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Uzumaki (2002)



Average Rating: 6.1/10
Reviews Counted: 24
Fresh: 13 | Rotten: 11

Uzumaki uses its creepy, David Lynch-inspired atmospherics to effectively build a sense of dread, but ultimately fails to do anything with it.


Average Rating: 4.4/10
Critic Reviews: 8
Fresh: 2 | Rotten: 6

Uzumaki uses its creepy, David Lynch-inspired atmospherics to effectively build a sense of dread, but ultimately fails to do anything with it.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.4/5
User Ratings: 6,298

My Rating

Movie Info

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


Art House & International, Horror

Jul 6, 2004

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All Critics (24) | Top Critics (8) | Fresh (13) | Rotten (11) | DVD (8)

Pic duly places less emphasis on narrative than on the sort of surreal set pieces that might have worked better in the graphic-novel form.

February 11, 2010 Full Review Source: Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Adapted from a horror comic by Junji Ito, this debut feature from Japanese music-video director Higuchinsky begins eerily but doesn't take long to descend into silliness.

April 18, 2007 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Gussied up with so many distracting special effects and visual party tricks that it's not clear whether we're supposed to shriek or laugh.

October 3, 2002 Full Review Source: Chicago Tribune
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Required viewing for horror fans, Japanese-cult-cinema fans, and anyone who digs settling in for an unsettling David Lynch evening.

July 12, 2002 Full Review Source: Seattle Times
Seattle Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Ultimately the, yes, snail-like pacing and lack of thematic resonance make the film more silly than scary, like some sort of Martha Stewart decorating program run amok.

May 15, 2002
Hollywood Reporter
Top Critic IconTop Critic

At some point, all this visual trickery stops being clever and devolves into flashy, vaguely silly overkill.

May 1, 2002
New York Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A brilliant horror film with an original idea and style to spare.

June 3, 2006 Full Review Source: Combustible Celluloid
Combustible Celluloid

'Uzumaki is a masterfully rendered living portrait of warped, apocalyptic art...'

May 1, 2004 Full Review

Mostly the film creates an infectious feeling of apprehension that slowly crawls up your spine.

January 15, 2004 Full Review Source: Film Threat
Film Threat

Special effects can be tastefully managed even on a shoestring budget, but here they are merely ludicrous.

November 3, 2002 Full Review Source: ReelTalk Movie Reviews
ReelTalk Movie Reviews

Succumb to its creepy charms, and you'll never see inner-ear anatomy diagrams, umbrellas, or escargot in quite the same way. You might even hand over laundry chores to someone else.

September 9, 2002 Full Review Source: Nitrate Online
Nitrate Online

Eerie and slimy enough to give Tim Burton nightmares, Uzumaki is a superb piece of fantasy cinema.

August 26, 2002 Full Review Source: eye WEEKLY

A somewhat satisfying, because of its uniqueness, but ultimately empty horror chiller.

July 23, 2002 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

... less a story than an inexplicable nightmare, right down to the population's shrugging acceptance to each new horror.

July 12, 2002 Full Review Source: Seattle Post-Intelligencer
Seattle Post-Intelligencer

Uzumaki's interesting social parallel and defiant aesthetic seems a prostituted muse...

June 10, 2002 Full Review Source: Apollo Guide
Apollo Guide

Beautiful, cold, oddly colorful and just plain otherworldly, a freaky bit of art that's there to scare while we delight in the images.

May 31, 2002 Full Review Source: Oregonian

One of the film's strongest achievements is the way it manages to get so much mileage out of such a simple concept as spirals.

May 25, 2002 Full Review Source: Film Journal International
Film Journal International

Got a David Lynch jones? Then you'd do well to check this one out because it's straight up Twin Peaks action...

May 10, 2002 Full Review Source: Mars Colony
Mars Colony

A surreal fairy tale that coils in on itself like a slow-motion whirlpool and achieves an atmosphere of sublime creepiness without ever precisely making sense.

May 3, 2002 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

Audience Reviews for Uzumaki

It might have amused me as as a random story in a comic book, just a weird little invention by some cartoonist but as a movie... it don't play - for me anyway.
November 20, 2007

Super Reviewer

I'm struggling to think of something positive to say about this movie, but nothing is coming to mind. Just didn't enjoy it at all, and it's probably one of the worst Asian horror movies I've seen.
February 27, 2012

Super Reviewer

Lovecraftian concept by way of some Fulci and japanese esoteria thrown in the mix. The entity here is not a monster, or a serial killer, but a "concept" eating an entire town, slowly, little by little. It has it's flaws for sure, but i liked, and found it out far more effective than dozens of so called "horror" flicks made in the last years. It's more disturbing than scary, and as a doomsday story it works very well, how do you stop spirals? You can't, you could stop a virus, polution or zombies, but spirals? Good luck with that.
October 15, 2011
Tsubaki Sanjuro

Super Reviewer

Weird but original Japanese horror about a cursed town whose inhabitants slowly become infactuated with spiral shaped objects leading them to their deaths. Not too bad overall. Has a few grisly deaths but nothing gory. An eerie atmosphere is present throughout, it's not scary though but there are a couple of creepy moments that'll catch you off guard if you notice them.
January 21, 2011
Lee ?

Super Reviewer

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