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.

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Exactly!

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).

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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.”

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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.

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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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