Every woman knows the magic of a perfect pair of shoes. Slip them on and you transform from the average housewife or soccer mom into a slin...
These Shoes were Made for Killing: The Red Shoes and the Power of Female Sexuality
The unbreakable bond between a woman and her shoes is at the heart of the Korean horror film, The Red Shoes. Viewers might be confused by the title of the film because the cursed shoes that appear in the film are actually pink. This color change (as far as I can remember) was the result of a copyright dispute involving another pair of prominent red slippers in cinema. Ahem.
A woman named Sun-jae finds herself on the business end of horrible curse when she picks up a pair of seemingly abandoned shoes on the subway. But these shoes aren’t your run of the mill Louboutins, and they carry some considerable spiritual baggage. They once belonged to a talented ballet dancer who had the bad luck of falling in love with her male partner. He cheats on her with the ballet company’s second best star, who’s violently jealous of the prima ballerina’s talent.
When runner up realizes she can never best her rival, she beats her to death with a heavy stage prop, ignorant that the poor woman is pregnant. Serving as an accomplice after the fact, the lover helps get rid of body and watches helplessly as second best cuts off the dancer’s feet with a shovel for her precious red shoes.
Shoes are the source of a woman’s sexual prowess in The Red Shoes. When Sun-jae comes home to find her husband making love to a another woman, she is wearing her shoes—a slap in the face made worse by the husband’s comment that his mistresss looks better in them than his wife.
The shoes also find a parallel with menstruation, which is depicted as a powerful and frightening feminine force. In the middle of a dream, Sun-jae watches in horror as torrents of thick blood flow down from a crack in the ceiling, dousing her in gore. In a vaguely incestuous scene, Sun-jae walks in on Tae-su wearing the shoes and dancing for her father. The father leaves silently and Tae –su begins violently hemorrhaging blood from between her legs. The innocent game of a girl playing dress up takes a terrible turn. The shoes may make you a woman, but at a terrible price.
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