Tatsuo spots a convenient lever, tells Etsuko that if they pull it, a ton of heavy metal pipes suspended from the ceiling will come tumbling down on the alien’s head. They pull the lever! Alien looks up, sees the pipes. Looks back at Etsuko. Tells her alien’s don’t fall for such silly tricks. The pipes come tumbling down on the alien’s head. Is this scene being played for comedy? On paper, it certainly reads like an attempt at comedy. On screen, it lands with a dull thud.
You’d do well to be wary: “Foreboding” plays like an unwieldy summary of Kurosawa’s gloomy thematic preoccupations and his worst formal tendencies: It’s overlong and lacking focus, and the underwater pacing and dissociative, somnolent acting style make it hard to invest in the human characters even before they’ve been partially zombified.
Kurosawa’s sly minimalism and Tourneurian suggestion of off-screen menace threads the wicked line between reality and nightmares, and despite the high concept nature of Foreboding, the end-of-the-world is conceived for the most part as simply, as the title suggests, an uneasy feeling.