Japanese filmmakers know how to spin horror. The cinematography here employs shots that focus, then close-in on characters having them looking directly into the camera. Angles draw you into the action. Slow at turns, you don’t get the extreme sense of urgency and heightened tension until near the end, where you are morphed from one plane to another.
Hideki (Hiroshi Mikami) is a workaholic who cannot take time to sing along with his wife, Ayaka (Noriko Sakai), and adorably cute daughter, Nana (Hana Inoue), on a road-trip. Instead, Hideki insists Ayaka drive back to a roadside pay phone. He must send his urgent e-mail when the Internet connection in the car isn’t allowing him to complete the transmission from the backseat where he types furiously while the gals sing away.
(Spoiler Alert: Read at Your Own Risk!)
Agreeable Ayaka turns back. While he is in the phone booth sending his file over the extremely slow connection, he finds a newspaper with a printed story of the death of a young girl trapped inside a car when a truck collides killing her. The picture of the dead girl in the story is his daughter. He turns to look at the car in time to see the truck hit the car and the car start on fire. He runs over but he and Ayaka can only helplessly watch at the car explodes into a massive ball of fire.
Since the accident, Ayaka and Hideki divorce. But soon, due to a psychic, their paths cross again. Turns out Hideki continues to receive the newspaper clippings foretelling disaster and death. When he and Ayaka re-join forces, they not only rekindle their love but they start getting to the bottom of the fate that has gripped them.
This one is creepy enough to keep you entertained but not enough to grip you entirely. Plus, the newspaper clippings appear out of nowhere and only to some but you never really understand why to some and not to others and how in some instances fate is interfered with while in other instances, it cannot be stopped.
Director: Norio Tsuruta
Run time: 92 minutes