This month’s film set forth my the esteemed Miss Stacie Ponder (A.K.A. The Final Girl) is Uzumaki, a film based on the multi-volume Manga by Junji Ito.
Suffice to say this is a weird and trippy little film. It tells the tale of a town in which the people become obsessed with spirals. At first, it’s just odd, people seem obsessed with snails’ shells. But any spiral quickly enraptures the infected.
And then the deaths start, people try and “join” spirals, and others start to lose their connection to reality, as spirals call out to them in creepy ways. Eventually, the people start turning into snail people, and a spiral forms in the clouds. None of this is fully explained, mind you… and I have heard the Manga is much clear as to what is causing this.
The film is rather weird, full of strange and trippy visuals. The problem is, sometimes the music makes it almost more of a comedy… There are moments that are far more wacky than unsettling. It makes it rather messy, as the film does not really manage to balance the humor (and I find it unlikely that some of the humor was intended) and the horror. And the music doesn’t help, because it often will indulge a more slapstick tone.
The camera angles are all over the place and the transitions seem to be an attempt to mimic a comic page-but only from time to time. I found it as effective as I did in Ang Lee’s the Hulk.
Overall, I enjoyed the film on an absurdness level, but as horror goes, I just was not unsettled. The actual creepy moments were far to sparse in comparison to the moments that seemed goofy. It’s far to confused to take seriously as a straight forward horror film-even by Asian Horror standards, which are certainly different from western horror standards.