Last night, my wife and I went to see Premonition, the new Sandra Bullock movie. The description reads, “A housewife is shocked when her husband dies in a car crash and reappears the next day. She realizes it was a premonition and tries to avoid the tragedy.”
When I think about movies that closely resemble ours, my list includes movies like Butterfly Effect, Memento, and now Premonition. Interestingly, there are many parallels to this movie and our movie.
But, after reading how the critics slammed the movie, I was a bit concerned for our project, because of the similarities. But, after seeing the movie last night, I saw considerable differences; ones that I believe will distinguish the two movies.
*** The following contains spoilers for Premonition and our movie. ***
When I first read the script for our project, the ending was very similar, a bit of a downer. It was the kind of ending where you hope he can make a difference, but doesn’t. Same with Premonition. She has the chance to change something but can’t. It was very down. Very fatalistic.
Our writer and I spent a few months finding the ending that I wanted, and we did. Kudos to Nick, the writer! He landed the perfect ending, one where our hero saves the day, and you leave the story/movie feeling good. One crew member read it and told me, “I had goose bumps at the end.”
Yeah! Goose Bumps!
Another story flaw I found in Premonition was that the audience was never challenged to figure anything out. They were spoon fed the entire movie, starting with the trailer. Once you watch it, you know the whole story. There’s nothing to figure out.
Our Project is considerably different. From the start, you don’t realize what’s going on. It’s not till page 50 that you realize what’s happening, and even then, you’re not sure you know what’s happening. You’re still challenged as the viewer to figure it out.
Finally, the other flaw I saw in Premonition was that they relied on all the horror tricks: jump moments, fright music, bugs, etc. It was too predictable, too obvious. As I start working on our edit, I need to make sure we don’t rely on the those cliché moments.
I thought Sandra Bullock’s performance was strong. I think she’s a good actress. To swing from comedy to drama and do it well takes talent.
If you get a chance, go see Premonition, and post your comments. I would enjoy hearing from you.