Uzumaki (2000)
Elite Entertainment
Cast: Eriko Hatsune, Fhi Fan, Hinako Saeki
Extras: Interview, Featurette

Since ’Ringu, ’ Japanese horror movies have suddenly become en vogue here in the US and every film that has some sort of horror element, is suddenly compared to ’Ringu’ – a masterpiece of Japanese horror. So, it was with quite some intrigue I decided to check out Elite Entertainment’s DVD release of ’Uzumaki’ but to my disappointment I have to say tha the film could not live up to my expectations at all. It is a weird film in which people have an obsession with spirals, which ultimately leads to their deaths. The problem with the movie is that it is of an incredibly slow pace – and that even though the movie’s entire running length is a mere 90 minutes – and that the film’s finale is neither conclusive nor satisfying. While not an entire disappointment, the film just never lived up to its potential and never realized what incredible opportunities the story actually had to offer.

Elite entertainment is presenting ’Uzumaki’ in its original 1.85:1 widescreen aspect ratio on this DVD in a transfer that is enhanced for 16×9 TV sets. The transfer is generally clean but I found the extreme green push of the image utterly distracting. It seems as if this color palette has been chosen by design by the filmmakers, but either way it is used excessively and turns the entire film into a rather lifeless presentation, I am sad to say. No edge enhancement is evident and the compression has been handled well without introducing artifacts.

The DVD contains the original Japanese language track in 5.1 channel Dolby Digital, complemented by English subtitles. The audio presentation is balanced and certainly adequate without flaws.

A behind-the-scenes featurette is also included as well as interviews with the cast and crew.

For fans of Japanese horror fare ’Uzumaki’ is a welcome addition but most other horror fans may find this film a bit slow and unfulfilling. Rent it first, if you’re in doubt.