The film Wishing Stairs is yet another in a growing
stream (or one might say - flood) of oriental horror flicks
that's made their way to North America. While most seem to
fall into line with the likes of Ringu,
with spiritual monsters taking their revenge, some fall into
different areas of action. Much like the Urban Legends
movies, Wishing Stairs deals with an urban legend that
ends up bringing the world of a private school into a violent
Leading up to the school is a set of 28 steps. If you count
each step as you take it, a 29th step will appear and the
person is allowed to make a wish. But in a Monkey's Paw-like
twist, how the wish is executed is based on the intention
of the wish maker. Of course, if wishes were made with good
intentions, there wouldn't be much to this movie, now would
At the beginning of the movie, two friends are trying out
for the ballet recital, when jealousy rears its ugly head.
When a fellow student who was once obese turns up thin, claiming
she made a wish to be thin, the scorned friend wishes to be
in the ballet recital. This leads an accident where her friend
can no longer dance and her eventual suicide. In turn, this
leads to further macabre developments with the wishing stairs
that turns towards the return of the dead and a disturbing
realization of revenge.
The cinematography is a bit strange but it works with the
oddball telling of the story. When events turn for the worse,
you'll be treated to a deranged view of the victims and survivors.
I feel that Wishing Stairs falls in line with Uzumaki
in that it's oddity works in its favor, but not so much that
it drags the movie down.
Acting is at times pretty good, but at other times, quite
predictable. Odd characters tend to be overblown and some
emotions feel a bit too forced. There are scenes that deliver
with a fine impact by both the way they're acted and by the
way they're directed.
If I can hold anything against Wishing Stairs, besides
the uneven performances, is that fact that it tends to drag
on too long and there seems to be too many side events that
could have been easily paired down to make the main story
seem less frayed. If they had trimmed a few characters out
and focused more on the characters that affect the main story
path, the overall plot would have been a lot stronger.
Wishing Stairs is a good diversion that doesn't stand
out too far from the rest of the genre. It does offer a different
means to its horror and those looking to get something different
that dark haired girls crawling out of wells should rent this
one for some enjoyment.