Kang-hee Choi ... Yoon Jae-yi
Gyu-ri Kim ... Lim Ji-oh
Mi-yeon Lee ... Heo Eun-young
Yong-nyeo Lee ... Park Gi-suk
Country: South Korea Runtime: 105 min Original title:Yeogo goedam AKA:Whispering Corridors, High School Girl's Ghost Story
I found out about the Whispering Corridors series through Rich Wolf at ObscureHorror.com and decided it be a good addition to our website. He reviewed the first three films back in 2005. What can I say(?), it was an impulsive decision and now we are stuck with these sub-par Korean ghost stories, but Jose and myself will try and make the best of it. There are five films in all.
It’s late at night and Mrs. Park is at school looking over some books. She comes to realize that one of her past pupils, which committed suicide, may be haunting the school. Before she can think things through she’s attacked by a shadowy ghost form and killed. The next morning she’s found hung, making it look as if she took her own life.
The setting is an all girl high school in South Korea. We are introduced to a dozen or so girls and their relationships with each other. I will try to stick to the main plot and key relationships. The movie emphasizes the bond of best friend relationships among the students and the oppressive school regime. The supernatural element is subtle and helps illustrate these emotional friendships. Lim Ji-oh is a goodhearted girl in her senior year who ends up befriending the coy Youn Jae-yi early in the film. Ji-oh is versatile; she is mature, has a natural talent for painting and has the ability to call the spirits. She takes young Jae-yi under her wing (who would have probably faded into the background otherwise) and the two girls become the closest of friends. It seems that everyone knows the school ghost story and Mrs. Park’s death rattles the girls. The story goes that a decade earlier there was this lonely fragile girl named Jin-Ju who was harassed by the teachers and mostly ignored by the students. She committed suicide in the old art building of the school which today is closed and used for storage. It seems as if what the students whisper in the corridors is all true. Has the ghost of Jin-Ju remained in the school and murdered Mrs. Park? This could be true since Park and the other teachers often physically abuse their students. We see "unruly" students smacked with rulers, slapped, punched, and thrown across the room. I wonder if the Korean school system is really this abusive.
Mrs. Park is replaced by Mr. Oh, who the students call "Mad Dog" for his violent temper. He physically and psychologically abuses his students. He scolds them and pushes the girls to their limits, often pitting them against each other. When he finds one of Ji-oh’s paintings, depicting Park’s suicide he assaults her and destroys the painting in front of the class. Jae-yi encourages her friend to keep painting because she has serious talent, so they retreat to the old art house and hang out there. They seem to be ok with the spooky site and frequent the place where they meet another friendly student who uses the old house to smoke cigarettes. Mad Dog’s luck runs out though. Late one night at the school he gets tangled in a long window drape. The ghost girl stabs him to death and cuts off his ear. For now it seems that the ghost of Jin-Ju is only targeting asshole faculty members.
Weaving flashbacks of Jin-Ju’s time as a student in the school with present day we become aware the faculty’s reign of violence was extensive and that many of the student’s friendships were destroyed by mean teachers. We learn that Jin-Ju at one time had a friend for a little while but that the oppressive school system had separated them. That friend was Ms. Hur, who today is a teacher at the school. Hur can be seen as a ray of hope in an otherwise dim existence for the students. But before she has time to shine, the tortured ghost goes after her. In the final twenty minutes of the film all things become clear and the meaning of friendship is understood.
You can probably tell from my review that this was no gore soaked ghost tale. It’s not the typical film for Splatter but it’s kinda obscure and weird. Honestly I was bored in the middle but was surprised with a solid ending. I can’t recommend this film because it’s not really scary or well paced. It’s a supernatural Lifetime movie of the week. If you like this soft core horror stuff it’s still a mediocre story so there’s not much to enjoy. The story could have been told much better and with substantial thrills, which are non-existent here. Jose is stuck with part two so I wish him luck and apologize for deciding on such a weak series.