Uzumaki (2002)

TOMATOMETER

AUDIENCE SCORE

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

Uzumaki Photos

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 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, Rovi
Rating:
G
Genre:
Art House & International , Horror
Directed By:
In Theaters:
 wide
On DVD:
Runtime:

Cast

Ren Osugi
as Toshio Saito
Hinako Saeki
as Kayodo Sekino
Keiko Takahashi
as Yukie Saito
Show More Cast

Critic Reviews for Uzumaki

All Critics (24) | Top Critics (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.

Full Review… | February 10, 2010
Variety
Top 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.

Full Review… | April 18, 2007
Chicago Reader
Top 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
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic

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

Full Review… | July 12, 2002
Seattle Times
Top 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

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

Audience Reviews for Uzumaki

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.

Lewis C.
Lewis C.

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.

Tsubaki Sanjuro
Tsubaki Sanjuro

Super Reviewer

½

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.

Lee ?
Lee ?

Super Reviewer

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