Thursday, March 24, 2011


At first, I was confused by the ending of Uzumaki because it ended abruptly. The final scenes of the still life images of the dead bodies were out of place and did not fit it with the rest of the cinematography. The still life images seemed to resemble paintings that glorified body horror. Some of the images also reflected themes from Dali or other dreamlike painters. The images did conclude the story in an artistic manner; however, it distracted me from the story and did not invoke any type of eerie feeling. At the same time, since the story was told as a narration, the images could have also represented extremely graphic newspaper photos. I did not find a point in the depiction of the dead bodies, except to artistically conclude the story, which could have been accomplished by the narrator.
Body horror was of great fascination in the movie since the director developed many creative ways to kill off characters and incorporate the spiral. The spiral is an interesting motif because it is usually associated with fun and childish actions. However, it also has the ability to create a hypnotized feeling, and has associations with the psychologically insane. Therefore, the use of the spiral was actually ingenious because it is such a familiar shape that the director uses in unfamiliar ways, which, I think, gives the movie an uncanny aspect.
Also, Japanese horror does not seem to have defining characteristics because each movie has drastically different themes. Kwaidan focused on storytelling of legends that were not scary. Uzumaki did have scary moments that mainly focused around body horror images and some moments of psychological terror. However, the movie seem to have its own conscious and recognize the humor in the filming of a "scary" movie about spirals. It was a strange combination of comedy and horror, which just made me unable to react to certain scenes and connect with the characters. I don't know if I was supposed to feel fear when the characters felt fear, or if I was supposed to laugh at the absurdity. I also think that, although spirals do invoke creepy and obsessive feelings, the plot seems so unrealistic that it did not scare me at all, if it was meant to do that.

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