Wishing Stairs (2003) Poster

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Wish for a horror with a decent plot line? Climb no further...
mistress_centipede23 October 2005
Warning: Spoilers
Okay, so some of those horrors out there are really, really HORRible. Sure, they scare you pantless but then take off in some unknown direction to further frighten the viewer. Personally, from the Ring, I still pray that Sadako won't find me under the covers at night, but the story was nothing too spectacular.

In this movie, however, there are definitely a few good lessons and themes intertwined with the horror. Assuming you are familiar with the premise: a set of stairs with a mysterious, wish-granting 29th step, I'll continue. Surprisingly, most of the true horror is not caused by monsters or ghosts, but by the actual PEOPLE who are victimized. They, themselves inflict the pain upon themselves.

A girl wishes to be skinny, she becomes bulimic. A ballerina wishes to be better than her friend, she eliminates the competition. An artist wishes her art was more lifelike, she becomes her art. These are snips of irony that are just so mingled with the overall story that you can't just help but say to yourself, "that's what you get for wishing." I'm not native Korean, so it was difficult for me to appreciate this movie as a whole, but I would have to say the acting pretty okay. The effects were a little bit unoriginal, if not plagiarized, but the over all feeling they left was definite. This movie was fairly original, and I enjoyed it, I recommend it to anyone who enjoys Eastern Horror of any type.

But remember, be careful what you wish for...
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Should be a classic!
shulmanator12 January 2004
Living in the USA, I am forced to choose from some pretty crappy and unoriginal horror films. Not that this was the most original idea for a horror film, but it somehow manages to make it feel fresh enough to like it. I'm just glad I bought a multi-regional player, and a wife who was curious about the title. I would have missed a good thing.

The plot is inspiring. It's not as scary as "The Eye" from the Pang brothers, but it's probably a more engaging and simpler story. The acting is so good, that I can feel the characters emotions, even though they're not speaking English. I especially loved the red-haired girl's acting in the cafeteria scene. I could feel her torment.

For some reason, I felt transported back to the original "Nightmare on Elm Street". It has that "classic" feel to it, even though it's a third film in a series. I'm glad they made it stand out on its own.

When does the next film from these people come out? 8/10
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The Price of the Wish
claudio_carvalho15 June 2007
In a Korean boarding school, there is a legend about its twenty-eight steps stairway: when the twentieth-ninth step appears, the fox will grant a wish to the climber. The lesbian ballet student Kim So-hee (Han-byeol Park) is in deep love with her passive girlfriend and also ballet student Yoon Jin-sung (Ji-hyo Song). When there is a competition for a single spot in a famous ballet school in Russia, the envious Jin-sung finds the twentieth-ninth step and asks to beat the favorite So-hee. However, there is a price to pay for the wish unknown to Jin-sung and the consequence is the accidental death of So-hee. Meanwhile, the fat student Eon Hae-ju (An jo), who is despised and tormented by her classmate Han Yoon-ji (Ji-Yeon Park), misses So-hee. When she also finds the mysterious step, she wishes the return of So-hee with tragic consequences.

"Wishing Stairs" is a creepy low-paced ghost story, where the climax with scary sequences is only reached in the end. The story builds the mystery developing four characters and there is a subtle insinuation, at least in the Western mind, that So-hee is lesbian, Jin-sung is her passive love and the complex Hae-ju worships So-hee, forming a never clear triangle of love. In the end, I liked this refreshing horror movie, that slightly recalls the concepts of "Wishmaster" (make a wish but to the stairs), "Carrie" (with the bad treatment spent by the schoolmates) and "Pet Sematary" (with the return of So-hee from the world of the dead), but in a totally different environment and situation. My vote is seven.

Title (Brazil): Not Available
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Your prayers may very well be answered!
glamjapan10 May 2005
For many, watching certain types of Asian films delivers more of an emotional experience than say do American or European genre films. This is the same emotional territory that (Japanese) anime fans claim sacred. If you are one of those folks, then the schoolgirls of the Wishing Stairs will deliver a fascinating dramatic narrative with intriguing horror elements to keep you glued to the TV set. As in so many "haunted schoolgirl" films from Asia (especially South Korea and Japan) there often exists a romantic, dark innocence about the characters that Western films and their female characters simply lack. When Asian girls of this breed are thrown into a dramatic tragedy within a horror narrative you get wonderful films like The Wishing Stairs. Similarly, the ideas of Asian superstition add greatly to the interest factor of the characters - their motivations, reactions, expressions, etc. And like so many other Korean films, Memento Mori, Dead Friend, and Bunshinsaba, the subtext of "bullying" (a very real element in modern Asian society) adds yet a very earnest, heartfelt drama to the film. Having said that, for fans of Asian schoolgirls in horror peril, the Wishing Stairs indeed answers your prayers.
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Wishing Stairs
Scarecrow-883 July 2007
Warning: Spoilers
"If you give your heart, the 29th step will appear and grant your wish."

