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The Premonition Review

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A teenage girl writes about her crush on her teacher in her diary only for the dreams to come true in a way she never imagined. Not only that but suddenly bizarre disappearances and murders begin to take place with our plucky heroine finding a dead baby in her locker at school.

★★★★★

The sort of characters usually seen in American slasher movies are here given the Swedish arthouse treatment, with Magnusson as Mikaela, a Scandinavian Jamie Lee Curtis-in-Halloween-type schoolgirl who has unspecified family problems, a kitchen full of frighteningly tasteful Swedish cutting implements, a bizarre crush on her teacher, and a group of happy-go-neurotic schoolfriends. Inevitably, ominous happenings proliferate: a cat turns up gorily gutted in a store cupboard, Mikaela's best friend gets bad news through tarot readings, everybody has insane parents, the heroine confides fantasies about the teacher to her essays, only to have them disturbingly come true, and someone hides a dead baby in her locker.

This deviates from its familiar US model, however, by having nobody die for well over an hour. And while there are lots of incidents, the plot is obscure, with a mad killer coming out of the background in the last half hour to commit an atrocity at a party held on the Swedish equivalent of Halloween, the Feast Of Saint Lucia (the longest night of the year). There aren't enough suspects for a big surprise — despite the class existentialist doing his best to redden his herring — though you're likely to be left scratching your head as to why the doer did it.

More interested in atmosphere than action, with character insights instead of suspense, this isn't going to satisfy fans of Freddy and Jason, but Magnusson is very strong in an interestingly offbeat role and director Hammerich, learning his lesson from Dario Argento, imbues every scene, no matter how mundane, with sinister implications.

In trying to copy the American teen slasher flick, the Swedes have foundered upon a new one all of their own in this disturbing horror. While using clichés galore, it also uses several unique traits that don't add anything to the film other than confusio