Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: Kang-hee Choi, Gyu-ri Kim, Min-jung Kim, Roe-ha Kim, Yu-seok Kim
Director: Ki-hyeong Park
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Horror
Jookran High School is an ordinary high school with its pressures and requirements for the students to conform and pursue the better education. However, underneath its seemingly normal struggle between discipline and the r... more »
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Corridors ...of...terror! Yeah I know thats lame
Evan Harris | 01/25/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Asian horror has recently become a passion of mine. In fact, if you read my other reviews, most of the positive ones are for asian ghost stories. There's something about a good ghost story that can scare me more than anything else and there's somehting about the asian art of storytelling that usually works its magic on me and makes things Ive seen before seem fresh and surprising. Whispering Corridors is an entry into this category that ranks with some of the best I've seen. It's not the scariest,it's not the most involving, but it certainly demands a level of respect and a place among my favorites.
The plot revolves around an all girls school in which a past tragedy is given new life when one of the older teachers apparently commits suicide(The discovery of her body is one of the more chilling scenes in the movie). Most of the faculty and the students though, are hesitant to accept that this was an open and shut case, especially since rumors have been floating around for some time that the school is haunted. A young, beautiful young teacher(and alumni) has started working at the school who has a tragic connection to the places' dark past and when another teacher(a particularly stalinesque one) doesn't show up for work, questions abound. Several characters have motive, and the movie quickly turns from ghost story into a whodunnit. The answers to the questions are all intriguing (if a bit confusing) and as the movie turns from a steadily-paced moment builder into a creepfest, all the characters back stories and inner secrets come to light.
Whispering Corridors is credited in it's preview with being the true beginning of the Asian horror boom that has taken precedence over even Japanimation in this country the last few years. While The Ring is really truly credited with bringing the full-fledged asian style onto our shores, this film is marked as a major influence and ,frankly, is a scarier movie then the original Ringu. The performances are beleivable across the board, but special attention has to be paid to Lee Mi-yeon who plays the former alumni. Her performance speaks volumes without saying a word. She is able to convey all the different facets of a character who is at once vulnerable, protective of the girls still attending the school and overcome with guilt for her participation in what became the most notorious event in the establishment's history. As her story unravels, Mrs Mi-Yeon has a gravitas which transcends typical damsel in distress fare. The movie itself plays on many diffrent levels and has a lot to say about conformity, the responsiblity of power and friendship. Another aspect of the film that I enjoyed was the fact that it is a ghost story,but the ghost story unravels like a murder mystery, but a warning should be issued:this isn't a mystery in the Ten Little Indians vane, it takes its time setting up the characters and the suspense moments so patience is required. My only complaints are that at times the payoff for that build-up isn't justified, and when everyones stories start to meld together at the climax, its a bit hard to tell who is who.
Overall though, the movie plays well, is multi-layered and has some really good creep-out moments. Watching it though I couldn't help wishing I had seen it before the wonderful asian horror films that have followed so that it would seem a little more fresh. There were moments I felt i had seen before, but the movies I had seen them in were almost definatly influenced by this one, so who's copying who? Either way, Its worth a look and I will be seeing the sequals.