It's one of those "Be Careful What You Wish For" type horror flicks with an invisible 29th step taking the place of the genie's lamp. Overweight Hae-ju climbs the 28 stairs nearby her boarding school hoping to lose the excess fat that has made her quite a fixture for chuckles and ridicule. When she takes that one extra step, it seems her wish has come true when Hae-ju notices such rapid weight-loss in such a short period of time. Kim so-hee is quite a success in her ballerina class and an apparent shoo-in for the special part of Gisele in a major Russian play. She's in love with a class-mate, Jin-sung(the film doesn't just come right out and say it loudly, but you can see her adoration for Jin-sung in nearly every moment they are together)who desperately covets the same part so-hee seems destined to portray. Jealous and obsessed, Jin-sung scales the 28 stairs, eyes closed in concentration, hoping to make that one extra step desiring the role of Gisele over so-hee. When, like Hae-ju, she feels that 29th step under her feet, Jin-sung gains hope that it'll all work out for her behalf. It does, but there are consequences for making such a request..in a tragic set of events, Jin-sung will accidentally push so-hee down a stairway. Kim so-hee's leg is damaged in the process and subsequent grief leads to the young girl to the point of taking a leap out her hospital window. Blamed and hated by the students in her class, Jin-sung gets what she asked for, but it costs her much more than she receives. But, Jin-sung's nightmare merely begins..secretly Hae-ju had a fixated hero-worship for Kim so-hee and takes to the 29 steps in request that the one she deeply cared for would return. In true "monkey's paw" fashion, it's quite possible Kim so-hee just might answer that request, with both Jin-sung and Hae-ju becoming haunted by her spirit.
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light horror
CloverCandy29 May 2013
Even fans of horror movies are sometimes in the mood for something a little lighter & this fits the bill. It's not gory or intense. The story is good, as is the acting. I've read a lot of comments about the lesbian tone to it, but it's just barely. I didn't see the first two before this one but I might check them out one night when I want something easy to watch. This movie would be perfect for something like a 13 year old girls slumber party or something like that. If there is a lesson to be learned from this movie, more so than be careful what you wish for, it's use conditioner. The main characters have such gorgeous hair it will make you sick!!
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Very good school suspense drama but the glacial,"paint drying" pacing undermines its horror appeal
ggulcher14 December 2005
This film was a little frustrating in that it's very, very well done in terms of writing, acting, production design and cinematography, but is paced far too slow to manage any real "fright factor" as a horror/ghost story.

I'm well aware that Asian horror films tend to run at a much slower pace than American horror as a general rule, but in this case that "like watching paint dry" pace leaves what could have been a good, maybe even classic film as just "a well-done suspense drama with some light supernatural overtones." With an acceleration in pacing at roughly midway through the film, and the addition - there was a multitude of opportunities for it - of significantly more supernatural content, this would have been a rip-snorter of a horror film that could have made some real tracks in the American market both financially and critically.

Even though as a guy it takes an effort to warm up to the setting of a girls' ballet school, the story is very strong - even excellent - and makes the film worthwhile independently of the horror/supernatural factor, as a study of jealousy vs. self-confidence, subterfuge vs. honest effort, and irrationality vs. reason.

The one weakness I had a little trouble with was the mentally-handicapped student, Hae-Ju, who plays a pivotal role in the story - the fact that she could be present at the school at all. The idea of of a mentally handicapped student being enrolled in an elite and highly-competitive ballet school isn't plausible, unless academic admissions customs in Korea are significantly different than in America. Add to that the fact that she's quite overweight for a ballet student, to the point where, again, it's not plausible that she'd be accepted into such a school.

Those implausibility factors are puzzling in that they're unnecessary. Hae-Ju would have been more believable and a stronger character if she had been not mentally handicapped but simply unpopular, "nerdy," neurotic, or a combination of these, then had become progressively messed-up mentally as the tragic events and malicious treatment by her peers began to weigh on her. (There's some additional confusion that comes into play in the fact that Hae-Ju's character sheds, then regains weight fairly rapidly a couple of times as well as changes her hair color - again as intentional parts of the story - which when combined with scenes in dim lighting make it a little confusing at times to distinguish her from other students.)

Anyway, implausibilities aside, Hae-Ju makes the innocent wish for the dead girl she admired, So-Hee, to be returned to her, and the way the writers make that role play out is masterful: You're not really sure - and the film leaves it intentionally ambiguous - whether Hae-Ju has just completely flipped out and *thinks* she's So-Hee, or whether the spirit of So-Hee has actually merged with Hae-Ju, using her as her malevolent tool. In the hands of a lesser director that ambiguity would have introduced a mess of confusion to the plot, but in this case it not only avoids that trap but adds a nice depth of complexity both to the two characters and to the story as a whole.

