World Horror Cinema: South Korea
By Sam Reeve
My rating: 6/10
It’s indisputable that Asians love female ghosts and school girls. Want a film with both? You’ve got Wishing Stairs, the third installment in the popular Whispering Corridors series. None of the movies in the series are related in plot, but are all set in a girls’ school and deal with supernatural horror.
There are 28 steps leading up to the girls’ dormitory, but a legend says that if you count them out loud and reach the elusive 29th step, you can make any wish and it’ll come true. Jin-sung and her friend So-hee are both studying ballet at the school. When a contest opens up to send Korea’s top ballerina to a prestigious Russian academy, Jin-sung becomes jealous of So-hee’s talent. She wishes to be chosen for the competition over So-hee, and is granted her wish, but at a terrible price: her friend has an accident and then commits suicide.
Meanwhile, the fat and mentally challenged student Hye-ju has successfully used the stairs to lose some weight, and uses it again to call So-hee back from the dead. She returns as an evil version of her former self and inhabits Hye-ju’s body. Lots of screaming, murder and insanity ensue.
Wishing Stairs was a little confusing at times, but mostly it was an enjoyable and horrific exploration of jealousy and friendship. The actresses were all wonderful, the gore in the second half was flawless, and there were a few unexpected little twists that ensured I didn’t regret the time spent watching this.
Here’s a good trailer and below is the full movie, both with English subtitles. Seen Wishing Stairs? Let us know what you thought in a comment below!