Publicity Stills of "Red Eye"
(Courtesy from UIP)

Genre: Horror/Thriller
Director: KIM Dong-bin
Starring: JANG Shin-young, SONG Il-kuk, KWAK Ji-min
RunTime: 1 hr 38 mins
Released By: UIP & Encore Films
Rating: TBA

Release Date: 9 June 2005

Synopsis :

2004. 07.16 11:50 pm. The last train… Unforgettable tragedy will begin.

On July 16, 1988, a train accident which drives 100 people to death occurs. Without finding the cause or the accident, the case becomes a mystery and soon gets forgotten.

After 16 years of the accident, the last train of the day is ready to take off at its platform as the rain is pouring. A train attendant Mi-sun is on board first time at work and the train leaves its platform as scheduled and rapidly gains the full speed. All of sudden, it stops for 10 minutes without any reason, and restarts. However, when it begins to run, everything is totally different from 10 minutes ago. All she can see is from the 80’s and old newspaper with the date written July 16, 1988. Does she see an illusion, or reality? If this unbelievable scene is reality, where is she indeed? What happened during the 10 minutes when the train stopped and where are they headed to?

Movie Review:

Though the story’s focus was on an accident that happened sixteen years ago, there were too many subplots and characters in the movie, and the audience were often distracted from the main schema. Many questions were left unanswered at the end of the movie, causing mild frustration.

The movie was well paced in the beginning with the audience swapping their focus between the two trains. Interesting characters were presented and the excitement built with their motives unknown. However, halfway through the show, the rhythm slowed. The eeriness dissipated with too many “living” humans around. The horror scenes were insufficient and inconsistent to maintain the anticipation and excitement. The ending was somewhat anti climax as the drama factor stood out stronger.

The individual death scenes in the train’s toilet, the child’s midnight wails and the hand from the blood pool could be considered as the trepidation highlights. Like the numerous characters, there seemed to be plenty of ghosts with different intentions on the train; for revenge,
seeking lost love and family ties. The ghosts took on the usual form; long and tangled hairs that were in desperate need for a good conditioner and the ceiling’s spider-crawl. Though common, they served their purpose well, together with the two strengths of the movie; the sound and lighting effects. While the characters did not help to bloom the horror factor, the sound and lighting effects did some great jobs.

There was a lack of character development despite the wonderful opportunities to manipulate several characters to create stronger subplots or their possible assistance in the story development. They were, however, left to end low key. The story was overflowing with characters and subplots and the supposed attention for the main character, Mi-sun, was affected.

Like most Korean horrors, this movie had a story to narrate and the ghosts did make the scary appearances. After all, the lady next to me was squirming in her seat and tried to use laughter to cover up her fear.

Movie Rating: C+

Review by W. Lee

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