Another unsung genre, Women in Peril, seems to fit perfectly into a niche in the American psyche. Along the lines of all the procedural dramas on TV, like “CSI” “Law & Order,” Women in Peril fulfills the need to play out our worst fears and have them come to a (generally) satisfactory ending – kind of like an adult version of monster in the closet.

Women, as the more vulnerable of the sexes, find themselves particularly suited to the peril genre. Women in Peril presents an opportunity almost of wish fulfillment for men, they can play out the rescue scenario, and women, the damsel in distress scenario. If that sounds too retrograde, many of these plots now offer the woman the chance to rescue herself, calling on dormant inner strength.

Sandra Bullock, one of the last actresses to come across as needing to be rescued, is a strange casting choice for the thriller, Premonition. Bullock, with her qualities of self-reliance and tomboyishness, projects inner strength in spades.

Better suited would be the likes of Naomi Watts, Nicole Kidman or a young Julia Roberts, the kinds of females that appear as if a feather would topple them right over. This apparent fragility works well by awakening the fear and paranoia within all of us and making us feel the growth of their character as they battle whatever external or internal demons come their way. In other words, Bullock starts off seeming like she can take care of herself, so where does she have to go?

Along the lines of such mind-bending, time travel films as Memento or Bullock’s own The Lake House, Premonition tells the tale of Linda (Bullock), an ordinary housewife with two children and a perfectly snug existence who finds herself caught up in an episode of “The Twilight Zone.” Linda’s happy domesticity crumbles as she finds her husband Jim (Julian McMahon) alternately alive or dead depending on the day.

Each day, on awakening, Linda never knows which point she will be living in her own life. The movie unfolds in a back and forth puzzle with pieces slowly revealing themselves like a Chinese Box. 

The film works well enough until the end when the pieces do not quite fit together. This is hardly Bullock’s fault, but rather a director, Mennan Yapo, who only feels the need for his character to breach the divide between “A” and “B.”

Grade: B-

Premonition is currently available.