In a Hollywood that is increasingly obsessed with superhero blockbusters, the place to see many acclaimed filmmakers these days is on the small screen. In Japan, though, the Wowow entertainment channel has been producing original dramas by local auteurs for some time.

One such auteur is Kiyoshi Kurosawa, whose five-part sci-fi series on Wowow has been edited into a theatrical film titled "Yocho 'Foreboding.'" It's a companion piece to Kurosawa's "Before We Vanish,"which was released in September. Both are based on a play by Tomohiro Maekawa about an unusual alien invasion.

Instead of recycling the earlier film, "Yocho" is quite different in story and tone. In contrast to the opening scenes of "Before We Vanish" with Masami Nagasawa's prickly wife comically raging at Ryuhei Matsuda's fuzzy-minded hubby, "Yocho" is darker and scarier from beginning to end. It also has a better villain in Masahiro Higashide's Dr. Makabe, who is physically intimidating and completely ruthless.