21 October 2014

The Premonition (1976)

94 min.
Directed by Robert Allen Schnitzer.
With Sharon Farrell, Jeff Corey, Richard Lynch, Edward Bell, Ellen Barber, Danielle Brisebois, Chitra Neogry.
Interesting and moody terror tale about a mother (Farrell) with ESP who feels she and her adopted daughter (Brisebois) are threatened from beyond the grave by the spirit of the little girl's biological mother (Barber).

A nice example of restrained and suggested horror (you won't find exploding heads or apocalyptic proms here), this well-made chiller was directed on location in Mississippi by a very young 24-year-old Schnitzer.

Farrell is quite good as the mom - in a role that could have been played in optional hysterical mode - while the offbeat Lynch is letter perfect as a carnival clown with a decidedly dark side.

More atmospheric than plot driven, Premonition is a valiant effort at ambient fearmaking, but it comes up just a little short due to a convoluted and confusing tie-up.

Nevertheless, it's a worthwhile oddity all around and warrants a view.

Weirdest scene: under cover of the night, a psychotic Barber attempts to kidnap her daughter but is thwarted by an equally unhinged Farrell.

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