11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
To most jaded movie goers (especially those most interested in horror films) The Red Shoes is too little too late. Possessed shoes? Mysterious deaths? Twist endings? It's all been done before, and so many times in so many ways before. But I think this film has taken the ghost horror movie idea and just made a better film.
As is the beginning of all horror movies, a frighteningly first scene (watch it for yourself). Then we are introduced to Sun-jae, her mean husband, and their daughter Tae-su. Sun-jae is striving to be a good wife, mom, worker like most modern women, but her husband is less than appreciative. In fact, he thinks it is silly that she wants to wear red at her age (what's up with that? This is the hint so the audience knows this guy is a cruel loser). After she finds him in a compromising position, we next see Sun-jae and Tae-su as they move out and start a life on their own. All is plodding along, until one day Sun-jae finds a pair of red (fuchsia) shoes in a subway car. After she brings the shoes home her whole world changes, she gains confidence until everyone around seems to go insane.
This movie reminded me instantly of Dark Water, but The Red Shoes is so much better than Dark Water! If you like Asian horror films or American horror films give this a try. And if you like interesting movies with twists and crazy action, then you too should try this film. I am glad I saw it. It still haunts me...
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on February 9, 2007
"The Red Shoes," is not a bad film; and for those who are new to the Korean horror, suspense, or thriller genre you may like this film. For me however, the film is very unoriginal. I have seen this type of stylistic suspense film already in too many Korean films. Throw in beautiful cinematography, some classical music: maybe Vivaldi, Bach, Mozart and perhaps Beethoven, and weave a psychological twist in the film and there you have it! Well not quite. I believe the reviewer below, [KURT W.] gave a very good description [AND PROBLEM] of the Korean horror film today. This is not a bad film, however, it's not a very good film either. Yet, it will appeal to some viewers.
There was a time when I would usually purchase a Tartan DVD almost immediately, as I found many of them were pretty darn good. But with so many alike, this began to get a little old. I think the film is good, and many will probably like the film. However, I also believe that you can pretty much figure out the film almost from the beginning in many of these Korean horror and suspense films [Not that this is a bad thing]. If you see a ghost, an angry spirit or some other supernatural occurance, this will later be explained [sometimes ambiguously] at the end of the film. The film "Acacia" would be typical of this type of an example.
I think the appeal of these types of films are mainly due to the fact that so many American horror/suspense films are so bad [usually] that these films seem to resonate with many American viewers. And this is a pretty bad indictment on our film industry. The film has very good color and camera visuals which one will find appealing. Also, there are some very good creepy scenes in the film. But if you have seen many of these types of films as I have, then you basically know what to expect at the end. I guess I am looking for something different. With the great skills of the directors and cinematographers, I believe they can come up with something different for a change. Once again, the film is not bad. However, it is still the same old formula used in so many other Korean films. Recommend with caution, however, it will appeal to some viewers.
15 of 20 people found the following review helpful
Since there is already a plot description here on Amazon I'll skip past the rehash and just give my views on the movie.
At one point Asia was the top spot for horror films in particular Japan. Non-horror movies coming out of Asia were also making a big impact in the States. Now South Korea has come up and is probably getting more attention than Japan.
But right now Asian horror is having some trouble. The ghost story is really at the end of the line now.
While there are other horror movies being produced in Asia and released here it really is their ghost stories that seem to dominate. The last few I have seen my only thought is so what?
It's sort of like slasher films, while Halloween wasn't the first of it's kind it was the first to make a huge profit and by 1980 it seems slashers dominated the horror world. And like the ghost movies at first it was fine. You could put your own twist on it.
But after so many movies later there wasn't anything you could do to be different. The only thing slashers had keeping them going is the violence and gore.
Don't get me wrong I don't think a horror film must have that to be good, but when there is nothing different about your movie and it's the same thing as past flicks at least we have something to look forward to.
The Red Shoes isn't a bad movie by any means it just came out a little too late in the ghost story sub-genre. The one major difference between The Red Shoes and other Asian ghost flicks is the gore.
While not a bloodbath there is a steady flow of the red stuff, but it's not overdone.
Now in the Asian ghost movie we seem to have possessed things. In another South Korean flick called Cello we had a possessed Cello and now we have possessed shoes (funny it's called The Red Shoes when they look pink to me).
Though possessed shoes might sound a bit lame director Yong-gyun Kim handles it right and it doesn't come out as silly or over the top. Though what I would like to know is why do these shoes make people obsessed with wearing them?
I suppose it really doesn't matter I guess, but a slight explanation would have been nice. The Red Shoes does follow the basic formula of such flicks as Ju-on and Ringu and owes a lot to Dark Water.
The Red Shoes at times can be slow moving when not a whole lot is happening, but director Yong-gyun Kim is able to keep things moving at a decent pace so it never gets too boring.
The final act is what salvages The Red Shoes; there is some good suspense there, but if only the whole movie could have been like that. It's the final act is the main reason I'll give this movie 3 stars.
Unlike most Asian horror movies, which normally have a twist ending you have to think about to try and make sense of it, The Red Shoes also has a twist ending, but isn't nearly as confusing as others.
For those new to Asian horror flicks and assuming you like what you see The Red Shoes will probably entertain you, but there are better flicks out there. For those like me who have seen a lot, well it's pretty much the same movie we have seen before.
Had The Red Shoes come out sooner it would have worked a lot better. So far the last few Asian ghost flicks I have seen while none of been poorly made they just lack the originality these flicks once had.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
The Red Shoes (Yong-gyun Kim, 2005)
If you're going to adapt a fairy tale these days, the obvious choice is Andersen's The Red Shoes, what with the current click-lit shoe obsession. Kim does so here. Unfortunately, I have to review a cut version of the film; the directors' cut has never (as of this writing) been released outside of Korea.
