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.
If you liked THE RED SHOES, check out:
RINGU, JU-ON, THE EYE.