Stupid Girls

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Whispering Corridors 3: Wishing Stairs

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Why is it a fox? The "nine-tailed" fox (gumiho) is the trickster spirit being in Korea, imported from the Japanese. Unfortunately, with time in Korea, most of its charming and endearing qualities were erased. What is left is a malevolent being of extraordinary intelligence: a shape-shifter who tricks people in order to eat their hearts, its only food. It's either that, or dig them up out of graves. The gumiho frequently transforms herself (she is generally thought of as feminine: the embodiment of "dangerous" female sexuality) into a beautiful, young girl. So, I'm thinking this is not really a ghost story, but a new folk tale of gumiho, tricking young girls out of their hearts (metaphorically). Now, back in the very, very old days, gumiho was benevolent to people. In fact, it was often evil people who were, as with Brer Rabbit, Coyote and Jack (in the bean stalk) trying to cheat gumiho, but by either guile, sheer luck or a resourceful and quick mind, she persevered in the end. I would have liked the film much better with the old, forgotten gumiho; this bogey woman was awfully tame, predictable and rather pointless, under the circumstances.The children acted their parts quite well. I enjoyed the art. The musical score was fair. But I saw this just after watching MOMENTO MORI, so this was a let down. It's pretty superficial, given the potentially powerful subject matter. But it was very popular at the Korean box office, which is not discouraging. I'm thrilled Korean horror offers such juicy roles for female leads. If Hollywood would take the hint, I'd watch more US movies. The fat suit jokes were cruel and gratuitous; I'd have enjoyed it much more without that. Now, I want to see the other (at least) 2 WHISPERING CORRIDORS films! And everything this director has made! Rogi Riverstone