A Tale Of Two Sisters

Friday Fright Fest: The Best Foreign Psychological/Mystery Horror Films

#3. Whispering Corridors | 1998 | South Korea

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In a Korean school, students are regularly beaten and mistreated by their teachers. However, the spirit of one pupil, who died ten years ago, periodically returns in the guise of a new girl, thus able to gain revenge on the culprits.

The 1998 masterpiece Whispering Corridors has spawned an entire series of films that all tell truly terrifying tales set in Korean High Schools. Rather than really being a flashy story about hauntings and killings, it turns out more to be an exploration of the impact of the brutal South Korean high school system on the youth that attends it, using the horror genre as the medium. I was hooked on the mystery and dramatic elements that were at play. The way that the story is spun, there’s no question as to who the ghost is or why it’s doing the haunting, but rather, what the ghost’s secret is.

Another interesting aspect of the story is that there are three stories going on. One is about an artistic student trying to express herself in a system that cares little for her expression, another is about a former student who returns as a teacher trying to make peace with her memories and the last is about a student rivalry between a model student and the second-rank peer. The strength of this approach is that we anticipate the collision of the separate storylines and are rewarded when they do collide. The weakness of the approach is that the story has to juggle three protagonists and sometimes seems to suffer from a lack of focus.

With that said, Whispering Corridors is one of my all-time favourite Korean Horror films and it spawned what is probably my favourite series of movies ever created. If you like this film, I highly recommend watching the other five films in the saga. They are all truly worth the watch

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