The film starts off pretty well, the plot involving numerous suicides over a period of about a week. For example, a very large number of high-school girls (over fifty) committing mass suicide, followed by a pair of nurses jumping out of a hospital window the same day. More follow. Police are baffled, until a computer hacker sends them messages alerting them to a website that indicates the events are all connected. Of course, the logical assumption is that there's some sort of wide-spread suicide club that's become popular. It's a kind of cliched set-up but it has potential. Unfortunately, as the movie proceeds, it also devolves into senselessness fairly quickly.
It's interesting, if a little goofy, for the first half of the film, and there's a couple decent shocker moments and one good scare moment, but after the first 45 minutes it starts to wander really badly. In fact, I'd go so far as to say it completely loses its sense of story, especially when they bring in Japanese David Bowie impersonator for a musical number. I'm dead serious here, by the way. That's not a joke.
After that it completely falls apart. The ending makes absolutely no sense and there's no resolution to the story, it just kind of peters out then comes back for a bunch of kids singing a song that has no relation to anything we've seen before.
This really feels like a passion project of Sono's that got away from him. The fact that he first wrote a novel by the same name, the year after the film was released, attempting to tell the story in a clearer fashion and then later also commissioned mangaka Usamaru Furuya (creator of GENKAKU PICASSO, which is awful, by the way), to adapt the movie to manga, but with explicit instructions to not literally adapt it, but instead tell an original story with the same plot, kind of confirms that for me.
In both cases, the results are supposedly far more straightforward and far superior psychological horror pieces than the film. Of course, neither have ever been translated to English, so I don't know. I do know, however, that they succeeded in drumming up enough interest in the film that it did much better on DVD than it ever did in theaters. Enough, anyway, that Sono was able to make a prequel film that came out in 2006. Part of me is morbidly curious. I kind of want to see if he did better with this outing than SUICIDE CIRCLE. A larger part of me, however, thinks I should steer clear of anything with his name on it.
Bottom line: hard pass on SUICIDE CIRCLE.