The Red Shoes

                                                            

 

                            

 

The film opens with a short-haired girl waiting for a friend in a subway station. She suddenly notices a pair of pink shoes at the very edge of the platform. As she approaches them slowly, eerie music plays in the background until she is startled by another girl who seems to appear almost out of nowhere. The shoes mysteriously end up already on the short-haired girl's feet as she explains that just found them sitting there. The other girl coldly claims that the shoes are hers, as she saw them first, and the two begin to fight. Eventually, the second girl shoves the short-haired girl onto the ground, and walks away with the shoes, which later end up on her feet just as mysteriously as before. Seeming happy and completely unlike her behaviour when when she was fighting over the shoes, she walks down an abandoned corridor leading out of the subway until she hears footsteps behind her. She turns around and gets a terrified look on her face as something rushes towards her, knocking her to the ground. We see that shoes are some distance away from her, filled with black liquid that disappears. The girl again looks horrified, but this time with her eyes fixed in the direction of the shoes. She begins to scream, and as the camera pulls away, we find her feet cut off at the ankles.

After a scene of a mysterious woman dancing, the protagonist, Sun-jae (Kim Hye-su), is introduced. Her husband, Seong-jun (Lee Eol) is sitting in the living room watching their daughter Tae-soo (Park Yeon-ah) practice ballet. Sun-jae calls for him to come and eat, but he is more concerned with his daughter's dancing. When he finally does eat, he notices that the meat on his plate is still somewhat raw. He gives Sun-jae a disparaging look, and leaves the table.

The next morning we see Tae-soo causing an uproar about wearing red shoes to school (not the evil shoes). After seeing Tae-soo off to the bus, Sun-jae is dropped off to work by her husband. She tries to convince him to drop off their daughter at ballet practice, just this one time. However, he does not agree. Instead, he tells Tae-soo to not walk their daughter, but to carefully trail her (since the daughter is old enough to walk herself). Sun-jae does this but ends up losing the daughter, searching like mad. The last place ends up looking is her house. Upstairs, she hears some passionate moaning and it is her husband having an affair. We see the woman wearing one of Sun-jae's blue stilletos. The husband remarks to the other woman that they look better on her. We find Tae-soo returning home, but Sun-jae stops her from entering the house. They wait outside in a nearby playground, Sun-jae in tears.

A divorce leaves mother and daughter looking for a new place to live. They end up moving into a cheap apartment with a blinking light. After an attempt to fix the light, the circuit blows and Sun-jae gets debris in her eye, forcing her to wear an eye-patch for a while. In addition, Sun-jae recruits interior designer In-cheol (Kim Seong-su) to design her new eye clinic. Though he expresses interest in her early on, she's appears to be weary of him during their frequent meetings. When her eye heals completely, however, and she can "see him more clearly," she returns his interest and invites him to her house for dinner.

The daughter, however, is not pleased. She claims her father had visited earlier, which is a lie as he was not told the location of their new home, and declares that she hates In-cheol, getting her sent to her room. The evening is further cursed with a hysteric women bursting in and yelling about her lost lover while physically attacking Sun-Jae. After In-cheol gets the woman out and things calm down, a shaken Sun-jae asks In-cheol to leave, and she goes to the bathroom to wash her face. Bizarrely, she begins to imitate her daughter while looking at herself in the mirror, and hears phantom baby noises coming from the ceiling and around her. When she turns back to the sink, she finds that it's filled with blood and a crow is flapping around in it.

Days later, Sun-jae is visited by her old friend Kim Mi-hee (Go Su-hee), a successful eye specialist. After some conversation, Kim Mi-hee enters the room of the daughter who has become equally attached to the pink shoes-- regularly staring at them, trying them on, and at one point hiding them from Sun-jae under her bed. Kim Mi-hee says that she must have them and steals without a second thought. Later on that night we see Kim Mi-hee walking down a street full of stores. With bags hanging from her arms, she gives Sun-jae a call to assure that the shoes will be returned. She remarks about how young the shoes make her feel. Continuing to walk she stops dead in her tracks to look at a wedding dress. Moments later she is found dead with one eye missing, resting on broken glass and a bloodied wedding gown.

In-cheol realizes the shoes are the same from a picture circulating in ads everywhere. The ad features the ballet dancer from the flashbacks, the original owner of the shoes, which she is holding in the photo. Soon Sun-jae and In-cheol go to the advertising agency. An agent tells them it was an old image found on an online search. They discover the young woman was a dancer from long ago who once worked where the metro station and apartment building.

