|Directed by||Park Ki-hyeong|
|Produced by||Lee Choon-yeon|
|Written by||In Jung-ok
|Distributed by||Cinema Service|
|Release date(s)||May 30, 1998|
|Running time||105 minutes|
Whispering Corridors (Hangul: 여고괴담; RR: Yeogogoedam) is a 1998 South Korean horror film about a girl's high school. It was part of the explosion in Korean cinema following the liberalization of censorship in the aftermath of the end of the country's military dictatorship, and makes a strong social commentary on authoritarianism and conformity in the harsh South Korean education system. It has inspired a number of other Korean horror films set in girls high schools and there are four direct sequels (Memento Mori, Wishing Stairs, Voice, and A Blood Pledge/Suicide Pact), though none of the sequels share a continuing plot or characters with each other.
Whispering Corridors is set in a fairly typical all-female high school in Korea, called Jookran High School For Girls, and the story begins on the night before the first day of the new school year. A female teacher, called Mrs Park (better known by her unaffectionate nickname ‘Old Fox’ on account of her nasty behaviour and treatment of the students), has discovered something mysterious and weird concerning a late pupil of the school, called Jin-ju. Jin-ju had committed suicide in the school’s art rooms nine years previously, and her ghost was said to haunt the art rooms which had been closed up after the incident.
She tries to call her new colleague, Hur Eun-young (Lee Mi-yeon), who is a former student of the school, and Jin-ju’s best friend, and tell her what she has found out, saying “…Jin-ju is definitely dead… but she’s still attending school!” However, before she can explain about her discovery, she is attacked and murdered, and left hanging in the schoolyard.
The first people to make this gruesome discovery the next day are three girls just beginning their senior year: a timid outsider, called Young Jae-yi (Choi Se-yeon), and a confident, talented young artist, Lim Ji-oh (Kim Gyu-ri), who are the new class monitors and therefore obliged to carry out early-morning classroom cleaning before school; and a weird, sullen, deeply unpopular girl, Kim Jung-sook (Yun Ji-hye), who the other girls believe has been possessed by the fabled spirit of Jin-ju.
All the girls are of course shocked and upset to make this horrible discovery; it upsets Ji-oh so much that she feels the need to paint a portrait of Mrs Park’s death, to try to get the disturbing image out of her head cathartically through her art. However, the girls are told to hush up the incident as much as possible so that the press and school inspectors don’t begin to research the school’s affairs – especially since violence and psychological/physical abuse are pretty commonplace in this particular school.
The whisper refers to urban myth or legend and the corridor refers to gossip in schools where most of the films in the series are set.
- Whispering Corridors at the Internet Movie Database
- Whispering Corridors at AllRovi
- Whispering Corridors at Rotten Tomatoes
- Transcript of Whispering Corridors
- Interview with director Park Ki-hyung