SDAFF brought “Yocho (Foreboding)” for the first time on the West Coast at this year’s festival. It expanded the universe of Director Kiyoshi Kurosawa previous film “Before We Vanish” as the world slowing descends into chaos by extraterrestrial creatures.

Something didn’t sit well for Etsuko (Kaho, “Otomen”) as she found her husband Tatsuo (Shota Sometani, “Parasyte”) spacing out on the balcony one morning. It would be later that her co-worker at the factory Miyuki (Yukino Kishii, “Goodbye Grandpa”) asked her to stay with her since she had a “ghost” problem. When they were at Etsuko’s apartment, Miyuki freaked out when Tatsuo was there, calling him a ghost. They went to the troubled woman’s home where the ghost there was actually her worried father. Etsuko ended up taking Miyuki to the hospital to have a psychological check. The doctor discovered Miyuki lost the concept of family and could not comprehend people with that label. Etsuko made her own discovery while waiting when a screeching vibration made the place shake and she ran into Dr. Makabe (Masahiro Higashide, “xxxHOLIC”), a new doctor. Something about him did not feel right and little did she know how much trouble he brought.

For those that watched “Before We Vanish” will get a far different and darker vibe in “Yocho”. Kurosawa still brought out a gentle approach to the story, but it made a gradual swell of fear and terror. The film was minimal take on classic horror by using not that many special effects like his 2016 film “Creepy”. Instead, the production team played with sound design and lighting to represent the alien’s powers. Some may notice some loose ends in the films with certain supporting character. It was because “Yocho” is condensed cut of the five-part TV show. While their presence helped propel the thrilling action, there was no clear resolution with them. However, they were a little concern compared to showing Etsuko’s fight to protect those she love and survive the impending doom.

Check out SDAFF’s website for more information. Also check out our review of “Before We Vanish” from last year’s festivities and “Creepy” review as part of the 2016 roundup.

Film still courtesy of SDAFF.