Cult Labs

Go Back   Cult Labs > Blogs > Sam@Cult Labs

Rate this Entry

More Asian stuff...

Submit "More Asian stuff..." to Share On Facebook Submit "More Asian stuff..." to Share via Twitter Submit "More Asian stuff..." to Share With StumbleUpon
Posted 17th May 2009 at 10:35 AM by Sam@Cult Labs

The Red Shoes

Not to be confused with Powell & Pressburger classic of the same name, The Red Shows is an excellent work of high drama horror, The Red Shoes continues Korea's run of quirky hits with a movie that piles on the gory shocks, sometimes to a ridiculous degree, while still focusing on character, in particular a riveting mother -daughter relationship at the heart of the movie that explodes into raw physical and verbal violence as the film moves on, in scenes that are uncomfortable to watch as the child is so young. Later scenes of lower leg injuries and fountains of blood are not for the squeamish either.

Using the same mix of moody visuals and nightmare surrealism as The Ring films while adding a new level of manic hysteria to some of the performances, the film introduces us to a woman who finds a pair of beautiful, abandoned red shoes on a underground train, The shoes carry the pain of a previous owner who was badly wronged, so now the cursed footwear brings misfortune and death to those who wear them.

This is a recurring theme throughout Asian horror films. In the west, folklore tales and legends feature haunted 'houses', as European ghosts tend to hang about in specific locations that have some meaning to the spirit. Asian traditions are more fluid, with small objects becoming the focus of psychic trouble. Hence the cursed video tapes of The Ring, films about spectral wigs and mobile phones that kill. The Red Shoes in this feature behave almost like Sauron's ring, with people falling into terrible screaming arguments about who will keep the shoes. These rows end in blood-splattered death as the shoes rip themselves from victims bodies, taking the wearers feet with them...

The 'new' owner sees friends die almost immediately, while her young child turns into a little brat, constantly stealing the shoes. Can this poor woman destroy the shoes and save her family or is she herself concealing a dark secret.

This elegant, well paced Asian horror film won't disappoint genre fans.

Into the Mirror

Extremely effective South Korean shocker in which people appear to commit suicide in front of mirrors. Police are baffled but we are treated to numerous gory scenes in which people do things like slice their necks open with pizza slices while gazing helplessly into a bathroom mirror. An ex-cop with a dark past (the world of cinema has a lot of these twisted former policemen...) who now heads up security in a department store becomes embroiled in these unpleasant deaths after an incident on his patch. He must face the inevitable demons of the past, find out about a mysterious woman who has been seen lingering near the crime scenes and face the issues caused by the death of his old partner in an intense and creepy horror yarn in the tradition of huge Asian horror hits like The Eye.

Bright Future

From director Kiyoshi Kurosawa, the Japanese filmmaker behind such classic J-horror as Kairo (remade as the woefully dull Pulse), Seance and Cure comes a subtle tale of two young guys in their 20s, working dead end jobs and presumably, not looking forward to too much of a bright future. Yuji Niimura, the lead character used to dream about the good things to come but is now stuck in a dreary existence. His friend and co-worker, Mamoru Arita, is stuck in the same rut, with only a deadly red jellyfish that he keeps as a pet giving him any meaning. Things start to go bad when their over friendly boss makes a house call, he says he wants to promote them but in reality, he's just lonely and desperate for company. Mamoru lets his boss pet his Jellyfish, saying nothing about it's hideous venom. The boss finds out about the poisonous creature and sacks him. The boss turns up dead, murdered by Mamoru and Yuji accidentally releases the Jellyfish and soon they are breeding in the local canals.

Intense and dreamlike, Bright Future is beyond simple genres and classifications, as it mixes elements of drama, surrealism and ghost story into one oblique but beautiful whole. Simple, low budget Asian film making that delivers an entertaining, thought provoking film that fans of world cinema will relish.
Posted in Reviews
Views 2009 Comments 1 Edit Tags Email Blog Entry
« Silver     Main     The Uncanny »
Total Comments 1


  1. Old Comment
    I pre bought a ticket to this a few years back at the Edinburgh film festival. On the day i couldn't make it so gave the ticket to a friends wife who had an afternoon to kill. Think she expected ballet and classical music. She came back a little shaken.
    Comment with Quote permalink
    Posted 8th April 2010 at 07:41 PM by cinematheque cinematheque is offline
Post a Comment Post a Comment
Total Trackbacks 0


Our goal is to keep Cult Labs friendly. If you feel discouraged from posting by certain members' behaviour then you can e-mail us in complete confidence.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2024, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.6.0 PL2
All forum posts are contributed by members of the site; Cult Labs cannot take responsibility for all content posted on the site. If you have an issue with content posted on the site please click the 'report post' button.
Copyright © 2014 Cult Laboratories Ltd. All rights reserved.