The Red Shoes
(15) 103mins (Tartan Asia Extreme)
Based loosely on the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale, and the Powell and Pressburger film of the same name, this Korean psychological horror flick’s biggest inspiration is perhaps the likes of The Ring.
A stylish and visceral chiller, it details what happens to a procession of women who covet and snatch a pair of smart red shoes they find seemingly abandoned in the subway. As is the way with such things in Eastern cinema, a curse comes as standard, and grisly death – usually involving the forcible removal of feet – follows close behind. When recently separated Sun Jae (Kim Hye-su) finds them and brings them home to her daughter, both their lives are placed in imminent danger.
Although it’s leisurely paced and sometimes hard to follow, Red Shoes is beautifully shot in a kind of urban slate-grey wash, while director Kim Yong-gyun (aided by the Lee Byung-woo’s chilling, scratchy soundtrack) handles the horror well. Extras include director’s commentary, ‘making of’ featurette and theatrical trailer.