‘Wishing Stairs’ is the third in the South Korean Schoolgirl Horror Series of five – Whispering Corridors. The first, names the series ‘Whispering Corridors’, then there is ‘Memento Mori’, ‘Whispering Corridors’, ‘Voice’ and finally ‘Blood Pledge’. This series is of course my favourite movie series, even outside yuri. Yes, it beats ‘The Dark Knight’. That’s the power of yuri but really, what’s new?
Why ‘Whispering Corridors’ over the others in the series? Why did I choose this over ‘Memento Mori’ – the factually gayest of them all? Why not the first and original (because as we know the first is most usually the best in the series)?
I did say during my last post that I would be expanding and explaining my choices and this post is to answer those questions. Let’s go…
Yes, ‘Memento Mori’ is indeed the gayest of them all and nothing ever beats the feeling of watching that first movie that introduces this new and bizarre and yet wonderful thing like ‘Whispering Corridors’ did and still is. That first movie still holds the case for the story and eeriness of a true horror movie. It doesn’t rely on gore or stupid jump scares and loud music queues, just simple deadly terror.
Both of them and the other two are wonderful in their own right (the OST for ‘Voice’ is simply to die for!) but none of them have the level of chemistry between their respective ships quite like Jin-seong and So-hee do in ‘Wishing Stairs’.
So-hee’s love for Jin-seong was so strong that even after the person she loves hated her, bullied her, pushed her down the stairs and even led to her, even after all that, So-hee still loved Jin-seong! After everything she still forgave Jin-seong!
I have read a few reviews that came to the wrong conclusion that So-hee killed Jin-seong towards the end because of revenge and ill feelings towards Jin-seong but that was far from the real thing.
So-hee still listened and wished to make Jin-seong happy, even if it meant leaving her alone like she had asked her. So-hee was not looking to hurt Jin-seong in return, never did she show such hurtful intention towards Jin-seong!
It was Jin-seong herself that decided to die.
She realised that a life without So-hee was not one worth living and really, we as viewers could see it as well. It wasn’t simply about loneliness but rather her life was simply shit without So-hee. Jin-seong had no other people she was close to other than So-hee. So-hee was the popular one but despite that it was Jin-seong that she chose to always be with. So when So-hee died, and with Jin-seong’s jealousy and bullying of So-hee made public knowledge, her life made for the worst turn. Worst because it was already worse. She was already feeling the emptiness without So-hee and even her success in getting that lead role and tuition would not make up for what she had lost.
Why these two? Well, because while other couples couldn’t have survived something like this, So-hee and Jin-seong did! They got back together in the end and even if they both died it was not a BAD-END per say! An end in death can also be a GOOD-END. This is one of the times it is good! They are very rare that the only other couple I can think of that got a HAPPY-END in death are COMA’s (Another awesome Korean Drama) Hong-ah and So-hee.
Jin-seong sacrificed and betrayed love for the sake of dreams. She spent the last months in So-hee’s life hating her, bullying her and yet despite all this, So-hee still loved her! They still sorted things out in the end. Jin-seong chose to leave the world of the living so she could join So-hee in the after-life. She was not killed against her will, or seduced into taking her own life. Jin-seong realised that So-hee was her life and that without her she had no life.
What is love, if this is not it?
Jin-seong having to choose between attaining her dream as a ballerina over So-hee (So-hee was the one thing standing in her and her dream). Feeling all those negative emotions being projected at the one person that is closest to her in her life. So-hee being hurt physically, emotionally and mentally by the person she loves most in the world!
These two faced some of the gravest challenges and yet they still ended up together! Their love for one another transcended those challenges and while some might argue it would be better to not to have go through them in the first place, I think being able to overcome them shows the strengths of their love most.
While choosing to die would come off as cowardly any other time in this situation for Jin-seong, we were clearly shown what a world without So-hee was like for Jin-seong. And really, it was not like she committed suicide or something like that. No. Jin-seong literally went to join So-hee. She finally gave herself to So-hee. So-hee, who had spent all that time trying to get Jin-seong to love her back but when she was alive, even if Jin-seong had those feelings for her they were clouded by other more negative feelings.
We can look at this act of Jin-seong choosing to give herself over to So-hee in two ways.
One, it works as a consummation and acceptance of So-hee’s love towards her. She has given herself to So-hee. They are now ‘together’! We can look at it like Jin-seong finally giving So-hee an answer, an answer to a confession that she had been doing all those times she was alive.
Two, it can also be interpreted as an apology towards So-hee. She is giving So-hee a way out of the negative feelings that she might have harboured towards Jin-seong for all the bad things Jin-seong had done to her. Things that are not easily forgiven or could never be forgiven. Jin-seong letting So-hee be the one to kill her leaves them back on even ground, without ill feelings and those of regret (even if they are now dead and thus feelings are of no use).
You can say that they have started on a whole new slate in their new life, the after-life. All they have there is each other. They don’t owe the other anything. There is no need for rivalry or jealousy or hate. Without them Jin-seong can’t hurt So-hee and without being hurt, So-hee has no reason to feel unhappy. All they have is love for one another and all eternity as the amount of time to consummate that love and be with each other, doing all the fun things they did while they were still alive and on good terms.
But unlike then this time they are both on the same page. Jin-seong knows truly how much So-hee loves her and she too finally understands what So-hee means to her. They are no more holes to poke into and get in the way of their love. There is simply nothing that can get in the way of their love in the place they are in now!
And that is why I chose ‘Wishing Stairs’ over the other four in this series. And it’s not just the yuri. The movie itself was well made. The characters were great (even the others not mentioned), the cinematography was excellent, the music as always was also good. When I saw a scene I believed it. When I saw the bullying it made me very uncomfortable, which is a testament at how well the acting, filming and music was handled.
‘Wishing Stairs’ is definitely my favourite of the ‘Whispering Corridors’ series and the chemistry between Jin-seong and So-hee put this on my Top Ten list.
Well, then…that is all for now. Goodbye.