Follow TV Tropes

Following

Film / Sympathy for Lady Vengeance

Go To

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/3xcIx2oPKW6p8PzfEfsEikTlpLe_8492.jpg

"Ma'am, there is no such thing as a 'perfect person'..."
Mr. Baek

Sympathy for Lady Vengeance is a 2005 Korean thriller directed by Park Chan-wook, released in Korea under the title of 친절한 금자씨 (Kind-hearted Geum-ja). It's the final film in Park's Thematic Series on revenge, following Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance and Oldboy (2003).

Lee Geum-ja, a 19-year-old girl paying the price of some bad decisions, is blackmailed into falsely confessing to the murder of a child. After 14 years in prison, she emerges a cold, vengeance-driven woman, dropping the kind, gentle facade that had won her the friendship and loyalty of the other female prisoners. Using her connections formed in prison, Geum-ja sets into motion a plan 14 years in the making. Her goal is to punish Mr. Baek, the real murderer; however, even revenge may not be enough for Geum-ja to find redemption.


This film provides examples of:

  • Agony of the Feet: Geum-ja shoots Mr. Baek once in each foot as he is Bound and Gagged in a chair in the abandoned school, both to torture him some and to make sure he's in no condition to escape.
  • Ain't Too Proud to Beg: Zig-zagged. Mr. Baek knows he's fucked no matter what, so he doesn't even try to negotiate or plead once the parents take turns beating him. But when he realises this is it, he makes a few pleading whimpers from behind his gag anyway.
  • Aloof Dark-Haired Girl: After being released from prison, Geum-ja is incredibly distant and cold, while numerous people remember her as kind-hearted or are attracted to her beauty.
  • Arbitrary Weapon Range: Justified. Geum-ja's gun can only be fired accurately at very close range, since it's smooth-bore. It's still very effective.
  • Asshole Victim: The witch and Mr Baek eventually get killed by Geum-ja in this order. The former was a cannibalistic Depraved Bisexual prison bully and the latter a child-murdering Serial Killer. No one complained.
  • The Atoner
    Everyone makes mistakes. But if you committed a sin, you have to make an atonement for that sin. Atonement, do you know what that means? Big atonement for big sins. Small atonement for small sins.
    • Geum-ja takes this far enough to seek out the murdered boy's parents and cut her finger off in front of them as an apology.
      • Originally she wanted to cut all of her fingers off, until the parents would forgive her. But it ends quickly, as the parents call for a ambulance.
  • Aw, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: The parents of one of the kidnapped children divorced over the years (and it's implied the kidnapping was the cause), but when they are brought together to the abandoned school, they show clear affection for each other.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: Geum-ja's custom-made handgun is aesthetic and very powerful, but it can only be fired at a very close range.
    "It has to be pretty. Everything should be pretty."
  • Beauty Equals Goodness: Geum-ja herself got this treatment when she was sentenced, as nobody believed someone so young and so beautiful could be a murderer — which is also part of why nobody ever connected her with Witch's death while in prison.
  • Best Served Cold: Deconstructed. Geum-ja spends thirteen years in prison, putting forth a truly elaborate revenge plot and goes through great lengths to execute it once out... only to find that Vengeance Feels Empty. She can't turn back the clock, she can't fix the actual mistakes, and she is haunted forever by the thought that even after having her revenge, nobody will ever forgive her for what she's believed to have done in her youth — including her own daughter. On top of that, in her single-minded drive for revenge, she ended up alienating or at least disturbing all the people she befriended to reach her goal.
  • Black-and-Gray Morality: Described almost perfectly with Pay Evil unto Evil. No one deludes themselves into thinking that what they're doing is good.
  • Black Comedy: While this is a Genre Deconstruction of a revenge story with a solemn overall tone, the film often goes for very, very dark jokes.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Geum-ja finally succeeds in getting her vengeance on Mr. Baek and finally reconciles with her daughter Jenny. Unfortunately, the events will haunt her forever, and now she has to live with the fact that she has lost the chance for redemption and will never be "pure" again.
