Fright Fest 2019: UZUMAKI (2000)
Writers: Junji Ito, Kengo Kaji
Starring: Eriko Hatsune, Fhi Fan, Hinako Saeki, et. al.
Release date: February 2000
Review by: Kim McDonald
Synopsis: “The inhabitants of a small Japanese town become increasingly obsessed with and tormented by spirals” -IMDb.
I find the idea of being driven by compulsive thoughts particularly disturbing. Horror Manga writer, Junji Ito has based a great deal of his work around compulsion. Higuchinsky’s film, UZUMAKI, is based on Ito’s manga of the same name. It tells the story of Kirie (Eriko Hitsume) and her boyfriend Suichi (Fhi Fan) as they try to figure out the weird obsession with spirals tormenting everyone in their small town.
Suichi’s father, Toshio (Ren Osugi,) is the epicenter. He sees spirals everywhere and eventually succumbs to his obsession. His cremated ashes infect Suichi’s mom, Yukie (Keiko Takahashi) and the rest of the town. Yukie begins mutilating herself to get rid of perceived spirals and people slowly become human slugs. Kirie and Suichi seem helpless to stop the obsession.
Higuchinsky does a good job translating Ito’s bizarre world. Ito even has a brief cameo. Spirals are scattered through the film . They are in the dirt and sky and one of Kirie and Suichi’s classmates hair becomes uncontrolled spirals that suck her dry. Toshio comes to a horrible end in a washing machine. The visuals reflect the increasing instability of the characters.
Junji Ito’s work lends itself well to movies. Several already have been made and I’m sure there are more coming.
“The terrifying opening of the Vault of Horror!”
Happy Octoberween, everyone! And welcome to this years Fright Fest!!!