Uzumaki – 9/10
Also called Spiral or Vortex, this Japanese film helped me to identify the problems I had with the next two films I watched. It also spoiled them a little, by being so damned good. Stylish, clever, absurd, and creepy, the direction in this is excellent.
The inhabitants slowly become obsessed with spirals, manifesting in madness and even physical changes. That’s the story. And it drags you through a slowly pervasive and deepening madness often in very subtle ways. Occasionally out of the corner of your eye you’ll spot a bit of scenery slowly twist into a spiral. It’s brilliantly done. It’s obvious when you spot it, but its also used sparingly and with great restraint.
The effect is, you start actively looking for spirals. The director has dragged you into the same madness that is experienced by the characters.
There are also times where the film gets ridiculously over the top and silly, but that’s fine. It makes you laugh, but it doesn’t relieve you from the dread.
Of all the films watched up to Red Sands, this is the one that for me best fit the feel of an indifferent power driving people insane. Apparently it’s based on a manga. Have no idea how it is as an adaptation, but it was good enough that I’d like to track down the original work.
For links to the list of other cosmic horror films I’ve been watching, go here.
I’ve heard of this one before, and may even have seen bits and pieces on SBS. Despite my earlier comments re not being a fan of horror I might actually be interested in borrowing this from you at some point.
It’s got some gore, but it’s also got surreal stuff that *might* be dream or hallucination moments. Then again, the way things go later, those moments might well have been real.
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Oh you should see Long Dream. It’s another film adapted from a Junji Ito manga and it’s definitely a cosmic horror.