It's perhaps unfair or apples-and-oranges illogical to compare "Wishing Stairs" to an American-style supernatural thriller like "Sixth Sense," "Stir of Echoes" or "The Shining," but you can't escape the feeling while watching it that it would have vastly benefited from a marked intensification of pacing and supernatural content as the film progressed. There are some very well-done scenes, like where Jin-Sung finally is confronted by So-Hee's ghost in her dorm room, then in her dorm room closet, that nevertheless fall a little flat - they play out so slowly that the audience has ample time not only to guess what's likely to happen next, but to run through memories of similar scenes from other films and guess at a number of possible outcomes. If the idea is to scare the wits out of people, the scares should be paced rapidly (and artfully) enough to where the audience has no time to anticipate them, much less to mull over other possibilities. Because nearly all of the horror aspect of the film is so muted by the pacing, "Wishing Stairs" could be more accurately classified as "a suspense drama with supernatural overtones," rather than an out-and-out horror film.

Bottom Line: On balance "Wishing Stairs" is a well-made movie that's definitely worth the trip, but disappointing for fans of solid, squirm-in-your-seat fright fests.
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could be scarier
blncub3 March 2005
i think this movie had a lot of potential to be really scary, but unfortunately it's not. for some reason it just doesn't work till the final 30 minutes. for example in the beginning i got really distracted by the bad "fat" - make up of the red haired girl, and her weird shy/crazy acting. it's supposed to explain her character, but that's about the only explanation you ever get about her. and it was obvious from the start what's gonna happen to her. if you had more emotional access to her, i think that character could have gone down as a new icon in horror movies, cause - man - this Asian girl with weird red hair could scare the sh*t out of you. later in the movie, her "shy/evil" changes are actually very well acted.

the other two girls are not bad either. but most of the time i felt like watching some Asian version of an olson twins movie...

OK, the "ring - style" girl through the window will definitely not scare you. it has been abused in too many movies now, and is not done very well here. but still the final 30 minutes will give you a nice sense of unease and slight terror.

oh, and i dare you not to get haunted by the sight and sound when the blood starts tripping through the ballet shoes at the rehearsal - god, and that girl keeps smiling. hats of to that!

so, see it if there is nothing else on, but this is no "grude" or "ring"
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A significant lack of scares.
CuriosityKilledShawn11 October 2006
Wishing Stairs is the least scary of the Yeogo Goedam films so far (I've still to see the fourth however). It's just the same old clichés of 'be careful what you wish for' done in a South Korean girls school. It's like Wishmaster gone Asian with a bit of Grange Hill thrown in for abstract measure.

The windy atmosphere is don again, the lesbian love thing is done AGAIN and the old, dusty secret room is done again too. In fact, when I think about it, this movie is nothing more than some rehashed scenes from the first two. It's not boring in any way, but is certainly not scary and not a film I could sit through again.
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Embarrassed to say that I was scared...
fuyu8939 October 2006
I was hanging out in Seoul when this movie was in the theaters there. Not speaking a word of Korean I randomly picked a movie to watch, which was this one. So I go in with my number one combo of popcorn, coke and fried squid and sit down to watch the movie. OMG for not knowing what was really going on at all I was scared out of my gourd. Mind you I was 24 at the time 6'1 200 lbs and was sitting there saying to myself 'oh god that sound means the ghost is coming, I think I have to fix my hair in front of my face as my hand coincidentally covers my eyes...' Trying to be discreet as possible about diverting my attention as the ghosts unrelentlessly appear in the scenes. The movie was cinematographically done awesome, the sound in perfect harmony with a horror movie and if you can watch it on the big screen with surround sound flooding you, you'll probably be sleeping with the lights on at night. Unfortunately I talked to a couple of friends of mine who saw the subtitled version in the privacy of their own home and said it was hardly scary and actually reminiscent of Nickalodians "Are You Afraid of the Dark". But when I saw it I was saying 'Oh sweet lord I'm going to die of a freakin heart attack if this movie doesn't end soon.'
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Worthy entry in the series despite some flaws
Verklagekasper22 November 2013
Yun Jae-yeon, the first woman to direct a movie of the Yeogo Goedam series, faced a big challenge when making Wishing Stairs. It was Yun's debut, and the two leading actresses, Song Ji-hyo and Park Han-byeol, were newcomers at that time as well. Also, Yun had to meet high expectations because Wishing Stair's predecessors, Whispering Corridors and Memento Mori, had been very successful.

