The Book of Corpses
In episode 4 of School Tales the Series Season 1, a school library contains sordid secrets. We see a brief image of a girl and a tentacled monster in a library. The monster then forces its tentacles into the girl’s mouth as the girl screams.
A woman later picks up “The Book of Corpses” from the floor. “Once upon a time,” a narrator says, “there was a girl who wished for a friend… who would stay by her side.”
In the present day, a student named Saiparn transfers to a new school. She quickly finds herself the subject of harsh bullying–particularly by a girl named Kaew.
Saiparn starts taking refuge in the library with librarian Narin. There, she hears her named whispered and discovers a book entitled “The Book of Corpses.”
Narin shares strange stories with Saiparn. One, of a man who disappeared from their school; the last place he was seen was in this library. Another, of a former student named Ploypoom who was tragically bullied. Other students locked her in the bathroom above the library, where no one discovered her for three months. The girl only had “The Book of Corpses,” in which she wrote of her pain.
Saiparn later runs into a janitor, who transports bottles of tissue-preserving chemicals to the science department. She wonders how she smelled that chemical in the library.
Too curious about the story of Ploypoom, Saiparn goes up to the toilets upstairs. There, Kaew and her friends find her, hit her, throw her inside the bathroom, and lock her in. Saiparn sees the image of a girl appear in the mirror, from which blood starts to stream. She screams until Narin finds her and takes her back to the library.
Saiparn reads from “The Book of Corpses,” and is transported to Ploypoom’s own experiences of being locked in the bathroom. She draws images of her bullies dying. “With friends like you, I’d rather have none,” she says before slitting her own throat.
Saiparn asks Narin what happened to the bullies. According to the librarian, they were arrested and interrogated, and killed each other in the cell. They died just as Ploypoom wrote in her book.
Saiparn wonders if whatever is written in the book comes true. She hears whispers to “kill her,” so she starts writing about Kaew, who is still bullying her intensely and even cut her hair.
Later, she sees Kaew holding the scissors she cut Saiparn’s hair with. She’s crying, and her arms move like a puppet’s. She slaps her own face and slams her head into the ground before slitting her throat with the scissors–her actions all guided by ghost corpses.
Panicking, Saiparn runs to the library. She comes across a story written by Narin in “The Book of Corpses.” She learns that the teacher didn’t disappear. Narin had him killed by the book. Screaming, Saiparn then comes across Narin as she’s injecting a chemical into her bare and graying scalp.
Narin tells her how she was isolated when she first became a teacher. The man who died abused and assaulted her, causing her to want to die. But in fact, he deserved to die. She thinks Saiparn understands this; she wanted the same for Kaew.
But Saiparn doesn’t. She claims she didn’t really want Saiparn to die. She’s scared now. What happens to those who write in the book?
Narin says she had to trade her body and her soul. A flashback shows the first scene again. The girl was Narin.
Now, Narin transforms into a hideous monster. Heads of corpses emerge from her body, forcing tentacle-like appendages into Saiparn’s mouth.
“In the end,” the narrator says, “that girl got her wish and found friends who would stay by her side forever.”
A few years later, another student enters the library. She’s handed “The Book of Corpses” by Saiparn, who instructs her to give it a try.
The Episode Review
From director Nuttapong Wongkaveepairoj, the sixth installment of School Tales has a few similarities to the second. Whispers from a mysterious entity, drawing an unsuspecting student to a cursed item.
“The Book of Corpses” takes several different turns, however, climaxing in a transformation of eldritch abominations. The episode does well to drop a few hints that lead up to this pivotal scene, although the transformation is slightly spoiled by overt dramatics and bad effects.
The way the ending connects to the beginning of the episodes forms a nice symmetry–one that ensures a chilling and vicious cycle.