  • Book Ends: Upon release from prison, a priest offers Geum-ja a block of tofu to eat, to symbolize "living white" and pure. She refuses it. In the end, Geum-ja offers a cake shaped like a block of tofu to her daughter, pleading for the same. Jenny eats the cake, then offers it to Geum-ja, who tastes it…then starts crying uncontrollably.
  • Bound and Gagged: After abducting Mr. Baek, Geum-ja keeps him bound to a chair and gagged in the abandoned school. When the families of his victims confront him, some choose to ungag him so they can hear what he has to say (or hear him beg for mercy), while others leave him gagged because they have no interest in his excuses or justifications.
  • Butt-Monkey: The preacher, who clearly nobody respects. Including Mr. Baek taking part of the bribe money once the minister declares it will be used wisely for the glory of the Lord.
  • Call-Back:
    • Mr. Baek (played by Choi Min-sik) being depicted as a dog in the Dream Sequence evokes memories of Oldboy.
    • The two hitmen hired by Mr. Baek are played by Song Kang-ho and Shin Ha-kyun, the two leading actors of Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance.
    • When recounting how the original abduction occurred, Geum-ja says that Mr. Baek convinced her by saying that there are good kidnappings and bad kidnappings, and that good kidnappings end with the child safely returned after the ransom is paid. This is the same explanation Yeong-mi used to convince Ryu to go through with the kidnapping in Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance, which ended with similarly tragic results.
  • Can't Hold His Liquor: Both Jenny's foster parents and Geum-ja are very light-headed.
  • Chain of Deals: When in prison, Geum-ja secures a long list of people that owe her by performing seemingly unrelated actions and gaining just as unrelated favours once out... except it's all part of her elaborate vengeance plan.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Won-mo's missing marble, which was the element that convinced the detective of her innocence. The real killer, Mr. Baek, had the marble hanging on his cell phone strap like a trophy.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: The prison priest turns out to be hired by Baek to spy on Geum-ja.
  • Clothing Combat: One of Geum-ja's cellmates is a prostitute who is in prison for strangling her pimp with his necktie. Much later, Geum-ja uses Mr. Baek's tie to throw him around the room while he is Bound and Gagged.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: The relatives of the killed children show up to torture Mr. Baek to death.
  • Convenient Photograph: Invoked. After killing Mr Baek, the vengeful murderers take a photograph of all of them together and bury it as a backup to ensure that nobody can backstab each other.
  • Cool Old Lady: One of the murdered children's relatives is her grandmother, as the child's mother committed suicide and her father left the country. Granny's the one to strike the killing blow on Mr. Baek. She's completely calm and hasn't bothered to put on a plastic raincoat to keep the blood off her, being there just to deliver the final blow.
  • Creepy Souvenir:
    • Mr. Baek has kept a small token (a button, a plastic ring, etc.) from each of the children he has murdered and has them attached as charms on his cellphone. Geum-ja realizes what they are when she recognizes Won-mo's marble.
    • He has a heavy-duty rope in a drawer of his desk, which looks completely out of place but is just an insignificant, brief shot. It's implied later that it's the same rope he used to hang the little girl.
  • Crocodile Tears: Young Geum-ja tries this unconvincingly on detective Choi, getting zero reaction out of him. She abruptly stops, realising it has no effect.
  • Death by Cameo: Song Kang-ho and Shin Ha-kyun (who both stared in Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance) play two contracted killers assigned to murder Geum-Ja. Geum-Ja however easily kills both of them after we are introduced to them.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: The elderly North Korean spy has Alzheimer's and is clearly not there anymore...but is cogniscent just enough to help Geum-ja out of sheer gratitude for taking care of her, providing her with a diagram of the gun. Notably, when Geum-ja was given the Buddhist treaty in which the blueprint is hidden, she thought it was just another random act of the demented old lady.
