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Uzumaki (2000)

Cast: Ren Osugi, Ren Osugi, Hinako Saeki, more...
Director: Higuchinsky, Higuchinsky
    see all cast/crew...
Rating: Not Rated
Studio: Elite
Genre: Foreign, Horror, Japan, Werewolves, Asian Horror
Running Time: 90 min.
Languages: Japanese
Subtitles: English
    see additional details...

Based on the phenomenally popular horror manga by Junji Ito, Uzumaki is the debut feature of Japanese music video director Higuchinsky (born Akirhiro Higuchi). Something strange is going on in the small town of Kurozu-cho. Kirie Goshima (Ericko Hatsune) notices Toshio Saito (popular character actor Ren Osugi), the father of her longtime friend, Shuichi (Fhi Fan), videotaping an extreme close-up of the spiral pattern on a snail's shell. Shuichi explains that his father is acting strangely, and impulsively asks Kirie to elope with him. She shyly demurs. Later, Toshio asks Kirie's father, a potter, to make him a plate with an uzumaki, or spiral, pattern. Shuichi and his mother, Yukie (Keiko Takahashi), are increasingly alarmed by Toshio's obsession with all things spiral. When Shuichi throws away his father's collection of spiral objects, Toshio is unconcerned. "The idea's enough," he tells his family, "One brings forth one's own uzumaki." He then proceeds to do just that, in bizarre and disturbing ways. At school, Kirie sees a boy gleefully hurl himself to his death at the bottom of a spiral staircase. Another boy shows up to class late, moving suspiciously slowly, and covered in slime. A popular girl, Kyoko (Hinako Saeki), curls her hair into Medusa-like spiral patterns that eventually engulf the entire hallway. As the town slips deeper into madness, a reporter, Ichiro Tamura (Masami Horiuchi), shows up to help Kirie and Shuichi search for the reason, which seems connected to a strange occurrence years ago at nearby Dragonfly Pond. Uzumaki is not to be confused with Joji Iida's Rasen, the sequel to Ringu, which also featured Saeki. ~ Josh Ralske, All Movie Guide

Special Features:

  • Behind-the-scenes interviews

GreenCine Member Reviews

Different type of Horror by JTabor March 17, 2006 - 5:31 AM PST
2 out of 2 members found this review helpful
I liked this movie because it was not an ordinary horror movie. Not that much slashing and blood as seen in other unoriginal horror movies, but enough to get the point across. From what I get out of the storyline, the town is being infested by a spiral demon of some sort that pretty much makes the people go crazy and then kills them in different ways. I wouldn't say it was a weird movie, but not a typical horror movie. Well worth my hour and a half.

Interesting, not my cup of tea by MrBunBun July 7, 2005 - 1:23 AM PDT
1 out of 4 members found this review helpful
I agree, the premise for this horror film is very interesting. However, like a lot of Asian horror films, this movie is heavy on the atmosphere and light on the actual scares. I think this movie would be classified as fun, creative, and creepy. I saw it with my housemates who all liked this film a lot more than I did.

I was expecting more -- the storyline seems unfinished and it just didn't make sense to me. I know that the implausible and the unknown are tropes of the horror genre that are milked and stretched to the limits to carry weak plots, weak acting, weak everything. So I will say that I don't think Uzumaki was weak on storyline, it just seemed unfinished.

I think a big part of the reason that things seem unfinished is that the movie abridges and appends whole volumes of the manga upon which it was based. I believe whole story arcs are cut out. Did you know the main character has a brother in the original story?

Vortex phobia by Cinenaut August 11, 2003 - 4:19 PM PDT
19 out of 20 members found this review helpful
This has to be one of the most unique horror films I've ever seen. Spirals implicate themselves into the lives of townsfolk in various unpleasant ways. Uzumaki may be just too strange for some people and not horrific enough in the traditional sense for others. It reminded me of Amelie or a Coen brother's film in its crazily inventive visual style. Cool art direction and cinematography. I'd love to see more films by this director.

The male and female lead did a great job. Shuichi reminded me of a Japanese Crispin Glover.

GreenCine Member Rating

(Average 6.41)
196 Votes
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