Film / The Red Shoes (2005)

The Red Shoes (Hangul: 분홍신, Revised Romanization Bunhongshin) is a 2005 horror film written and directed by Kim Yong-gyun. Kim Yong-gyun was inspired by the fairy tale of the same name by Hans Christian Andersen, where a vain stepdaughter could not stop dancing in her enchanted red shoes.

Set in Seoul, Sun-jae leaves her unfaithful husband and moves into an old apartment with her daughter, Tae-su. One night when Sun-jae is returning home, she finds a pair of red shoes in a subway car and takes them home, only to discover that they are cursed. Her obsession grows, arousing envy and greed with mysterious, nightmarish visions. Even Sun-jae’s daughter and one of her friends, Kim-mi Hee, fall victim to the power of the shoes, resulting in hysteria and theft of the shoes.

With help from her new boyfriend In-cheol, Sun-jae tries to discover the mystery behind the red shoes before it gets her and her daughter killed.

This film contains examples of the following tropes:

  • Eye Scream: Sun-jae's friend gets her eye popped out, and The Reveal at the end shows that Sun-jae murdered her husband by jamming a stiletto heel into his eye.
  • Gainax Ending: Does Tae-soo actually die? Was Sun-jae influenced by the ghost to kill? Was there even a ghost to begin with?
  • Gorn: Not used very often, but present in the opening train station scene, as well as a few of the death scenes.