There is a flashback of the jealous woman dressed in a bright red gown while a hunch-backed servant girl holds the pair of shoes. The woman embraces the girl, taking the shoes away from her and wearing them. Then she prepares herself for a photograph.

Back to the present, Sun-jae remembers the hunch-backed woman she met at the elevator and how frightened she was of the shoes. Sun-jae asks her who the shoes belonged to. The old woman smiles and laughs eerily, saying that she shouldn't have worn something so pretty like that without asking and that she must return them or die like Oki did. Sun-jae begins to scream and holler at the old women to tell her what she knows about the shoes. Soon we notice them at a carpark, the old woman threatening Sun-jae who was 'Oki', the evil woman who tormented her. Sun-jae notices Tae-soo again near a car holding the red shoes, staring at Sun-jae with bloodied eyes.

The background fades to white in the past with the kind girl noticing her fiancÚ making love with the cruel woman. The girl faints and falls to the floor. The man comforts her, the mean woman full of anger and jealousy grabs a candlestick and hits the man with it knocking him out and then precedes to beat the kind girl to death. The scene jumps to show the mean woman dumping the girls body in a grave she dug herself, it is raining and after hitting the body with the shovel, the mean woman is shown holding the red shoes, meanwhile there is a girl behind a tree watching the whole thing.

Sun-jae asks In-cheol who the owner of the shoes was, but he and nobody was sure at all. The scene changes back to the flashback of the cruel woman dressing in a bright red gown, noticing a girl holding the pair of shoes. The woman embraces the girl, taking the shoes away from her and wearing them. Then she prepares herself for a photograph. As the camera is about to click, the kind girl rushes and pushes the woman, trying to retrieve her shoes. They both wrestle until the cruel woman slaps the girl, stunned. She pushes the man and with spear in hand, she starts torturing the girl.

The background fades to white we see the woman wearing the red shoes at the stage. As she dances we notice another girl, who could be the spirit of the kind girl, although the viewer isn't sure of it. After a parade of women dancers, the background fades to black and we see the cruel woman with a man in a wedding. The woman smiles but the smile soon fades when she notices blood on her feet while wearing the red shoes. There is no one to stop her as she cannot stop running around. A mysterious force picks up a long rope and binds the cruel woman and man until they suffocate to death. The red shoes fall off the woman's feet and fall to the floor with the snow confetti.

Then we come back to the present time with the old woman sobbing over a grave, Sun-jae and Tae-soo standing by it. Tae-soo puts the flower in front of the grave together with the red shoes.

Later that night when Sun-jae comes home, she finds Tae-soo carrying the shoes. She asks Tae-soo where she got them from, and Tae-soo says that she got them from her father. But Sun-jae disbelieves her and gets obsessed with the red shoes again, scolding Tae-soo and grabbing her hair. In fear, Tae-soo runs away, Sun-jae trying to catch her. Sun-jae runs after Tae-soo in a subway until she comes to the platform with nowhere to escape. Crying, she glances at Sun-jae in a terrified way. Sun-jae smiles and tells Tae-soo she won't get mad anymore.

Before she could apologize to Tae-soo for getting mad, a train out of service arrives. Sun-jae quickly saves Tae-soo but soon the light bulbs break and Tae-soo was nowhere in sight. She hears the spirit of the old woman's voice again, saying that she was Keiko, trying to attack Sun-jae, also known as Oki, for taking the red shoes away. Keiko says that those who take the red shoes away will all die. Then after Keiko says the Sun-jae/Oki killed her, a bloodied face appears in front of Sun-jae, which probably kills her after the viewer hears a scream although the viewer is not sure. Then we notice the spirit of the girl again, dancing alone at a stage. Back at home we see Tae-soo in a black and white ballet dress and smeared make-up dancing. In front of the mirror she makes a heart shape with her arms and smiles.

Near the ending we notice the credits, however it rewinds and the words turn red as a new scene comes out of people walking in the park. The mysterious pair of shoes are found on the sidewalk and a girl with rollerskates picks them up. The credits return back again.

 

     

 

 

 

 

 

                                                                 Copyright(C) 2007 - 2020. All rights reserved.

 

                     

                               

 

Directed by Kim Yong-gyun
Produced by  
Written by Hans Christian Andersen,
Kim Yong-gyun
Ma Sang-Ryeol
Starring Kim Hye-su
Kim Seong-su
Park Yeon-ah
Go Su-hee
Lee Eol
Music by
Lee Byung-woo
Distributed by  
Release date(s) 2005
Running time  
Language Korean
Budget  

 

 

 

 

 

 

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