  • Death of a Child: It is, after all, a movie about taking vengeance on a kidnapping murderer. While most of his crimes are implied or described off-camera, there is a brief shot of him recording the hanging of a pre-school girl, which is easily the most disturbing scene of the whole film.
  • Depraved Bisexual: The Witch, a prisoner who raped the other inmates and was sent to prison for killing and cannibalizing her husband.
  • Deliberately Monochrome: Played with in the Fade to Black and White edition of the film, which does exactly that. The heavy primary colours at the start of the film fade away to pastels and eventually to monochrome footage. The choice of shooting locations and clothing also helped sell this aesthetic; for instance, the blue outfits of the prison and Geum-ja's blue coat are later replaced by a black leather jacket; and the final sections of the film are shot in places with much more industrial design.
  • Description Cut: Numerous, as they are part of the film's overall style. The most prominent ones:
    • When Geum-ja is asked from where she got the elaborate, hidden blueprint for a Hand Cannon, the scene transits to her taking care of the elderly spy, only to be handed the very book with the diagram in it
    • A few scenes later, Geun-shik asks if Geum-ja is going somewhere — Smash Cut to a wide shot of the Australian outback.
  • Design Student's Orgasm: Among others, Geum-ja's apartment and this official poster of the film.
  • The Dog Bites Back: Mr. Baek's wife teams up with Geum-ja (who helped her in jail) to make him pay for his crimes.
  • Domestic Abuse: Mr. Baek beats up and sexually and psychically abuses his wife, who is an ex-convict.
  • Dramatic Drop: When Geum-ja knocks the symbolic tofu out of the preacher's hands outside the prison, the band is shocked and the cymbalist drops one of his cymbals. Later, Geun-shik catches sight of Geum-ja for the first time and is so struck by her beauty that he drops the stack of boxes he is carrying.
  • Dramatic Irony:
    • Discussed at one point in-universe
    Geum-ja: So the kidnapper had kidnapped a kidnapper's kid. Isn't it funny?
    • Mr. Baek had a clear modus operandi as a serial killer: pick kids from language schools in affluent neighbourhoods for a hefty ransom. Except once he kidnapped a son of a simple cleaning lady, who was working her tail off to provide the best education for her child, and then the entire family struggled to provide the ransom in the dire hope of seeing the boy again.
  • Dream Sequence: Geum-ja has one of killing Mr. Baek, and he is...a dog!
  • Driven to Suicide: The mother of one of the kids killed herself after the kidnapping and disappearance of her son. Which is why the grandma is in her place, as there is nobody else left around.
  • Evil Costume Switch: After she is finally released, Geum-ja cuts her hair in a more mature hairstyle, wears leather clothes and deliberately wears red eye shadow so she wouldn't look angelic.
  • Evil Is Petty: Extremely so. The reason why Mr. Baek was asking for ransom, despite murdering the children long before even calling their parents? He was saving that money for a yacht. Geum-ja is having trouble even saying that aloud to the parents, who are asking her what was the motivation behind all of this.
  • Evil Is Sterile: Mr. Baek is sterile, as the parents learn when they want to reward him in kind.
  • Evil Teacher: Mr. Baek has a job as an English teacher that makes it easier for him to avoid suspicion, when he's actually a Child Hater Serial Killer.
  • Everybody Did It: Mr. Baek is killed by Geum-ja along with the relatives of the children he murdered in a Murder on the Orient Express fashion.
  • Excessive Evil Eye Shadow: A running gag, in which people wonder just what possessed Geum-ja to start wearing hot pink, or rather almost blood red, eye shadow.
  • Extreme Mêlée Revenge: Although Gory Discretion Shot spares us from nightmarish sights, Mr. Baek meets a slow end at the hands of his victim's relatives, who strike him blows with weapons like daggers, scissors and axes. The relatives are shown after all covered in blood.
