Whispering Corridors: Memento Mori is Heartfelt, Pensive, and Lovely (review)

Korean movie, the second in the Whispering Corridors series. Min-ah is a teenager at a girls’ school who finds a journal written by her classmates, couple Shi-eun and Hyo-shin. They love each other, but the pressure surrounding them doesn’t make anything easy. When their relationship ends in tragedy, no one at the school is safe from an angry spirit.


The film is unpredictable, which is refreshing, but at times it can be a bit confusing. For example the opening sequence, which shows Hyo-shin and Shi-eun tied together and apparently committing joint suicide. Meanwhile, there’s some jibber-jabber by a voiceover about girls dying. The first time I watched it, I assumed that Shi-eun and Hyo-shin were dead when Min-ah finds their diary—they aren’t. Neither the drowning nor the accompanying dialogue is explored later in the movie, though someone mentions in passing that girls have been dying a lot lately. Also baffling is the cadre of teenage girls who are difficult to tell apart, since they’re all thrown at us at once and don’t initially do a lot to distinguish themselves. There are Ji-won (short hair) and Yeon-ahn (ponytail), friends of Min-ah (longest hair), Hyo-shin (hair down to her earlobes) and Shi-eun (bobbed hair).


It’s hard to see this film and not compare it to the original. I’d say the previous film has a much clearer vision and themes than its sequel. This film similarly takes place entirely at the school, but the teachers are a lot less vicious and often absent from the classroom. As near as I can tell, there were no gay undertones or overtones in the original film. I don’t know much about Korean culture, but I don’t think being gay is celebrated, given the schoolgirls’ disgusted reaction when Shi-eun and Hyo-shin go public with their relationship by kissing in the classroom, which also prompts a hearty slap from their instructor. Shi-eun avoids Hyo-shin afterward, seemingly out of shame. Which isn’t to say it’s all a bleak picture; there are some endearing moments between them, like when Hyo-shin says, “I heard church bells when I first saw you.”


Overall, the cinematography and love story is worth the convoluted plotline. Give it a look if you’re in the mood for a ghostly tale of revenge.

And crying. All the crying.

Published by GhoulieJoe

I wuvs the horror movies and like to write snarky reviews about them. I also included some pretentious as hell microfiction (don't worry, it's at the bottom).

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