Just like all of the Yeogo Goedam movies, Wishing Stairs has a closed story of its own but plays with the same themes. Again, it takes place at a girls' school, this time a school of arts. There, the main characters, Yun Jin-seong (Song) and Kim Sohee (Park), are studying ballet. They are close friends, but their friendship gets challenged when they both enter a contest for a place to study at a Russian ballet faculty. Yun Jin-seong envies her more talented friend. She works hard but just gets scolded by the teacher, whereas Kim Sohee impresses everybody with her effortless skill; she looks like the sure winner of the contest. Yun's jealousy grows till the point that she even seeks supernatural help: Campus legend has it that there is a stair case on the campus which grants a wish when you reach its last step. But as Yun climbs the stairs, the viewer already knows that this is a bad idea. For folklore tells that wishes granted by a supernatural force often come with undesirable side effects, and Wishing Stairs confirms this.

Like the previous Yeogo Goedam films, Wishing Stairs isn't a real horror movie. The supernatural serves as a vehicle to accelerate a worldly tragedy. So the movie is less about horror and more about people feeling trapped because they are unable to become the persons they want to be. This idea is stressed by the third main character, Eom. Eom is an overweight outsider, and if the other students notice her at all, it's usually just to make fun of her. She tries to escape her misery by idolizing Kim Sohee, dreaming of being her friend or perhaps even being her.

However, it is also Eom (Jo An) where direction wasn't flawless. Unlike her character, Jo happens to be pretty and slim, so she was put in a fat-suit. The problem with that approach is that viewers always notice fat-suits, no matter how well they are made. This might not be a problem in comedies, but in this drama it is a distraction. Also, Jo's performance is sometimes at the border of slapstick, which doesn't do her tragic character justice.

Another distraction was the use of an incoherent flashback. It seems an obligation for Yeogo Goedam movies to employ flashbacks to reveal dark secrets of the past, so Wishing Stairs has one flashback as well. Without spoiling too much, it's about an act of sabotage. However, that small part of the plot doesn't roll out plausibly. It causes more confusion than insight and should have been deleted entirely.

But the strengths of Wishing Stairs outweigh its flaws. The acting of Song and Park is great. The movie has a high production value. And like its predecessors, it has a certain charm and unique mix of drama and horror to it. It is a tragedy of universal nature, so viewers can relate to it even if they don't happen to be Korean teenage girls (as is the case with this old bloke). Wishing Stairs is a worthy entry in the series, which makes director Yun's debut a real accomplishment.
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No cheap jump scares is the only good thing about this.
twinkle-piyush24 September 2020
1. Movie has old cliche plot of ghost coming back to life and wreaking havoc. 2. Story lacks any depth to any character. People doing actions inconsistent to the previously played scene. Result of poor writing. 3. Two girls are best buddies and suddenly one of the turn against another because of dance competition. Now it is never known to us that why the competition is so much important to the girl that she ditches her best friend. 4. In another scene a girl wishes her dead friend to be alive. Never shown to us the connection between them. Point is story, screenplay is very weak here. 5. Only good thing in this movie is no cheap jumpscares. 6. still it is better than modern cheap horror movies like ouija etc.
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Amazing fantastic drama
danielfgagnon9 July 2013
Warning: Spoilers
Wishing Stair is the 3rd movie of the "Whispering Corridor" series which has 5 movies (Whispering Corridor, Memento Mori, Wishing Stair, Voice and A Blood Pledge). I have now seen the 5 movies and I must say this one is my favourite. The worst being "A Blood Pledge" and by far.

Plot : Wishing Stair is the story of three young women confronted by the twisted power of the fox stair. Fox spirits are well known in Asian cultures for being either way good or evil in their actions. Those 3 women will cross the easy path of wishing stair, realizing finnally that whatever your wish, it won't go as you expected.

Soo-Hee is a kind, intelligent and skilled person who seems have success in whatever she does. But behind her shiny appearance, she's unsecure and rely almost obssesivly on her friend Jin-Sung. Beside her love for ballet, the thing she loves the most is her friend Jin-Sung. She wants to be forever with her.

Jin-Sung is the contrary, she must work hard in anything she does. She loves ballet, but she's jealous of her friend Soo-Hee that is too kind with her. Jin-Sung is jealous because her friend is close to her parents, has a lot of money and is a shame that Soo-Hee is always on the giving side. Her own words "Kim Soo-Hee, I really hate you. You make me feel miserable.". Ji-SUng love her friend, but she wants to win at least once.

Hae-Ju is an outcast, being constantly bullied for being fat. The only person who seems to be nice with her is Soo-Hee. For that reason she idolize her. The only thing she wants is to have a friend.

All those secret desire will turn into a nightmare for each of them.

My commentary : This movie has really a great script that is base of the life of Asian students where people are pushed to confrontation by the society. You must be the best in anything, always. Soo-Hee is pushed by her parents to succeed in anything. She must take Ballet class because of her mother. She likes it, but it wasn't really her choice. Did you notice two huge posters with Soo-Hee's pictures? That meant she was the #1 student in school for at least 2 semester. Soo-Hee was somewhat popular at school, but only on the shallow side. Her only true friend was Jin-Sung and it was her own choice. Her love for Jin-Sung was too strong, too obsessive. Being with her friend forever makes me think that she felt more then just friendship. She was a little bossy with Jin-Sung, making her do things she don't necessary wants to do. But she showered her with gifts expecting nothing more then to be with her.

