Extra! Korea

June 18, 2009

Movie “Whispering Corridors 5: A Blood Pledge” receives 18+ rating because of suicide pact scene

Filed under: movies, suicide — extrakorea @ 4:03 am

If you’re familiar with Korean movies, you probably know that one of the most famous and successful series of movies has been “Whispering Corridors” and its many sequels: Memento Mori, Wishing Stairs, and Ghost Voice. (Though it’s not part of the series, Bunshinsaba is very similar.) All of them are horror movies that take place within girls’ high schools, and deal with topics that are often taboo. The first in the series outraged teachers because it depicted an enraged teacher beating up students. At that time, however, such things definitely existed and the movie merely portrayed something that the viewers were already familiar with (if not had actually experienced).
The fifth movie in the series, “A Blood Pledge,” has received an 18+ rating from the Korea Media Rating Board (KMRB) because of a scene in which a group of schoolgirls pledge to commit suicide together. (Later in the movie, one of them does kill herself. Her ghost then begins to torment the other, surviving members for not following through on their promise.) The rating was given because of the fear that the scene would inspire copycat suicides (called the “Werther effect” in Korea) in young students. (One young woman did, in fact, commit a copycat suicide after ex-president Roh Moo-hyun killed himself.)

Edit/Updates:

—> Here is a review of the movie. It’s not very positive, but then again, the author didn’t like any of the other three sequels very much either. I, on the other hand, thought that “Wishing Stairs” was a very well-made horror movie, so I still intend to see “A Blood Pledge” myself and make my own judgment.

—> Also, Korea Beat has translated an article which discusses the question: “Why do Korean ghosts always seem to be female?”

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