×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Red Eye

A young train attendant experiences terminal emotional closure in "Red Eye," a solid slice of K-horror that delivers on all genre fronts without shooting for the stars. Directed in the same cold but involving style helmer Kim Dong-bin brought to his 1999 "The Ring Virus" (an official Korean remake of "The Ring"), pic is readymade for outings at fantasy fests prior to a warm career on Western ancillary.

With:
With: Jang Shin-yeong, Song Il-guk, Lee Eol, Lee Dong-gyu, Kim Hye-na, Jeong Yeong-suk, Gwak Ji-min, Kim Hyeon-suk, Lee Dae-yeon, Park Weon-sang, Jang So-yeon, Jeon Ah-min, Im Ji-yeon, Kim Jin-hun, Oh Yu-jin, Park Hyo-ju, Choi Hye-yun.

A young train attendant experiences terminal emotional closure in “Red Eye,” a solid slice of K-horror that delivers on all genre fronts without shooting for the stars. Directed in the same cold but involving style helmer Kim Dong-bin brought to his 1999 “The Ring Virus” (an official Korean remake of “The Ring”), pic is readymade for outings at fantasy fests prior to a warm career on Western ancillary. Local biz on February release was underwhelming but occidental buffs of Asian horror will respond.

On her first day at work, cutie railroad attendant Oh Mi-seon (Jang Shin-yeong) boards the overnight train from Seoul down to the southern coastal town of Yeosu. The passengers are the usual motley lot — two teen runaways, some soldiers, a horny couple, a boy who draws grisly pictures — but the nervous Mi-seon is helped out by a friendly young conductor, Chan-shik (Song Il-guk).

Turns out the train includes some coaches that were involved in an unsolved railroad crash 16 years earlier, in which 100 people died. Popular superstition says the coaches are still haunted, and, while wheeling the refreshments trolley through the carriages, Mi-seon starts having weird fantasies (spiders, time travel). Only one person on board, spiritual club member Yun So-heui (Gwak Ji-min, from “Samaritan Girl”), seems sympathetic to her visions.

Film slowly ramps up the horror as more emerges about Mi-seon’s background: Her conductor father died in the crash when she was still young, and she’s deliberately chosen her birthday to board the train and try to start over. But as her visions increase, the train seems to travel back to that fateful day in 1988; and as it approaches the end of the line, it doesn’t seem to want to slow down.

The plot doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, but works well at a visceral level, with casual shocks in the early going and more elaborate ghost stuff later on. Jang, the pretty pharmacist in “Springtime,” is bland as Mi-seon but doesn’t scream too much, while the rest of the sizable cast hit their marks.

Kim Hyeon-suk adds color as the ghost of the crashed train’s senior purser, who says — as characters do in horror pics — that they’re all going to die.

Jang Tae-hwan’s art direction plausibly conjures up the train in its two time periods, and lensing by Byeon Heui-seong develops a clammy grunginess as the yarn proceeds.

Red Eye

South Korea

Production: A Chungeorahm release of a Taichang Entertainment presentation and production. (International sales: Mirovision, Seoul.) Produced by Kim Yong-guk. Executive producer, Tina Kim. Directed by Kim Dong-bin. Screenplay, Kim Mi-yeong, Sung Gi-yeong, Lee Yong-yeon, Gweon Nam-gi.

Crew: Camera (color), Byeon Heui-seong; editor, Shin Min-gyeong; music, Mun Dae-hyeon; art director, Jang Tae-hwan; special make-up, Lee Chang-man; sound (Dolby Digital), Son Gyu-shik; special visual effects, Yeo In-su; special effects, Ahn Sang-hyeon. Reviewed at Cannes Film Festival (market), May 12, 2005. Running time: 96 MIN.

With: With: Jang Shin-yeong, Song Il-guk, Lee Eol, Lee Dong-gyu, Kim Hye-na, Jeong Yeong-suk, Gwak Ji-min, Kim Hyeon-suk, Lee Dae-yeon, Park Weon-sang, Jang So-yeon, Jeon Ah-min, Im Ji-yeon, Kim Jin-hun, Oh Yu-jin, Park Hyo-ju, Choi Hye-yun.

More Film

  • Of Fathers and Sons

    Producer of Oscar-Nommed Syria Documentary Could Miss Awards Due to Visa Problem

    A German producer’s hopes to attend Sunday’s Academy Awards ceremony, where his film is up for an Oscar, look likely to be dashed by tightened U.S. Department of Homeland Security restrictions and increased bureaucracy. Hans Robert Eisenhauer is one of the producers of “Of Fathers and Sons,” director Talal Derki’s film about a radical Islamist [...]

  • Speaker of the United States House

    Nancy Pelosi, Ava DuVernay Honored at VH1 Trailblazers Event

    Cher is feeling a little better about what’s happening in Washington, D.C. “When I see Trump spew his hate and tell his gazillion lies, I get pissed off and feel uneasy at the same time,” the Oscar winner and frequent Trump critic said on Wednesday while introducing Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi at “VH1 [...]

  • Most Memorable Oscar Speeches in Academy

    The Most Memorable Oscar Speeches in Academy History

    No Academy Awards is complete without some emotional acceptance speeches on stage – and some political ones to boot. With just 90 seconds to make an impact, many actors have used the platform as a voice for political change, calling attention to hot-button issues like climate change and gender equality, while others have simply reveled [...]

  • Jussie Smollett

    Jussie Smollett Arrested, in Custody of Chicago Police

    Jussie Smollett has been arrested and faces criminal charges for allegedly filing a false police report and for disorderly conduct. Chicago police tweeted Thursday morning that the “Empire” actor was under arrest and in custody of detectives. Smollett claimed that he had been attacked by two men on Jan. 29 — he said they beat [...]

  • Billie Holiday (1915-1959, born Eleanora Fagan)

    Billie Holiday Documentary Draws Buyers as Concord Boards Project

    Concord, the successor to the Billie Holiday Estate, has boarded James Erskine’s documentary “Billie,” which tracks the iconic jazz singer’s life. Altitude Film Sales has sold the project to several territories. Also joining the project, now in post-production, is the Brazilian colorization artist Marina Amaral. Most of the filmed and still images that exist of [...]

  • My Extraordinary Summer With Tess review

    Film Review: 'My Extraordinary Summer With Tess'

    Winner of a special mention from the Berlinale Generation KPlus’ adult jury, the family-friendly, light drama “My Extraordinary Summer With Tess” is straightforward youth cinema with surprising emotional depth. Based on a prize-winning novel by Anna Woltz, a beloved Dutch writer of work for young readers, it explores family relationships and emphasizes the importance of [...]

  • UCLA Hollywood Diversity Report: Women, Minorities

    Hollywood Diversity Gains in TV but Falls Short in Movies

    Minorities and women have registered gains in several key areas of television but women continue to lag in movies, according to a report issued Thursday by the Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies at UCLA. “My basic take is that TV is improving more for minorities and women than film,” said Dr. Darnell [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content