I totally understand how Jin-Sung felt. Jin-Sung really saw Soo-Hee as her best friend. But Soo-Hee was too kind with her and that bothered her. She hates to be always the one to received and the rivalry as a ballerina didn't help. She didn't meant to hurt Soo-Hee, but I see it as the work from the fox spirit. It makes do thing you didn't wanted. The only way for Jin-Sung to go legitly to the competition was to remove Soo-Hee from the competition, But her wish was granted later when she *spoiler* pushed Soo-Hee down the stair. I'm not really sure what happens to Soo-Hee. Did she commit suicide believe she had lost the only thing she cared about ? Was she killed by the fox spirit so he could grant her wish ? Anyway, I'm sure that Jin-Sung met Soo-Hee's ghost after her death in her room because of the strong emotions.

Then the poor Hae-Ju wished that Soo-Hee came back to her. But Soo-Hee's ghost is not thinking rationally as humans do. Led by the strong feelings to Jin-Sung, she takes possession of Hae-Ju's body. But Jin-Sung do not believe her. And that leaded her to her death. I don't know if Soo-Hee's plan has always been to kill Jin-Sung to be forever with her.

I liked the acting the three main actresses where great. Just unlucky that the movie was the same year as "A tale of two sisters" with the awesome acting from Lim Soo-Jung. Pak Han-Byeol was believable in her character. Song Ji-Hyo too. And Jo An did a nice performance as mimicking Han-Byeol's Soo-Hee. Excep the part where she really seems crazy. But that remind me of the scene in The Shining where Jack Nickleson break the door with an axe. It was that kind of crazyness that Jo An showed in her eyes. It might be exaggerated, but it's one of my favorite scene in the movie. Oh and Pak Han-Byeol is really, really pretty :)
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Was made much much better than Whispering corridors
Tokyo-199713 October 2010
Warning: Spoilers
I watched this movie before Whispering corridors and this movie is so much more entertaining than whispering corridors. The plot for this movie is that there are two girls who fight for the first place in a ballet competition. One of the girls pushed the other down the stairs and the girl felt betrayed sad and committed suicide. This movie deals with a friendship triangle between three girls. The idea for this movie was just great the storyline is wonderful. The beginning was slow paced. Frightening scenes only come on the second half of the movie. There was time to provide enough character development between the characters for the first half of the movie. This movie is really entertaining, and the idea of using the wishing stairs was just fantastic. This movie showed true friendship and betrayal among students. The idea used in this movie was so much better than whispering corridors which the idea was about a teacher who locked her student in the art room because of her superstition. This movie really shows what happens between friends in real life. This movie deals a little bit about Karma as well. I loved the ending of this movie.The idea that makes use of this stairs that would grant your wish was well done. The ending was really scary. The scene which showed So Hee climbing in from the window was terrifying and that scary scene was just very creatively made. However, this movie gets a little complicating towards the end and requires one to think what is happening. Other than that, this movie is highly recommended. If you like this type of movies that deals with wishes try out bedazzled. Score: 8.5/10(Wonderfully made)
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Just when it was starting to look good...
paul_haakonsen1 February 2021
One step forwards and two steps back...

That is essentially what "Whispering Corridors 3: Wishing Stairs" (aka "Yeogo goedam 3: Yeowoo gyedan") was for the "Whispering Corridors" franchise. And by that I mean that this 2003 addition to the franchise seems to slump back to the less than mediocrity that summarized the very first 1998 "Whispering Corridors" movie.

Initially then "Whispering Corridors 3: Wishing Stairs" started out with an interesting storyline and definitely had lots of potential for a good and interesting supernatural mystery here. Again, the horror elements are scarce and far in between. However, the storyline just caved in on itself given the fact that writers Soo-ah Kim, Shin-ae Lee, Soyoung Lee and Yong-Yeon Lee seemed to want too much for the movie and heading in a myriad of directions all at once. This resulted in the storyline becoming cluttered and hard to find a red thread throughout.

Little did it help on the storyline that the characters, while having potential, were essentially rather superficial and flaccid. Director Jae-yeon Yun just wasted so much opportunity to spruce up the movie by not letting more personalities shine through on the screen. Most of the characters in the movie felt mundane and faceless.

Now, I did like the concept of the stairway itself, and it definitely made room for a potentially interesting storyline. Just a real shame that it was washed away by having too many writers cluttering the concept.

The acting in "Whispering Corridors 3: Wishing Stairs" was, for the most parts, actually quite good, especially taking into consideration that many of the characters they portrayed were very monotonous and bland.