  • Faceplanting into Food: In the final scene, Geum-ja does this with the cake she made for her daughter. As established in the opening scene, the cake symbolizes forgiveness, so while being potentially funny as typical for this trope, this reaction is also tragic in a way, portraying Geum-ja's longing for forgiveness.
  • Fairytale Motifs: A Wicked Witch? A Broken Angel? A Big Bad Wolf?
  • False Friend: Geum-ja murders The Witch and even gives away a goddamned kidney just so she can call a few favors later.
  • Felony Misdemeanor: Played for Drama; Geum-ja, after failing to prevent Mr. Baek from suffocating a child, tracks down the child's parents and tries to cut off all her fingers for forgiveness. Granted, it's not akin to a white lie, but considering that a) there was absolutely nothing she could have done to stop it; and b) her newborn daughter's life was at risk had she not taken the blame, you'd think she wouldn't blame herself as much.
  • Femme Fatale: Once out of prison, Geum-ja does an instant 180º turn on her sweet and kind persona and turns into a vicious, yet elegant vamp that uses every single asset and favour she can call to get her revenge on the man that got away with the crime she was sentenced for. In the end, it turns out that the Femme Fatale is just a dramatic facade, while deep down she's still the kind and gentle person, but by then she's burnt most of the bridges with her callous behaviour.
  • Food Porn: Look at those cakes. It has to be expected when the protagonist is a Supreme Chef and works in a bakery.
  • Foreshadowing: While staying at Geum-ja's apartment, Jenny briefly talks to the ghost of the murdered boy, who can't understand her due to not speaking English. The narrator notes that Geum-ja would be extremely upset if she knew she'd missed the ghost before having a chance to apologize. Later, at the end of the film, Geum-ja herself encounters the ghost, who gags her mouth before she can say she's sorry.
  • Forgiveness: What Geum-ja wants, but doubts she can ever earn.
  • Fun with Subtitles: When Mr. Baek is humping Li-Jeong on a kitchen table, the subtitle with the period in which she was doing time is slowly sliding from beneath the table — to the rhythm of the humping.
  • Funny Background Event: When the Witch is forcing her newest slave to pleasure her in the bathroom, Geum-ja can be seen over her shoulder, soaping the floor. This receives a payoff later.
  • Genre Deconstruction: Like the other two movies in the vengeance trilogy, this is very much a deconstruction of the revenge genre movie. In this case, Geum-ja may have gotten revenge on Mr. Baek, but Geum-ja will forever feel tormented by the things so has done and will never find the redemption she seeks.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: You don't actually see what happens to Baek, but you see several of the victims' relatives come out of the room covered in blood and very shaken. When they are done, the plastic sheet they've covered the floor with has enough blood to fill half a bucket.
  • Hand Cannon: Geum-ja's customized handgun blows a man's hand off.
  • Hell-Bent for Leather: In a Significant Wardrobe Shift, Geum-ja switches out her previous clothes of a prison uniform or dresses for a black leather Badass Longcoat when she embarks on her final revenge on Mr Baek, and wears it throughout.
  • Human Shield: One of Mr. Baek's assassins uses Jenny as a human shield to hold Geum-ja at bay. He regrets this. Briefly.
  • I Have Your Wife: Mr. Baek coerces Geum-ja into making a False Confession to the murder of Won-mo by holding her own daughter hostage.
  • I Need a Freaking Drink: And it's played for laughs. An ex-husband offers a hip flask with some liquor to his ex-wife, as they are waiting for their round of torturing Mr. Baek to death. She accepts, takes a swing...and then chugs down the whole thing to calm down at least a bit.
  • Instant Sedation: Subverted on both instances:
    • Li-Jeong laced Mr. Baek's dinner with sedatives. When Geum-ja arrives at his place, he managed to eat most of it before the drug took hold, indicating many minutes have passed.
