Ok, so this Korean horror movie faired a bit better than Arang did-for me at least. It was definietly not as confusing but I could have done without the twist and it probably could have ended about 30 minutes earlier.
The film opens with a schoolgirl in a subway station waiting for her friend to arrive. She soon notices a pair of "red" shoes. I say "red" because they were clearly pink and before you judge I don't think it was my screen because another time someone was wearing a red dress and the shoes next to that dress were most definitely pink so I'm renaming this movie the Pink Shoes.
Ummm where was I....oh yes so she finds these pink shoes and puts them on and then her friend surprises her, notices the shoes and gets this crazy look in her eye. They fight over the shoes with the friend winning and she goes on her way. Then there's some noise or something and the girl screams and we find that her feet have been cut off.
The movie then follows Sun-jae who has a daughter and a husband. One day after losing her daughter, Sun-jae runs home to look for her there. She find her husband in bed with another woman and we assume she soon divorces him and moves into a new apartment with her daughter. One night on the subway Sun-jae finds the pink shoes. Her daughter becomes insanely jealous of the shoes and fights over them with her mother. Sun-Jae's friend comes over one night and takes the shoes from the daughter and then is soon killed on the street. In both this case and the girl from the beginning the shoes were taken from the scene of the murder.
So periodically we get this flashback of a ballet dancer wearing the same pink shoes. Another girl often looks on in utter jealously. By the end we find that the jealous girl had killed the girl with the pink shoes and taken the shoes. So we assume these shoes are like a sort of ghost that contain jealously that is capable to kill. Anyone who takes the shoes from the owner soon dies.
There are a lot of good scares in this and for the most part they are pretty stereotypical asian horror scares i.e. scary girls with young hair popping up. But I mean I'm pretty sure those will never stop being scary so whatever I'm all for it. I'm also not ashamed to say I screamed out loud one time albeit quietly-but I totally screamed. I just really hate those creepy girls OH and creepy old ladies...gah fuck them.
So the twist. Ooooh twists. I think the movie would have been fine had the horror stopped after Sun-Jae buried the shoes with the dead body of the ballet dancer girl. But no no everything has to have a twist these days. It's the kind of twist I tend not to like because it completely ruins any hope that there was an actual ghost killing people. When it turns out to be a real person murdering people-I mean where is the fun in that? Yes it was more of a psychological horror movie but I'm sick of these people being on your good side and then they suddenly remember they killed all those people. We were there for these people when scary long haired ghost girls were after them and they repay us by being the murderer? Frickin Lame.
It was still pretty entertaining but I think it put too much reliance into the whole twist thing. I did enjoy the little nod to the fairy-tale which also reminds me of The Rite of Spring- you know the dance till you die thing. Very very cool. And there was also some really great music choices, cinematography and imagery scattered throughout that I whole heartedly enjoyed. For instance the last flashback scene was incredibly beautiful in a grotesque way (my favorite kind of way!) On IMDB some people over analyze this movie and talk about every character being some kind of alternate personality of Sun-jae and there's like some molestation involved and whatever but I don't buy it. You'll just have to see it and figure out what you think- but it is a very layered film with endless possibilities of what it could mean and what it does mean.
Buy The Red Shoes at Horror Movie Empire