All in all, "Whispering Corridors 3: Wishing Stairs" was a less than mediocre foray into the South Korean horror genre. If you are looking for an entertaining South Korean horror movie, then your money, time and effort is better spent elsewhere, especially since there are so many entertaining horror movies to be found in the South Korean cinema.

My rating of "Whispering Corridors 3: Wishing Stairs" settles on a less than mediocre four out of ten stars, taking us right back to the original 1998 movie.
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Watch Your Step...
azathothpwiggins24 September 2020
Two girls find their friendship ruined by envy and insecurity. When one of them is seriously injured and later dies, the WISHING STAIRS come into play. The story quickly becomes an all-out, supernatural horror fest, complete with a psycho killer, a ghost, and bizarre murders. This final installment in the GHOST SCHOOL TRILOGY is my personal favorite...
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Acceptable ghostly fare with an unusual storyline
Leofwine_draca24 December 2016
Warning: Spoilers
The third in the series of South Korean ghost stories set in girls' boarding schools, WISHING STAIRS follows on chronologically from WHISPERING CORRIDORS and MEMENTO MORI although there the continuity ends. This one is completely different in scope from MEMENTO MORI, featuring a traditional Asian female ghost: white face, long dark hair, popping up in all manner of unlikely situations. One of the main draws for me is that this film's set in a special art school, where the students are all involved in artistic pursuits: sculpture, music, and, most predominantly, ballet.

Once again a love story takes centre stage, and before long tragedy takes over. The central conceit in this film is the titular flight of stone steps which sometimes grants those who climb it their wish; you can guess the results. The spectral shenanigans that ensue are highly clichéd and not particularly shuddersome, although there are a few choice moments to be found here and there for genre connoisseurs. The character of the overweight student who comes to rely on the stairs to fulfil her wishes is extremely creepy and An Jo does well in a difficult role. Okay, some moments veer into over-the-top territory, but for the most part this acceptable ghost fare.
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a simple and good movie with a brilliant acting!
lim_su_jeong5 July 2005
I bought Wishing Stairs last week and I've got to say that I loved the movie. It has a simple movie with a great things within it. First, the story, it was a good story about two best friend who broke up because of envy. Second, I liked how they make this movie, it was like an "ordinary" life like what's happening on you're school days. When I watched this movie I remember my elementary school days, I don't know why? Last, I REALLY loved An Jo here who played as Hae-Jun! I loved her acting, her face especially when her hair turns black, everything I loved her in this movie! She also make me laugh! This was a movie I will never forget!
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Yes Virginia, Bad Asian horror exists...
ManicMuse10 August 2005
This movie is simply bad. The plot drags on. The chick in the fat suit overacts more than Jim Carey doing a comic bit. I already knew the ending 10 minutes into the film, and waiting to get there was torture. This film stands on it's own having nothing to do with the preceding films in this 'series'. All 3 are set in all girl schools where bad things happen. This film seems to take elements from the first two mediocre films, but the result is nonsense. There are a few interesting scenes (a painful to watch dance sequence that was great), but most are scenes you have seen a million times before - and some are blatant ripoffs (of The Ring, The Shining, Bucket of Blood, Showgirls (lol)... just to name a few).

Unless you have a penchant for catty jealous girls, obsessive girls in 'like', or both - IGNORE this film.

*steps on the 29th step* "I wish I didn't waste my time watching this movie."

I guess not every wish comes true
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watch this movie...or whatever
jstakutis24 October 2006
my friend was in Seoul, Korea when he saw this and he said that this movie was so scary that he thought he was going to die. well i wouldn't go that far but it had its scenes. he had introduced me to foreign films, most of which i liked, namely "my sassy girl" which is by far the best romantic comedy...ever. i actually saw that movie with my two friends while eating ice cream in the dark. wishing stairs had a nice long buildup to a climax, good character development, and some good twists at the end. although it wasn't a blood bath horror movie like most of the American movies that are around, it was good enough to entertain an open mind. if you don't like foreign movies than you will be out of luck. if you want a bloodbath comedy go watch toxic avenger, if you want to get a little freaked out, watch the wishing stairs and get some fried squid and pop corns.
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This movie should have gone further and hit harder
kluseba6 May 2011
The third part of the loosely bound "Yeogo goedam" series is a mixture of the first and the second movie. It takes some suspense and horror elements from the first and best part of the series and the dramatic and romantic fragments of the much weaker second movie. What eventually comes out is a mostly dark, well played and entertaining movie that still lacks of something to ultimately convince. I would say that I missed some really haunting, frightening or intense scenes. I would also say that the third part adds nothing new to the series. Another negative point is that the end is not much surprising and I was expecting something deeper or darker on both an emotional and a suspenseful level.

