Years ago I found myself twiddling my thumbs at work, tired of trying to look busy while there was nothing to do. My job had incredibly busy times, and totally dead times – there was no in between. On a whim, I went to a manga site and picked one at random to read. It was called Uzumaki, and it completely sucked me in. I had read quite a bit of manga at that point, but never anything like this.
It still stands as the single creepiest comic that I have ever read, and is definitely in the running for creepiest book, period. For those that haven’t read it, you can get a glorious, hardback collected edition here for 20 bucks. The author, Junji Ito, is a master of horror, and has produced an amazing body of work. Check out Gyo or Tomie after you read this one.
The images in the book, some of which you can see in this blog, are incredibly striking, and while the film tries its darndest to interpret them in moving pictures, they just don’t have the same impact for the most part. However, the end of the film is a very strong interpretation of one of the manga’s chapters.
Only half of the book is covered in the film, and that makes since, given the direction the story takes. The entire town begins to get affected by the spiral, not just the people, and as the few that have no succumbed to the power try and escape, they are taken to a very strange place. It would have been very difficult and expensive to pull off the imagery from the ending, but I would really love to see another attempt at covering the full story.
I recommend both the manga and film, but I highly suggest reading it first. Watching the film as more of a curiosity is probably the better bet. I have not come at the movie from the stance of someone that hasn’t read the book, but I can imagine that it may be rather unsatisfying for those that do.
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