In the film, multiple characters became obsessed with spirals and it was this obsession that eventually led to their downfall. Where, though, did this pervasive obsession come from? We have some feeling that an ominous spirit has taken over the town to cause the many strange deaths and transformations among the town’s inhabitants. The reporter seems to have uncovered the historical roots of the phenomena but we never hear the explanation because he dies on his way to tell Shuishi his findings. The reporter’s research is about snakes and mirrors. He studies the symbols and tribal meanings of these two words and has seemingly come across a pattern or historical trend. He also finds a reference to the town’s lake which seems to be the final piece of the puzzle as he calls Suichi right after to tell him what he has found.
I found it frustrating that Higuchinsky did not provide viewers with the explanation behind the spiral phenomena; however, upon further thought I realized that the absence of an explanation may actually enhance the film’s eerie quality and overall value. Most horror films that I’ve seen, (given, I don’t care much for scary movies) fall apart when the explanation behind the ‘monster’ or ‘ghost’ or what have you comes out. The explanation never seems to measure up to our expectations, we find holes in its logic and generally it is not believable. Without the explanation, the story’s frightening qualities are preserved.