The main idea of this third strike is quite great. A legend goes that if you climb the twenty eight steps leading up to the women's art school dormitory where this movie takes place, counting each step aloud, and find a twenty ninth, a spirit will appear and grant you a wish. Now, you can imagine how school girls might abuse of this legend and you have a big scenario of jealousy, mobbing, treachery, broken friendships and love stories in mind. Sadly, the movie only scratches the surface of it and basically focuses on three or four personalities. The dynamics between these characters are only of a slight interest as there is only a strong connection between the two main actresses, the one that created evil and the one that lived the evil. This relation is not enough to carry this movie on and make it be more than just an enjoyable and entertaining movie.

It's a good movie to be watched once but I wouldn't give it another try as it didn't really impress, touch or inspire me. I really feel that this movie should have gone further with its intriguing initial idea. This movie could have been more complex, more human and more creepy and should have hit harder. The director and producers really missed a good occasion to push this movie on the same level as the popular first flick but the ultimately failed. The third strike is allover still slightly better than the second one that had gone nowhere. But the third part is even less memorable in its uniqueness as the previous one at some points and overall of an average quality. This movie is entertaining and has a couple of enjoyable drama, suspense and romance moments but the part don't glue and fit together like a puzzle and you can feel many ups and downs of quality throughout the whole movie.

I would only suggest watching this movie to the collectors and true fans of the series, anybody else might be alright just watching the first flick. Nevertheless, I am heading out for the fourth part that got some good critics very soon in the hope that this one equals the first part.
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Not quite up to the level of the first two films in the series
bensonmum24 March 2006
Yeogo goedam 3 (Wishing Stairs) is a sequel in name only. Other than the setting of the film (an all-girl's school in Korea), it has very little to do with the other films in the series. In this one, there is a staircase on the school grounds that the students believe is magical. The staircase has 28 steps. When you reach the top, if a 29th step appears, it will grant your wish. When one of the girls is killed in a fall, another of the girls uses the magical staircase to wish her friend back to life. But she gets more than she bargained for.

As with the other films in the series, Wishing Stairs is very well made. The directors of this film are able to get some very nice performances out of the mostly unknown and unexperienced cast. Technically the film is very sound with some nice cinematography as the highlight. The special effects are well done and help create some very creepy moments. Overall, it's a nice installment to the series.

But, I haven't rated Wishing Stairs as high as I did the previous two films. Why? It's a little too formalistic and unoriginal. One of the elements that made Wishing Corridors and Memento Mori memorable is the subtle use of horror. In contrast, the horror is more obvious in Wishing Stairs. At times it seems like one set piece after the next with nothing of substance pushing the plot along. As for unoriginal, if you've seen Ringu, you've seen one of the big moments in this movie. Wishing Stairs has a very pale girl with long black hair crawling in jerky motions through a window. Sound familiar?
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Somewhat decent if not entirely spectacular entry
kannibalcorpsegrinder24 November 2015
After a tragic accident, a young ballerina and her friends at an exclusive boarding school are tormented by a malicious spirit when one of the students discovers a legendary wish-granting staircase on campus.

When this one really wanted to, there was some good stuff here. One of the biggest points here is that the central premise to this is rather nice, and appears to go much deeper than it seems at first glance. It appears to be a set of events unleashed by a wish gone wrong, but the difference is the inclusion of the titular stairs acting as a catalyst rather than just having the ghost appear otherwise. It works in a nice explanatory back-story as well that gives it another distinctive flavor by mixing in the mythological with the rational and makes it effective. There's also some really nice haunting scenes mainly during the middle segments with the few short ghostly hauntings which are great at building suspense which include the one where real eyes appear in a clay model at art class or the ghost visits one in the bathroom by constantly changing which mirror they're shown in. That is thankfully made-up for with a longer, later sequence that starts off nicely with a creepy bloody shower scene before showing the dorm losing lights amidst a sea of ghostly flashes twirling around while performing a ballet routine in perhaps the best sequence in the film. The main sequence where it goes after the dance-class members in the dorm is quite well-done as well and rather creepy as the atmosphere during most of these scenes makes this quite enjoyable and highly entertaining. Along with being another entry in the Asian ghost genre where this features the utterly creepy fully- covered face and pale features and some rather impressive kills, these here are what make the film enjoyable although there was a couple points about this one that managed to hold it down. Frankly, the biggest problem with this one is the fact that there's so many different subplots going on that it really makes the film quite long and dull- feeling at times due to the excessive amount of time spent on the various different subplots that aren't all that great. It's really not all that exciting to showcase the lesbian vibe here between the two leads, as it's nothing more than a tease and the scenes featuring them aren't really all that interesting, and the film's numerous scenes of them in dance class or at competitions aren't even close to be interesting or exciting which just drags the beginning of this out to the point that it's irritating waiting for it to get going and actually do something during these times, as it doesn't really have much else going for it. Another big plot that doesn't do much is the storyline with the slightly overweight member, as this is the definition of a go- nowhere plot since it doesn't factor into the film's outcome at all, is so obvious where it's heading the shock doesn't register and eats up valuable time during the period of time that's supposedly building up to the finale which could've been much better. The last flaw to this one is that the ending here is a little confusing, as the encounter in the dance hall and resulting chase are built around one person while the revelation out at the stairs proves otherwise, making it a little confusing. These here are what hold it down.

