The Red Shoes (2005 film)

Infobox Korean Film
name = The Red Shoes

caption = The Red Shoes Promotional Movie Poster
director = Kim Yong-gyun
producer =
writer = 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 =
cinematography =
editing =
distributor =
released = 2005
runtime =
language = Korean
budget =
amg_id = 1:334291
imdb_id = 0468683
hangul =
hanja =
rr = Bunhongsin
mr =

"The Red Shoes" (Hangul: 분홍신, Revised Romanization "Bunhongsin") is a 2005 horror film written and directed by Kim Yong-gyun. It is inspired by the fairy tale of the same name by Hans Christian Andersen, in which an unfaithful step-daughter could not stop dancing in her enchanted red shoes.


At the start of the film, we see a high school girl calling her friend on the phone. As she counts she notices a pair of red shoes on the subway platform. Walking closer to it, she picks up the shoes and tries them on. Soon, her friend arrives and a chaotic incident happens when they both fight for the shoes. The friend ends up obtaining the shoes. Soon when her friend begins to walk, a mysterious force rumbles in the distance and the girl finds her feet cut off. Noticing blood on the floor, she screams hysterically. After that we see a mysterious figure dancing and then the movie title appears on the screen.

While Sun-jae (Kim Hye-su) is preparing dinner, Sun-jae's husband Seong-jun (Lee Eol) watches their daughter Tae-soo (Park Yeon-ah) making some ballet moves. Seong-jun and Tae-soo appear very close and playful. When they begin to eat, Sung-joon, a cold, aloof spouse, complains that the meat is raw and leaves the table.

The next day, Sun-jae prepares Tae-soo for her ballet class. Tae-soo whines that she wants to wear her red shoes but Sun-jae says 'no'.Cut to Sung-joon and Sun-jae in the car. She asks him if he could take her to dance class this once. As Sun-jae exits the car, she trails her daughter who is walking to dance class. A voice-over of Sun-jae's husband's tells Sun-jae to train Tae-soo and she is old enough to go to her lessons alone. She sees Tae-soo crossing the road but she loses track of Tae-soo.

Sun-jae rushes to the ballet class and the ballet teacher says that Tae-soo was absent. She runs back home and there she hears the sounds of sex and she enters her bedroom to see her husband having an affair with a woman wearing one her beloved pairs of shoes, blue stilettos. Her husband tells his mistress that the shoes look better on her. Backing out the door, Sun-jae sees Tae-soo on the stairs below. Sun-jae picks up Tae-soo and they both go to a playground for a while.

Soon they move to another small apartment, where another construction worker that makes the apartment for Sun-jae called In-cheol (Kim Seong-su). He tells her about this and that while eating.

That night, she notices the light turning on and off. Suddenly, the bulb breaks, broken pieces of glass falling into Sun-jae's right eye.Her friend, Kim Mi-hee (Go Su-hee) comes to her aid next day and tells her that Sun-jae should divorce with Sung-joon, whom she calls a 'bastard', but Sun-jae feels uncomfortable with that name.

Soon we find Sun-jae sitting on the train with an eye patch on her eye. When she turns around, she finds the pair of red shoes near her. Suspiciously, she walks over but the lights turn off. As soon as she picks the shoes, she is surprised to find a construct worker- like man in front of her, seeming to give Sun-jae a warning sign. The lights turn back on Sun-jae goes back to her seat.

Back at home, Sun-jae empties her handbag. Noticing the red shoes, she puts them on her feet in front of the mirror. Looking at the mirror still, soon a black and white image of a young woman opening her present of red shoes comes up as a flashback. The girl grins in happiness and dances in the shoes. A man comes to help her dance, but nearby an envious-looking woman watches them, glancing at the shoes. This flashback is obviously, judging from costume and scenery, from sixty or more years ago.

Back to Sun-jae's time, Tae-soo runs into the master room, asking Sun-jae if she can try the shoes on. But Sun-jae suddenly snaps and tells her that she can't, otherwise she would hurt her ankles.

Tae-soo has her ballet class the next day. Sun-jae watches Tae-soo when she starts to have a turn on dancing with the umbrella. The ballet instructor tells Tae-soo to give the umbrella to Gyu-won, another student. Sun-jae looks surprised when she notices Tae-soo being pushed and Gyu-won snatching the umbrella.

Back at home, when Tae-soo finds the red shoes, she tries them on and walks to the mirror. At first the shoes, which had fit a grown-woman, are too big for her but suddenly they become her size. In the mirror, she sees herself as heavily made-up with permed hair and a black and white ballet dress.

Now, to return to the young girl's time. Posters with Japanese writing hung up everywhere, and then we see the girl trying to dance in her shoes. The girl thinks it wasn't that bad, so she grins at the mean woman nearby, but she didn't smile back.

Later Sun-jae decides to invite In-cheol to dinner. However Tae-soo doesn't feel very comfortable having him in the house Sun-jae staring embarrassedly. Sun-jae gets tired and tells Tae-soo to go to her room but Tae-soo whines and says that her dad came over a while ago. However, Sun-jae says that it was a lie.