    • One of the thugs hired to get rid of Geum-ja is using a chloroform-soaked cloth. She simply held her breath at first, before pulling a Sure, Let's Go with That, pretending to be knocked out — only to start fighting against the thug the second he took the rag away.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: What the Witch did to her husband and his mistress. She is arrested when she was doing a barbecue with saucy hubby meat and casually chewing on it, while police are encircling her from all direction.
  • I Want My Mommy!: The children are shown to be crying like this on the videotape. It naturally devastates their parents.
  • Jade-Colored Glasses: Invoked through Geum-ja wearing rouge eye-shadow after prison so she doesn't appear kindhearted.
  • Karmic Death:
    • Geum-ja kills the Witch by methodically poisoning her food with detergent, "cleaning" her stomach, as the other inmates joke. She was convicted for killing and eating her husband and his mistress.
    • Mr. Baek is killed by Geum-ja with the help of the families of the children he murdered.
  • Lady in Red: Aside from wearing red eye shadow, Geum-ja wears a red négligé when she seduces her younger co-worker.
  • Literal Disarming: When one of Mr. Baek's assassins uses Geum-ja's daughter as a Human Shield, she blows the hand holding the knife off at the wrist.
  • Madonna-Whore Complex: The preacher clearly has it, only for Geum-ja to give him the cold shoulder the second she's out.
  • Mama Bear: Geum-ja is being beaten silly on the ground... and then she sees Jenny being held hostage, so she fights back with sudden ferocity.
  • Market-Based Title: The title (Sympathy for) Lady Vengeance was done solely to tie it with Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance (itself a market-based title, making Lady an Artifact Title), even though this movie couldn't be much more different. The Korean title, Chinjeolhan Geumjassi translates to "The kind-hearted Ms. Geum-ja". That has a very different ring to it, doesn't it?
    • As we're at it, there also exists this cover from a Swedish release that is pretty unambiguous in what it wants to make the buyer believe.
  • Match Cut: During a tense scene showing a recording of Mr. Baek about to murder a young girl by hanging, the scene shows Mr. Baek pulling the chair to hang the girl, then cuts to a parent falling off her chair in shock.
  • May–December Romance: Two of them. Both were one-sided in a way.
    • The young guy that works with Geum-ja is very attracted to her and even asks if he can call her "big sister" (a term of affection that can have different connotations). She shoots him down but later uses him to teach her daughter Korean since she was raised in Australia.
    • Geum-ja herself was infatuated with Mr. Baek when she was a teenager and had an affair with the much older man. She ended up getting pregnant from a different relationship (this time, a classmate) and asked Baek to help her take care of the child, which kicks off the plot. She considered the relationship much more seriously than Baek did.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: The ghost of Won-mo. While Geum-ja seeing him might be explained by her guilt-ridden consciousness, when Jenny wakes up at night, she also sees him, playing next to her bed.
  • Narrator All Along: Geum-ja's daughter Jenny, when she grew up. This is revealed in the final line of dialogue: the narrator's voice says, "Farewell…", followed by Jenny's voice saying, "Geum-ja."
  • Nice Girl: In prison, Geum-ja gets a reputation for being kind, helpful and friendly. Even when she poisons the Witch to death by putting detergent in her food, gaining her the nickname of "Witch," she's still referred to as "the kind one". Because they aren't mutually exclusive.
  • No Name Given:
    • We never learn what are the first names of either Mr. Baek or Detective Choi.
    • So-young Woo's husband is never named, and even the credits list him as "So-young Woo's husband". His surname is probably Woo, given they are married.
      • Actually, Korean women do not change their names upon marriage, so Woo is the one surname we can rule out.
    • Almost all of the relatives of the kidnapped children remain nameless.
  • Not Even Bothering with the Accent: Geum-ja's daughter was raised in Australia. Her daughter doesn't say much, but when she does speak, it's with a North American accent. The actress was Korean-American.
