"This film is fun."

- Len

Uzumaki (2000)

AKA: Whirlpool

Director: Higuchinsky

Producer: Sumiji Miyake

Cast: Eriko Hatsune, Fhi Fan, Ren Osugi, Hinako Saeki, Masami Horiuchi, Taro Suwa, Eun-Kyung Shin

Running Time: 91 min.

Plot: See Len's review below.

Availability: This title is available at


LEN'S REVIEW: The plot is deceptively simple. In a small japanese rural town, people are going mad. This is somehow related to a so-called "vortex curse" or whatever that causes people to go nuts over vortexes and spirals.

Soon enough, the town is in chaos as the crisis escalates to insane proportions. People are turning into snails, vortexes appear everywhere and generally pretty much everyone goes totally insane, except for few characters who remain unaffected by the curse.

This film is fun. Not in a comedy sense (although it certainly has it's share of hilarious scenes), but more in a way that it's simply very entertaining, not to mention fresh. Now, I admit I'm not exactly an expert when it comes to the new Japanese horror cinema, as my experience is pretty much limited to the first Ring film and Audition. In addition to Uzumaki that is. And I certainly have to say that seeing Uzumaki made me see other similar films.

I'd guess it's combination of a likeable characters, a clever plot and some of the funniest gore scenes I've seen in ages that made this film so fun (and scary in some scenes). And it's obvious that this film doesn't take itself too seriously. Still, it's not all comedy, and this film does have it's share of shocking bits.

What really elevates this film above similar films made in the US is the unique approach to the direction. First of all, this film looks gorgeous. The use of colours is top-notch and the lighting really gives the film an unique film. What could've been a film that looks like a TV movie is instead at times one of the nicest looking films I've seen in a while. And the visual look of the film isn't the only thing nice about the direction. Characters are given enough time to develope properly, and it seems that every character has some kind of story. The script is good too, and at times the film is genuinely scary, and despite some hilarious scenes, the overall tone of the film is somewhat dark, while still being fun and exciting all the way.

Summa Summarum. Nice script, interesting characters, some funny gore scenes (I do hope they weren't meant to be scary/shocking, cause then they're total failures) and really cool visuals make this film a lot better than I thought. Not without it's faults though as especially the end was somewhat of an disappointment. Still, definitely worth seeing, just don't expect it to be all scary.