
Overall, this film also has a number of psychologically grueling sequences and won't be for all audiences, but those who like odd seventies cinema that slipped through the cracks may find a poor person's treasure here like I did.
Director, Robert Allen Schnitzer orchestrated a highly atmospheric and offbeat little horror-oddity, on a meager budget, and amidst some decidedly no-frills locations. Though a little rough around the edges at times, The Premonition delivers the same eerie, sustained mood of a film like "Don't Look Now", but with a fraction of the resources. I think most fans of obscure, 70's horror with a somewhat "artistic" flair will find this one pretty enjoyable.
This Media Blasters DVD looks and sounds good; or I should say about as good as low-budget 70's film that was probably shot on fast, grainy film stock is going to look. It's also probably the only release this film is going to see, so if it intrigues you at all, I'd snap it up before it goes out of print.