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Nightmare Fuel / Uzumaki

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You know the drill......

  • Junji Ito's Uzumaki is plenty terrifying on its own, but the chapter featuring the babies who were fed on blood was the worst.
    • These talking babies want nothing more than to be put back into the womb. So a doctor cuts open a mother and crams the kid back in there.
    • That's rather an understatement. More specifically, the mother lives through this treatment and resumes searching out the human blood she needed to sustain the fetus—but while before delivery, she had used a drill to get at those delicious arteries, she's now mutated. The doctor finds himself on the business end of a hairy, hollow, blood-sucking proboscis.
    • The "mushrooms" are the really disturbing part of that arc. The hospital staff has mysteriously started serving mushrooms in all of the food, which everyone but Kirie raves about and becomes addicted to. But in actuality, they're the umbilical cords and placentas of the blood-fed babies. Every time one is cut off, it regrows, and if one's dropped on the floor, it'll take root and grow its own crop. A number of patients die at the hands of the mosquito-mothers while they're busy gorging on the macabre myconids.
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  • The creepy jokester kid who stalked Kirie. He gets hit by a car and, because no-one can be cremated anymore (due to the smoke from the cremations spiraling into the lake in a horrific manner), is buried- this alone is horrifying for most Japanese, by the way. Kirie and Shuichi come to put his soul to rest. They dig him up, open his coffin and his limp, rotting, stitched body beings springing towards them, complete with close ups of his maggot shedding limbs. To make it even worse, his body starts falling apart until he is nothing but a torso with the gigantic metal spring from the moving car he dived into for a bottom half...well, you can also take this as Black Comedy when he starts boinging all over the place.
  • The chapter where people first started turning into snails. Worse yet is when people start eating them.
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  • The melted glass lighthouse lens that turns the entire building into an inferno, nightly. The manga shows at least four people burned into a black charred goo.
  • Along with the Golden Triangle and Golden Pentagram, the spiral is one of nature's fondest patterns. Now think about how many spirals there are around you in everyday life.
  • The crowded houses of people eventually fusing into horrifying writhing masses of people twisted and wound around each other, carelessly throwing the mutilated warped twisted bodies of the dead outside?!
  • The greatest unsung scary moment of Uzumaki is the end of Chapter 1, when Shuichi's dad dies. We've seen him do all that crazy shit with his eyes and his tongue...but the bathtub...the bathtub...
  • "The Scar"...when she takes off her hat...
    • "Kirie, my eye...I can't seem to focus...Can you take a look?"
  • The peeping tom with the skin-disease that caused spirally spikes. How was he even alive at the end?! How could he even SEE??!!!
  • Shuichi's mother after witnessing her husband's corpse, having perished due to him forcibly contorting his body into a spiral shape in a wooden tub, develops an intense phobia of Spirals. A phobia so great, that upon realizing her fingerprints were spirals, she took a knife and skinned them off. Then, as if that wasn't bad enough, it was called to her attention that the cochlea (a piece of the inner ear) is spiral-shaped, so she stabs herself in the ear trying to cut it out! To make matters even worse, the inner ear is largely responsible for keeping a person properly oriented, and so infections or damage can cause someone to become dizzy - the poor woman basically removed her ability to balance, and spent the rest of her short life in a constant state of vertigo, feeling as if she was turning in a never-ending spiral.
  • From the "House" onward the manifestations stop being apparently random. Now there are rules. If you don't follow them, you will die, go mad, or undergo a painful transformation. But you never get to find out what the rules are and they change over time.
  • The implication that the cycle will endlessly continue...and the survivors will never be able to tell the tale, and nobody will be allowed to remember, allowing it to perpetuate.
  • The teaser for the anime is pure surreal unease in video form, feeling almost like something out of a nightmare. Accompanied by an unsettling track by Colin Stetson, the composer for Hereditary, the trailer lovingly lingers on shots of Kurôzu-cho, which would be almost serene if not for the music... and the spirals lurking everywhere... in the clouds, the river... The trailer then cuts to an image of a spiral, behind which appears a montage of panels from the original manga, popping up faster and faster, blurring and mixing until the image almost looks like a thousand chaotic spirals all melding together... Then we see Kirie, turning slowly to look up into the sky... to see the massive Sky Face of Shuichi's father, smoke spilling from its mouth as every cloud in the sky spirals together with the ash from his cremation. A close-up on the face sees it distorting, spiraling, into a sinister Slasher Smile before we cut to the title card, which has one of the most sinister and understated uses of a Title Scream ever:


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