The Red Shoes DVD Review

Written by Steve Pattee

DVD released by Tartan Films

Anyway, why is everyone looking for those damn shoes? – Detective

Directed by Kim Young-Gyun
Written by Ma Sang-Yeal and Kim Yong-Gyun
2005, Region 1 (NTSC), 103 minutes, Not rated
DVD released on October 24th, 2006

Kim Hye-soo as Sun-jae
Kim Sung-su as In-cheol
Park Yeon-ah as Tae-soo


After catching her husband in the throes of passion with another woman, Sun-jae (Kim Hye-soo – 3 Extremes II) leaves him — taking their young daughter with her.

Moving into a crappy apartment, Sun-jae tries to make the most of it for herself and her daughter.

One day, on the subway, Sun-jae notices a pair of pink shoes that don't seem to belong to anyone. Immediately drawn to the kickers, she scoops them up and takes them home.

But these aren't ordinary shoes, these are Dangerous Shoes. And everyone knows what happens when you have Dangerous Shoes lying around.

Death is near.


What is it with little Asian girls? Is it some sort of gene that makes them have to be all creepy-looking in childhood in order to grow up and be all hot and whatnot?

Because, once again, that's the case here. Tae-soo (Park Yeon-ah) is a little creep to begin with, but once the shoes come into play, she turns into a creepy creep. Damn kids — always letting themselves succumb to the slightest possession.

The Red Shoes tells a pretty good yarn. The mystery of the shoes' sordid past is told in flashbacks as the movie unfolds, and their story complements what's going on in Sun-jae's life quite nicely.

The gore, while not overly plentiful, is very good when it does pop up. Hands down, one of the coolest scenes comes right at the very beginning of the film with the Dangerous Shoes' first victim. It was slick and unexpected. You know something bad is about to happen and when it does, and you see exactly what it is, you'll find the tone set for the rest of the movie. Excellent.

Like most good horror movies, Shoes puts a supernatural element in a great story, rather than forcing a story around a supernatural element. Watching Shoes, I didn't find I had a compelling need for something scary to hurry up and happen because I was so engrossed in the movie. It's too bad the last 20 minutes get a little convoluted for the movie's own good, though, as it becomes a little forced, which doesn't match the pacing of the rest of the film.

But, in the grand scheme, that's okay. It's a fine meal that was left in the oven just a little too long. It still tastes great, and you know you'll eat it exactly the same way again and still enjoy it, but you also hope that, next time, the food comes out a little earlier.

Video and Audio:

Shoes' picture is hit or miss. For the most part, it's a solid image, but there are times when specks and marks on the print are noticeable. An overall soft looking picture with moments of sharpness, but it's hard to tell whether or not it was the director's intention, so I won't fault Tartan for it.

The DTS soundtrack, however, is fantastic. Excellent use of the sides and rears for both effect and ambient noise.

5.1 Dolby Digital, 2.0 stereo and English and Spanish subtitles are also available.

Special Features:

  • Commentary by Director & Cinematographer
  • The Making of The Red Shoes Including Interviews with the Director and Actors
  • A Look at Visual Effects
  • Original Theatrical Trailer

The commentary with directory Kim Yong-gyun, cinematographer Kim Tae-kyung and Kim Hye-soo is interesting and challenging. Subtitled in English, it's very difficult to determine who is speaking when the voice is male. However, the three have a lot to say about the movie, and once I got used to the subs, I was engrossed. One thing to watch for, though, is sometimes you will have to use the remote to back it up, as a subtitle is up and gone in the blink of an eye.

The making-of featurette is more of a half-hour promo piece than anything else. The featurette intermingles brief interviews with the cast and crew with clips from the movie.

The visual effects featurette runs about five minutes, but is much more interesting than the making-of. The piece takes a look on how the actual film was processed to give it its look. This isn't a piece about the gore and grue, it's about the film itself.

In addition to the Shoes trailer, there are also trailers for Cello, Lady Vengence, Marebito, The Heirloom and Ab-normal Beauty.


Movie: 4 Stars
Video: 3 stars
Features: 3 stars
Overall: 4 Stars


Despite its tad-too-long ending, The Red Shoes is one of those rare movies that delivers the scares along with a good story. The sweet DTS mix complements this movie perfectly, elevating the fear level at key times. Check this one out.

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Steve Pattee
US Editor, Admin
He's the puppet master. You don't see him, but he pulls the strings that gets things done. He's the silent partner. He's black ops. If you notice his presence, it's the last thing you'll notice — because now you're dead. He's the shadow you thought you saw in that dark alleyway. You can have a conversation with him, and when you turn around to offer him a cup of coffee, he's already gone.
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