Whispering Corridors DVD Review

Written by Peter West

DVD released by Tartan Films USA

Directed by Ki-Hyung Park
Written by Jung-Ok In and Ki-Hyung Park

Starring:
Kang-hie Choi (as Se-yeon Choi)
Gyu-ri Kim
Min-jeong Kim
Yu-seok Kim
Mi-yeon Lee
Yong-nyeo Lee
Jin-hie Park
Young-Soo Park

The Story:

Mrs. Park, a sadist teacher at an all girls high school is found hanging off of a crossway, an apparent victim of suicide. Rumors through the school are blaming the ghost of a student Jin-Ju who died several years earlier. Returning to teach at the school is alumni Eun-young who starts having visions of Jin-Ju as she gets to know the new student body. As the body counts rises including students as well as teachers two young girls Jae-yi and Ji-oh endure the sadistic punishments of the teaching staff to try to unravel the mystery of theWhispering Corridors!

Video:

Presented in a anamorphic 1.78:1 widescreen Whispering Corridors is a early example of a movie filmed in Digital Video. The colors are weak and backgrounds are not clear. While I've found several of Tartan's Asia Extreme series to be excellent examples of filming with this medium, this film is clearly hurt by the format. My rating 3.5/5

Audio:

A Korean language soundtrack in both Dolby Digital 5.1 and DTS 5.1. A erie track that compliments the gothic thriller! Every film released by Tartan Asia Extreme has had a DTS track on it. Why can't US distributors do the same? My rating 4.5/5

Extras:

English and Spanish subtitles, a photo gallery and trailers from this and other Tartan Asia Extreme titles are the extras included on this DVD. While not the jammed packed release some of the other titles have been, it's better than bare-bones! My rating 2.5/5

Summary:

Whispering Corridors is more of a throwback to the gothic thrillers of the 60s and 70s than a modern film. Sound effects and camera angles are used to heighten anxiety for the viewer. There's a modest amount of gore which I declined to show in the screenshots as to not give it all away. This combination provides for a effective thriller.

The film runs a little longer than maybe it should have in giving us detail in the complicated relationships of the abundant amount of Asian schoolgirls in uniforms. There's plenty of schoolgirl eye candy, however there is no nudity or really any sexual tension at all in the film. In absence of sex, there's plenty of discipline! Filmed in 1998, there must be plenty of differences in culture if teachers today are allowed to get away with that in Korea.

The storyline itself is a bit complicated. A student returning from the dead, missing yearbooks, secret hiding places, you really need to pay attention or you can easily lose track of the story. That's not unusual for subtitled foreign films though. Overall this is a interesting story in the gothic suspense genre. While not the best in Tartan's series of Asian films it is a pretty decent movie. Definitely worth a view even if just by rental. My overall rating 3.5/5

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