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Franchise Ranked: Whispering Corridors

The Whispering Corridors series does not deviate very much from its general premise of girls in love in school surrounded by hauntings. The films are indeed about emotional closeness, friendship and even lesbian love amongst school girls, often thinly disguised as Korean horror, and that in itself makes them interesting and entertaining. While they run the spectrum from dramatic to campy, and sometimes campy because of over-dramatics, the films are pretty much on par with one another and work as a whole as an in depth study of a very niche sub-genre.

Each of the original four films in the series has its definite pros and cons, making it rather difficult to actually rank them. They all are above average,…

  • Wishing Stairs

    1.Wishing Stairs

    ★★★½

    Wishing Stairs is the outright campiest film in the series, despite it's promising premise, making it also the most fun. The performance of actress Jo An as Eom Hye-ju alone is worth watching this movie. Her over the top facial expressions, voice and mannerisms are like a wacky comic book come to life. Similarly, scenes that should play scary also end up quite comical, but what do you expect when you're being haunted by a ballerina hopping en pointe on one foot.

  • Memento Mori

    2.Memento Mori

    ★★★½

    Memento Mori is the serious one of the bunch. It pushes the lesbian love story more forcefully into the forefront than the others, bringing a dramatic approach that isn't quite the same as the rest of the series. While the secondary or even tertiary characters are absolutely annoying, they help to really solidify the connection between the main characters, making that connection feel more important, or validated, than the other films. This is the film of the series that might actually tug on your heart a bit.

  • Voice

    3.Voice

    ★★★½

    Voice was actually the first film in the series that I saw, and made me want to see the rest years before I ever got the chance to actually do so. Voice therefore has distinct imagery etched into my memory more so than the others. After watching them all together, I realize that Voice indeed is the most visually interesting, with a color palette that goes from warm to strict red and special effects that highlight ghosts and memories in a compelling way that help to tell the story.

  • Whispering Corridors

    4.Whispering Corridors

    ★★★½

    The series was definitely getting it's footing here in the original Whispering Corridors film. Elements here would go on to be fully realized in moments later in the series, but that doesn't mean this is a throw away film. In fact, this one probably has the strongest story overall, and arguably the most haunting. It also isn't tied down to trying to fit a pre-mandated formula, allowing it to feel more natural and free, and allowing the audience more moments of unexpectedness. It might not be as tidy as the others, but it still has its appeal.

  • A Blood Pledge

    5.A Blood Pledge

    ★★

    The late follow up Blood Pledge is easily the weakest of the bunch. Although it does follow the theme of female friendship at school, it doesn't quite fit in with the others, stylistically. Ironically, this might be the film in the franchise with the most mainstream horror elements. As it replaces its focus on strong relationships with unnecessary jump scares and much more gore, it becomes a formula different than the others. It's a bit of a mess with a plot that goes all over the place. Unfortunately, by the time any of the characters or the story itself receives any dimension, you're already bored.