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It s Mi-sun s first day as a rail attendant. Her assignment is
an overnight trip through Korea, and she s understandably nervous. But it s not the motley group of passengers that has her feeling uneasy, it s the train itself. Some of the cars on the train were involved in a devastating crash 16 years earlier, in which100 people died. Now, the train is rumored to be haunted!
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When a train wrecks and kills scores of people, it's just not a good idea to incorporate some of the less-damaged passenger cars into another train. Of course, economics has a way of overcoming superstition and common sense. When that second train takes its last journey on the same tracks the wrecked train took, you can't help but have some ghost train manifestations. Thus, it's no surprise that a couple of young ghost hunters, one of whom can see dead people, book passage on this final journey, or that certain other individuals connected to the tragedy also turn up in one way or another. Attendant Mi-Sun (Shin-yeong Jang) traded gigs in order to be there, even though it's her birthday. We don't know exactly why at first, but her connection to the train is made pretty clear by her ability (or curse) to see things that no one else sees - such as a creepy little boy artist and a ghostly supervisor with a bloody checklist who tells her that everyone on board is going to die.
Part of the confusion some viewers may carry away from Redeu-ai stems from the fact that there is more than one train involved in this story. One leaves the station, and just minutes later we see a late-arriving newlywed couple board another train. This second train has only a handful of passengers, so it's a little disarming when the film starts switching between the two - but not to worry because the twain (no pun intended, unless you think it's funny) is fated to become one after the first train makes a temporary emergency stop.
If you're looking for visceral horror, you won't find it here. Redeu-ai is a genuine ghost story with deliciously creepy overtones, the kind of film only being made in Asia these days. It may incorporate elements of films you've seen before, but those elements are brought together beautifully and the train setting helps define the film's individual identity. This isn't a must-see Asian horror film, but it's definitely worth seeing for those who appreciate a good, suspenseful ghost story.
This is a fairly decent ghost story. It takes a long time to develop and in the end I still had to question the why and wherefore of the sequence of events leading up to the accident.
Currently available as part of an Asian 6-pack.