  • Outlaw Couple: So-young Woo and her husband were robbing banks before being caught and locked in (separate) prisons.
  • Pay Evil unto Evil: Geum-ja spent her prison time preparing an elaborate revenge plot against Mr. Baek. But once she captures him, she accidentally discovers he killed four other children while she was locked up. Thus, to deal with him, she allows the closest relatives of his victims to torture him to death, considering the fact she delivered him to them to be enough revenge on her part.
  • Police Are Useless: Discussed, but ultimately subverted. Police were only unable to find the true killer because the detective in charge realised Geum-ja had been blackmailed into Taking the Heat and thus assisted her in finding the true killer from that point forward, without endangering Geum-ja herself. What they both didn't know back then was that this would allow Baek to kidnap and brutally murder four other chidren. When they do get Mr. Baek, he helps her with arranging everything, even instructing the parents of the victims on how to inflict the most pain without killing the bastard too fast.
  • Prison Rape: This movie is one of the few that depict prison rape among women.
  • Raincoat of Horror: All of the parents wear a clear plastic raincoat each to catch Mr Baek's blood.
  • Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil: Invoked with the Witch. When she murders and eats her husband and his lover, only a brief shot of her eating Mystery Meat is given; the scene where she rapes another inmate, however, is pretty darn graphic. The main reason for this is to undoubtedly justify Geum-ja killing her in a horrible fashion.
  • Reaction Shot:
    • When Geum-ja is describing to Geun-shik, her young coworker, who she is and what she did to another 6-year-old boy (he was six back then), the shots keep altering between her calm and cold descriptions and the reaction of Detective Choi's wife, after she learns from whom he got the fancy cake.
    • For the most part, viewers are never shown anything that happened on Mr. Baek tapes, but instead there is Detective Choi throwing up and the hysterical reactions of the parents watching the content of those tapes.
  • Red Is Violent: Crossing over with Makeup Is Evil, Guem-ja wears red eyeshadow upon being released from prison to symbolize her newly cold and determined nature.
  • Riddle for the Ages:
    • Did Geum-ja calculate that Jenny would want to go back with her to Korea, or did it just happen?
    • Did she actually shoot the puppy dead, or was it an Imagine Spot? And if so — why?
  • Running Gag: Each New Meat gets tripped over by one of the inmates when entering their shared cell for the first time.
  • Shame If Something Happened: Played with. Geum-ja reminds the gathering that she served 13 years in prison, killed an inmate and nobody even realised it, and then tracked Baek after being released with ease. So, if anyone changes their mind or feels guilty and wants to notify authorities...and she makes a Dramatic Pause. However, the parents are willing to kill Mr. Baek, it's that they are afraid someone could eventually break and tell authorities and they need encouragement to be sure nobody will rat the rest of them out.
  • Shoot the Dog: The old image for the trope comes from this film. Geum-ja apparently tests herself to see if she has a killer instinct by shooting her daughter's pet dog. This could elicit a Moral Event Horizon or a What the Hell, Hero? reaction from the audience.
  • Shoot the Hostage Taker: One of Mr. Baek's assassins attempts to use Geum-ja's daughter Jenny as a Human Shield. Seriously bad move. Results in a Literal Disarming, as she blows the hand holding the knife off at the wrist.
  • Silence Is Golden:
    • When Geum-ja begins to apologise to Won-mo's ghost, he gags her, smirks, and walks away from her life. Literally.
    • The final few minutes of the film are just contemplative silence.
  • Sinister Minister: The preacher ultimately sells Geum-ja to Mr. Baek, which almost wrecked her whole revenge plan and got her killed.
  • Slasher Smile: Mr. Baek's wife smiles with her mouth covered in blood after she's managed to subdue her husband and Geum-ja shows up.
  • Smoking Hot Sex: Geum-ja seduces Geun-shik, but rather than showing their sex scene, the film directly cuts to her lighting a cigarette as they discuss the intercourse they just had.
