Saturday, November 13, 2010

Movie Review/Recommendation: Whispering Corridors - Wishing Stairs.

Don't let other reviews scare you off, the Whispering Corridors 3-Wishing Stairs is a phenomenal movie. It is a tale involving two girls who are, at least on the surface, the best of friends, a dream, a wish, and finally retribution. While it fashions itself a horror film, I personally feel it would be better classified as a wonderful amalgamation of drama, suspense, and mystery. All three elements work on some level to form a cohesive story that is almost immediately compelling and with an artistic flair that cannot be ignored.

While I wouldn't necessarily recommend this movie to hardcore horror lovers (especially those who like liberal amounts of gore in their horror flicks), I would recommend it to those who like something a little more artful. The way the scenes are shot well, the pacing is occasionally a little to slow but not enough to ruin the experience, and the acting, while occasionally eyebrow cocking worthy, is one the whole very good. In short, I highly recommend this movie for a rental (its been out for awhile). Enjoy!

Rating: 3.5/5
-Pacing: 3.5/5
-Story: 4/5


Yun Jin-seong, played by the talented Sung Ji Hyo, and Kim So-hee, played by the lovely Park Han-byul, are two best friends who attend an all girls school for the arts. Both are talented ballet dancers, but it obvious to all, even from the outset, that Kim So-hee is far more talented than Yun Jin-seong. Regardless, despite Yun Jin-seong's occasional feelings of jealousy at the position Kim So-hee enjoys because of her skill, both girls truly seem to care for the other in a way that, at least to me, border on romantic.*

However, as the film progresses, we come to understand that Jin-seong's occasional flares of jealously aren't quite as innocent as they seem. Jin-seong's and So-hee's friendship turns overtly sour when they find themselves competing for a single spot in a Russian ballet school. though So-hee desperately tries to maintain their friendship, Jin-seong violently rejects her leading to a series of events in which she acts on the old legend of the "Wishing Stairs". Jin-seong selfishly wishes for a place in the prestigious arts school, and in a shocking turn of events, she gets it, at the cost of her best friend' life. However, there is one person who, unbeknown to Jin-seong, cannot let So-hee go. Using the "Wishing Stairs", the extremely odd character of Eom Hye-ju wishes for So-hee to be resurrected...and that's when things take a turn for the worse.


*The other films in the series have, according to Wikipedia, a focus on the taboo of lesbian affairs in an all-girls school.


  1. This sounds interesting. Thanks for recommendation. I am not really into horror genre, but if it's more about psychological games than gallons of blood & random violence, I think I might be interested.

    There's one aspect of it, though, that I am not sure I like: demonization of female friendship. Did you notice that movies (and books, I guess) often portray close female friendship as strange and unnatural? They are rarely portrayed as honest, loyal and true like male friendships are portrayed: there's always something either borderline lesbian or obsessive, or weird about close female friendship. As if the only friendship females are allowed to have is superficial, "let's gossip and swap clothes" type.

  2. @Mira:

    Yeah, the "gore", if one could call it that, is minimal (PG-13-U.S. Rating Stuff). It's more a mystery/drama piece than anything else.

    Also, I could see how it could be viewed that way. However, and I could definitely be wrong about this, I didn't find their relationship to be strange and unnatural, just strained at times by Yun Jin-seong's jealousy. Borderline lesbian, however? Yeah, I agree, I did have a problem with that aspect of it. (Makes a note to edit review later/offer viewer discretion warning). Was it enough to completely turn me off to it? Not quite, but then again I'm a straight male, so I definitely have a bias (Makes another note to edit review with this info).

    Also, you're absolutely right. Male friendships, in most instances, seem to have this "purity" about them, whereas female friendships do seem false, borderline lesbian, or strained. The only contemporary movie I can think of that showed a male friendship as being false was the newer version of the Count of Monte Cristo.

    Hm...looks like I have another post idea after the my next "Race and Contemporary Hollywood" post. Thanks!

  3. Well, I have nothing against lesbians, and I have nothing against straight males liking them. In fact, I understand this (not sure how to say this gracefully, but I tend to like watching men kissing and what not in movies, and the most passionate movie kiss I've seen was between two men. So you could say I understand this).

    Still, it is true female friendship is often demonized in movies. I can't think of any example in which females were allowed to have a strong, loyal friendship that didn't end up being either romantic love or something creepy.

    I even blogged about this (if you don't mind my shameless plug:

    On Female Friendship )

    Hm...looks like I have another post idea after the my next "Race and Contemporary Hollywood" post. Thanks!

    I'm glad I helped. Can't wait for the new blog post!

  4. I hear you. However, I should probably put a disclaimer up or something. I don't want people thinking I've got some kind of strange fetish just because I recommended this movie, lol.

    Also, feel free to plug away. Mon maison est ton maison.