Rated R: Graphic Violence and Language.
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Disturbing Images Plague Viewers and Characters Alike when Wishes are made on the Stairs
totalovrdose25 January 2015
So-hee (Han-byeol Park) is a beautiful and naturally gifted prima ballerina at a South Korean all girls high school, dedicated to the arts, who isn't only sociable and popular, but the envy of many other students, including the chubby and pathetic Eom Hye-ju (An Jo). So-hee's closest friend Jin-seong (Ji-hyo Song) however, is unable to return her compassion. Lacking the same degree of talent, Jin-seong's jealousy and competitive attitude lead her to the wishing stairs, which, as legend has it, will grant those who ascend them, while simultaneously counting, the opportunity to ask for their most heartfelt desire, an unidentifiable spirit known as the Fox providing them their wish if their dedication proves satisfactory.

Dire ramifications await those who use the wishing stairs, with even the best intentioned dreams, once realized, having nightmarish results. Much like the previous installments, Wishing Stairs, the third film in the Whispering Corridors franchise, is a standalone feature, concerning friendship, loyalty, betrayal, jealousy, love, and implied homosexuality. The feature evokes emotions found in the film's predecessor's, including a deep sadness, and despite having a number of good jump scares, the horror exhibited in the feature is often efficaciously conveyed through images, tone and sound.

Similar sounds and scores occur over the duration of the film which prepare audiences for an impending fright, the use of these cinematic tactics been less of a warning, and rather incites dread as the film progresses. The sight of ghosts in this film is far more disturbing than in previous installments, as the once beautiful atmosphere, represented through both the characters and the environment, becomes nefariously dark.

The acting in this film is especially fantastic, and director Jae-yeon Yun's vision for the project accentuates the ambiance of a once neutral location, into a place of unnerving fear. Unlike its predecessors, the characters of Wishing Stairs are not always likable, and can in fact be unsympathetic and repulsive as their actions lead them farther from the audience's appreciation. This is, in part, exaggerated by the violence, which becomes more pronounced as the feature progresses, although never does the film fall into the trap of relying too heavily on this particular content.

Where the last films left the viewer thinking long after the credits were over, Wishing Stairs does not require the same level of attention, exchanging the intellectual conversations that might have occurred after the original features with a sense of ongoing despair. Hardly a nice film, Wishing Stairs reveals how some things are not supposed to be, while some sacrifices are just too great.

If you wish, you can procure this film, Whispering Corridors and Memento Mori in the Ghost School Trilogy, a collection that will prove to be a worthwhile investment.
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Not very interestingly done movie.
Boba_Fett113830 August 2011
The Yeogo goedam movies aren't necessarily connected. Each feature different characters and different locations, though the setting is always at a school and features a similar sort of premise. It is obvious that this movie tried to be like the second entry out of the series, using a similar sort of build up and approach to the story but it's definitely not as good or effective with it.

Problem is that the movie just never becomes really that interesting to watch. It really isn't a very involving movie, which is due to its lacking characters and directing approach by Jae-yeon Yun.

The movie is obviously deliberately picking a slow approach, to build up its tension. It however feels far too stretched out, which again, is really due to the fact that the movie never really becomes an interesting or involving one. The long shots of people staring got old and annoying pretty fast, especially when nothing is really happening in the movie. It takes an hour or so to finally pick up some pace and for the movie to become a real horror movie. Far too late and it besides feels too much out of tone with the overall atmosphere and approach of the first hour of the movie. In that regard this movie is also being a lot like the first movie, out of its long running series.

So yes, besides not being that interesting to watch, the movie is also really a lackluster. Lovers of Asian horror cinema can also definitely pass on this movie. There really is not all that much to enjoy for the fans of horror. No tension, no scares, no good mystery. No, this movie is definitely a failed attempt to try to recreate the success formula of the second movie.

The story itself features too many sidetracks that don't really get developed properly enough. Seems to me that the writer was having some difficulties coming up with a story for a full length movie and therefore came up with all kinds of thin plot lines and characters, that really don't add any real depth and surely don't make the movie any more interesting to follow. It's often a bad sign when a movie has lots of writers involved but in this case it probably wouldn't had harmed the script if it had received some help from some more and other writers, or some rewrites by better and more experienced people.

It really isn't a very well made movie.It never finds the right approach and pace for its story and also never becomes effective with its build up and pay off. It's all lacking a true horror film director's touch. I'm still sure a somewhat more capable director could had managed to make this a more effective, or at least more interesting. genre movie to watch.


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