A couple of hours later, someone rings at the door. A manic lady with smeared make-up and scarlet-clad steps in and threatens Sun-jae, strangling her and urging her to bring back Sung-joon. In-cheol soon gets her out and Tae-soo trying to see what the commotion was about. She notices nothing and closes the door again.

Then in a dream "she goes out of her apartment room, looking for Tae-soo. Suddenly she notices a mysterious black figure passing by her. Finally at the roof she notices Tae-soo standing on the edge with smeared make-up and biting her lips, glancing at Sun-jae viciously. Sun-jae asks her what was wrong, but in her view, Tae-soo seems to see a mixed image of a stage and a tent and a train station. To Sun-jae's horror two big marks form in Tae-soo feet, cutting them off. Then Sun-jae gets transported to a foggy swamp, glancing at the chopped feet and screaming."

Sun-jae realizes it was a nightmare. She walks to Tae-soo's bedroom and pats her daughter's face.

Next morning, Tae-soo hides the red shoes and then Sun-jae gets angry. They fight over who the shoes belong to. Finally she makes her daughter go to her ballet lessons and Sun-jae finds the shoes under her bed.

On the way home, before going into the elevator she notices an old, crippled, hunchbacked woman who lives in the basement, walking out slowly and staring at the red shoes Sun-jae was wearing, gasping. Sun-jae doesn't understand what just happened and looks at the shoes. Nothing happened. When she was about to take off her shoes at home, Tae-soo blocks the way and once again they fight for the shoes. Then they both here the voice of Mi-hee, stepping into the room trying to tell them to be quiet otherwise the neighbors will call the police.

Tae-soo runs into her room with the shoes. At first Sun-jae and Mi-hee start talking about 'the bastard' and then Mi-hee asks Sun-jae about the red shoes. Sun-jae, not knowing what to say at first says the brand of the shoes was 'Subway' but then she tells the truth, saying that she picked them up at the subway platform. Mi-hee comments that the color was unique. Sun-jae goes to wash up for a moment.

Walking into Tae-soo's room, Mi-hee notices the shoes and forcibly takes them.

Late at night, we find Mi-hee in the red shoes and carrying lots of shopping bags on the phone talking to Sun-jae. The conversation consists of Mi-hee trying to laugh off the incident with Tae-soo. Then Mi-hee tells Sun-jae she likes the shoes a lot, saying that she feels a lot younger. Soon in the middle of the phone call she notices a shop displaying a wedding gown. She stares longingly at it. Mi-hee hears a strange wail coming near her. Looking back at the gown, she notices Tae-soo's face behind the gown, stepping back terrified. Mi-hee turns around. Suddenly a mysterious pair of hands grabs Mi-hee's head so hard she drops her bags. Then one of her eyeballs fall out and Mi-hee yells in pain. A strange force picks her in the air and throws her through the shop window, breaking it. The strange wail Mi-hee heard towers over her, frightening her even more. In a couple of moments later a window shard falls on Mi-hee's feet, cutting them off. Blood is everywhere- even on the gown.

Next day Sun-jae and In-cheol are at the morgue. When the sheet is uncovered, Sun-jae notices the corpse of Mi-hee. She was covered in cuts and bruises, and her legs were stitched back on. Sun-jae gasps and hides her face into In-cheol, unable to look anymore.

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 andIn-cheol go to the advertising agency who used this image and asks who the owner of the shoes was. The advertising 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 lies.

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 smiles and embraces the girl, taking the shoes away from her and wearing them as her smile fades away. Then she prepares herself for a photograph.

Back to the present, Sun-jae remembers the old, 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 pink shoes, staring at Sun-jae with bloodied eyes.

The background fades to white in the past with the kind-hearted girl noticing her fiancé 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 kindhearted girl to death. The scene jumps to show the mean woman dumping the girls body in a grave she dug, it is raining and after hitting the body with the shovel, the mean woman is shown holding the red shoe and rejoicing, meanwhile there is a girl behind a tree watching the whole thing.

Soon Sun-jae asks In-cheol who the owner of the shoes was, but he and nobody was sure at all. Soon we arrive looking at a flashback of the cruel woman dressing in a bright red gown, noticing a dark-skinned girl holding the pair of shoes. The woman smiles and embraces the girl, taking the shoes away from her and wearing them as her smile fades away. Then she prepares herself for a photograph. As the camera is about to click, the kind-hearted 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 must be the spirit of the kind-hearted girl, although we aren'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 wouldn't get mad anymore.

Before she could apologise 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 we hear a scream although we are not sure of it. 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.


*Kim Hye-su – Sun-jae
*Kim Sung-soo – In-cheol
*Park Yeon-ah – Tae-su
*Go Su-hee – Kim Mi-hee, Sun-jae's friend
*Lee Eol – Sung-joon, Sun-jae's ex-husband

External links

* [ Official site] (In Korean)
*imdb title|id=0468683|title=The Red Shoes
* [ Review] at []

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