  • Spice Up the Subtitles: When Geum-ja visits the Australian parents who adopted her daughter, her subtitles (in Korean) fill out in English sentence structure order (noun, verb, preposition, article, noun, etc.) instead of Korean sentence structure (noun, article, noun, verb, etc.), showing the Korean audience the unease that Geum-ja is having with the English language. Everyone else's subtitles fill out left-to-right.
  • Splash of Color: In the fade to black and white version, the various mementos of the killed children are the only colourful objects in the cafe scene.
  • Stocking Mask: So-young and her husband wear stocking masks during the bank robbery. The stocking have a snakeskin pattern on them, and—perhaps because they are more opaque than regular stockings—they have cut eye and mouth holes in them.
  • Strange Minds Think Alike: In probably the most dramatic version of this trope ever, Geum-ja's first action after being framed for the murders is to chop off her finger for the boy's parents in apology. When speaking about the incident with her daughter Jenny, Jenny's response is, "Do you want to say sorry to his mother?" She even starts counting fingers behind her back for each time Geum-ja apologizes to her.
  • Sympathetic Inspector Antagonist: Detective Choi quickly figured out that Geum-ja isn't telling him the truth during the initial investigation and just kept prodding. Ultimately, he helps her to self-convict, but not as a scapegoat, simply to make her convincing enough to get her the sentence she clearly wants. When she's released 13 years later, they are still cordial, if a bit awkward, with each other, making him a case of Friend on the Force. After they decide to kill Mr. Baek, he helps arrange the whole thing and even instructs the parents how to properly use the tools at their disposal, so they both inflict a lot of pain and won't kill the bastard too fast.
  • Taking the Heat: Geum-ja went to prison for the crime she didn't commit, since the real killer held her own child hostage.
  • Tampering with Food and Drink:
    • In prison, Geum-ja kills the Witch by adulterating her food with bleach. For three years!
    • Li-Jeong adds sedatives to Mr. Baek's dinner, while excusing herself from the house for the whole day, so he won't get suspicious about why she's not eating something from the multi-course dinner. Even if it appears he managed to outwit her after finding Li-Jeong's connection with Geum-ja, he still eats the laced dinner, unaware of the ruse.
  • They Look Just Like Everyone Else!: Invoked by one of the parents, since Mr. Baek is your average, middle-aged guy.
  • Title Sequence: And it's 'beautiful'!
  • To the Pain: Geum-ja puts a microphone in the room where she and the parents are discussing how to kill Baek and a speaker where he's being held.
  • Tranquil Fury: Geum-ja's attitude after being released.
  • Tragic Keepsake: Baek's mementos are later given to the victims' relatives.
  • Troubling Unchildlike Behavior: Won-mo's ghost is smoking, despite looking like a 6-year-old. He then turns into a young adult, since he would be 20 if he were still alive.
  • Vomiting Cop: Detective Choi, a hardened veteran in the force, is casually unearthing 4th corpse from some mass grave without even blinking when Geum-ja calls him. Cut to him watching one of the tapes made by Mr. Baek, where he eventually gets up, goes to the bathroom and loudly throws up.
  • Was It All a Lie?: It turns out Geum-ja even pretended to like a lesbian simply to use her as a resource for revenge.
  • Would Hit a Girl: Obviously Mr. Baek, but so would the hired thugs who beat Geum-ja senselessly and without restraint.
  • You Kill It, You Bought It: Geum-ja kills the Witch in a pretty nasty way, and promptly inherits her title. To a much more chilling extent, Baek keeps personal mementos from the children he murders and uses some of them as phone charms.
  • Yubitsume: Geum-ja goes to the parents of the murdered boy, with the intent of getting rid of her fingers until they accept the apology. She manages to only remove one before they force her to stop.

Alternative Title(s): Lady Vengeance

Top