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Uzumaki (2000)

DVD Cover (Eastern Star)
Genres:
Horror, Sci-Fi Horror
Director:
Higuchinsky Higuchinsky
Starring:
Eriko Hatsune Eriko Hatsune
Fhi Fan Fhi Fan
Hinako Saeki Hinako Saeki
Eun-Kyung Shin Eun-Kyung Shin
Keiko Takahashi Keiko Takahashi
User Lists:
> Japanese Weirdness

6.4 / 10 - Overall Rating

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Review by Chad
Added: July 26, 2004
Kirie Goshima, a young schoolgirl, comes across Shuichi's dad videotaping a snail. She finds it a bit odd, but brushes it off and goes to meet up with Shuichi, who has been her friend since childhood. She tells him about what she saw, and Shuichi mentions that his father hasn't been himself lately, and that he's been obsessed with the uzumaki (spiral patterns). He's been collecting any type of object with the uzumaki on it, videotaping things that have it, the whole nine yards. Shuichi then tells Kirie that they need to get out of the town, as bad things are about to happen there. Of course, Kirie tells him no, so they both stay in town. Over time, they both watch how Shuichi's dad gets more and more obsessed with the uzumaki, which ends up leading to a fatal result. Worse yet, more people in the town are becoming obsessed with it, with both fatal and unnatural results on their ends...

This movie was based on the manga Uzumaki, and it really looked it; while it was a live-action film, it felt like you were watching an anime in alot of the scenes. The characters looked almost cartoonish in spots and flat-out bizarre in others, but it didn't come off as corny or comedic, which was definitely an accomplishment. The storyline was another thing that came off as quite interesting, as it was definitely original and entertaining. The brief plot outline up above really doesn't do the movie justice, as trying to explain the entire movie would be damned near impossible, and would only take away from the overall effect of the film. Suffice it to say, that's a very general description of the movie; there's quite a lot more to it. However, I do have one little gripe about that storyline, that being that it's pretty complex and hard to follow. That in and of itself wouldn't be a huge problem, as I've come to expect that from some of the better Japanese cinema, and I don't expect every detail to be spelled out for me. The problem I have here was with the way the main part of the storyline was revealed. They condense about a page worth of subtitled words and sentences into ten seconds worth of film, so unless you pause, read, skip a few frames ahead, pause, read, you're definitely not going to get what's going on. Even if I could read or speak Japanese, this still would have been a problem, as the subtitles were only keeping up with the film in this particular scene. Other than that, there's no problems on the storyline side of things, just make sure you pay attention to everything throughout the movie.

Once again, Japan has definitely impressed me. This movie is very unique and hard to explain, hence the short review here... the enjoyment is there, but the words to explain and describe it are not. Worth the DVD purchase if you're into some great, bizarre storytelling. 8/10.
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