Sun-jae (Three... Extremes: II's Hye-su Kim) is a young career woman on the verge of opening her own optical center. Her young daughter, Tae-su (Yeon-ah Park, in her screen debut), wants to become a ballet dancer, and is attending dancing school. One evening, Sun-jae finds a pair of red shoes in the subway and takes them home-- but soon comes to realize that death follows in the shoes' wake.
Okay, yeah, so "adapt" is a loose term there. (The actual fairy tale, Andersen-style, is much more closely followed during a flashback sequence near the end of the movie.) Still, it's not a bad little film; Kim has given us some decent, if not fully-fleshed, characters. The main problem with it is that it's pretty obvious that Kim had seen Hideo Nakata's Dark Water not long before he began shooting here; there's a great deal of similarity in setting and atmosphere. If you can overlook that, however, it's not a bad way to kill an hour and a half. ** ½
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on July 13, 2008
The Red Shoes uses every J-Horror (and K-Horror) motif we've seen many times before. Most notably the young, attractive, professional female lead who's got a cheating husband and a daughter that goes freaky. Its plot is constructed around some thing that connects the natural and supernatural worlds via the kid. There's a hip, interested, and understanding 'other man' hanging around, helping when he can. The infamous J-Horror Goth Chick even makes appearances. If all this is a deal breaker with regards to your viewing pleasure, skip this one. If it's not, then add it your queue immediately.
The red shoes, usually referred to with the singular it in this film, are really more of a fuchsia pink set of come find me pumps. The Red is surely meant to symbolize blood, as in "blood on your hands", but I digress.
It's the production values of The Red Shoes that make it worthwhile. This is a good looking film whose creators clearly cared about doing it well. The cinematography is creepy and creative, accentuating the sense of dread with distortions, colors and inspired scene locations. The soundtrack is understated and almost peaceful--it's not used to create tension where none exists. And the script, typical of Asian Horror, is loose enough for the viewer to choose from a number of interpretive styles: is it a dream, a figment of some dreadful imagination, or is everybody a different aspect of a multiple personalty? The Red Shoes doesn't break any new ground but if you are a fan of the genre this is a professionally put together package.
"The Red Shoes" is actually a decent addition to the Asian horror genre and has commendable production values[ excellent cinematography, good casting, creepy sound effects], but is let down by a lack of originality and also an ending that stretches out too long and could have done with better editing.
The story centers around an optometrist, Sun-jae (Kim Hye-soo] who is married with a young daughter, Tae-soo [Park Yeon-Ah]. When she finds her husband with another woman in their home, she leaves him, taking Tae-Soo with her. Meanwhile, Sun-Jae comes into possession of a pair of 'red' [fuchsia actually] shoes on a subway train and finds herself captivated by them. The shoes are also coveted by Tae-Soo who up till now has been a model child, but strangely starts throwing tantrums and acting mutinuous in order to keep the shoes. Very soon, strange things start occurring, and people who come into contact with the shoes start dying. Sun-Jae, together with the new man in her life slowly start to figure out the shoes' mysterious connection to a past tragedy and how this has a tremendous impact on their current circumstances.
The story itself plays out quite well, building up sufficiently interesting plot twists to keep viewers glued to the screen. However, as the plot unfolds, those who are familiar with other Asian horror movies start to see some obvious similarities in plot devices - mother-daughter dynamics and the red backpack that wont go away in Dark Water, the use of music to build up the story like in Cello etc. Though this doesn't detract too much from appreciating the movie, it does indicate a lack of originality, especially for fans of Asian horror who have been exposed to so much of the same.
That being said, I did like this movie, right up until the ending - and then, it seemed to drag on and on for no good reason. It definitely could have used better direction and editing. All in all though, this is worth a watch for those who like Asian horror [this is a Korean movie], but perhaps Asian horror newbies might better appreciate it than seasoned horror fans.
on October 10, 2010
A struggling single mother finds a beautiful pair of red shoes on the subway. The shoes give her a new found confidence, but with it comes a terrible price. Sun-jae, along with anyone else who wears the shoes, is overcomes with anger, rage, and greed before being completely possessed by the spirit that inhabits the shoes. THE RED SHOES is another chilling ghost tale out of Korea from the post-RINGU era of Asian Horror. The film's story structure clearly draws from RINGU, while many of the scenes have been blatantly lifted from other recent successes like THE EYE or JU-ON. That isn't to say that it is a cheap imitation necessarily, since it also manages to create the same creepy, understated scares and sinister mood as its progenitor. Where it is vastly different from the other films is in the tremendous amount of blood and gore that fills each of the death scenes, which is quite unheard of in these types of pictures. Yong-gyun Kim's biggest misstep as the director involves the way he randomly injects the backstory into the plot without clearly identifying the shift in characters or timeline, which is often very disorienting and halts the forward progression of the film. Hye-su Kim and Seong-su Kim shine through despite the muddled plot, and give the film a true sense of character with two strong performances as the lead protagonists. Derivative as it may be, THE RED SHOES holds enough interest and visual style to attract the fans of the other great Asian ghost stories.
I Like Horror Movies
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on February 21, 2014
The story is ehh. There could have been more horror but overall it was an alright watch. It'd be a good rental
on June 15, 2012
First, the red shoes in question are actually a hot pink. But I suppose that didn't make for a good title. Second, this is just another annoying example of being led in one direction only to be abruptly told that what you just saw wasn't actually what you just saw, it was another thing entirely. Which makes this less a ghost story and more a parable of bad taste. Those were really ugly shoes.
on March 1, 2014
I ordered this as a gift for my daughter. I'd seen the movie The Red Shoes and thought she'd love this different slant on the movie. I hope she enjoys it. i want to see it too.