I must admit that I’m not a huge fan of horror stories; they’re often derivative and/or dumb teen-orientated efforts so it takes a real classic of the genre to get my attention. I much prefer something more psychological than supernatural anyway because the nature of what’s frightening is more convincing – generally speaking the closer it is to reality, the scarier I find it to be. I’ve covered this before but my stance is pretty much the same now.
Junji Ito’s graphic novels really fall into the former category: that of horror that goes for the gut rather than the brain. His two-parter Gyo was a freaky, sickening exercise in graphic shocks that were inventive, disgusting and quite a fun read. In terms of sophistication though, it didn’t score as highly: the concept was original, bizarre but not something to be taken altogether seriously (“Fish with legs! Fish with legs! Fish with leeegs!”). His slightly longer effort Uzamaki is a more clever and ultimately more satisfying affair that is more effective in scaring the living crap out of the reader.