Princess Aurora (original Korean Title 오로라공주) is a 2005 South Korean film about a mother, grieving the death of her child, who goes on a murderous revenge spree. Though it was released with far less fanfare, its violent theme earned it comparison to Sympathy for Lady Vengeance, released the same year. It was the directorial and writing debut of Bang Eun-jin, who had previously worked on Address Unknown and 301, 302.
Tagline: 늦어서 미안해 (Sorry I'm late)
In the ladies' room of a department store, a woman berates her stepchild and slaps her for calling her 'lady', then takes her into a stall and beats her. We see a young woman watching the stall, seemingly unsure of what to do. The stepmother finally puts the child out of the stall and orders her to wash up while she talks to her husband on her cellphone. The girl starts to wash her face when the other woman takes her by the hand and motions for her to be quiet. When the washroom is cleared of people she forces the stall door open and stabs the stepmother to death.
Investigating the crime are a young detective and his senior partner Detective Oh, who is studying to be a pastor and whose colleagues tease him for his constant prayer. From the crime scene they conclude that it was a revenge killing committed by a woman, using an instrument bought in the store. Detective Oh talks to the young girl who saw the killer but she refuses to tell him anything, insisting that she is not bad and he doesn't understand her.
The scene changes to a luxury car dealership, where the murderer works and we learn that her name is Sun-jong (played by Uhm Jung-hwa). Some male co-workers josh her for getting a heavy equipment license, and she tells them that her dream is to operate a crane. Later she goes with a friend to a hair salon; her friend berates a middle-aged deliverywoman who is too late for bringing the food she ordered, and insults and humiliates her before stepping into a car with her older boyfriend.
At home, Sun-jong listens to a home movie of a young girl singing a nursery song. In a spa, we see her friend receive a facial and the attendant steps outside to eat. Sun-jong, impersonating the attendant, binds her hands and suffocates her with the plaster used for facial masks. The detectives are perplexed and, though they cannot prove it, they believe the crimes to be linked. They interview the dead woman's boyfriend, who turns out to be the wealthy owner of a wedding hall -- as well as a friend of the mayor -- and he dismisses them.
The next day he goes for a test drive at Sun-jong's dealership. In the car with her he goes through an obviously rehearsed speech about his loveless marriage and invites her to drink with him. Later that night, with him nearly falling-down drunk, they dance together in his wedding hall. She gives him an energy drink laced with poison. As he lay dying on the floor, she plays a cassette tape of the singing child and tells him that he should remember her.
This time the police find a link among the crimes in the form of a 'Princess Aurora' sticker left at each crime scene. Detective Oh reviews the security tapes from the department store and notices Sun-jong -- his ex-wife. He goes to see her at her car dealership. They talk about their shared past and how the murder of their child broke their marriage, and the two sleep together that night. Sun-jong steals his handcuffs and drives off. In a restaurant she begins to seduce the waiter by pretending to be a naive ethnic Korean from China. Though he suspects her in the murders, Oh does not tell anyone that his ex-wife may be involved. He pays a former criminal to pick the lock to Sun-jong's apartment, and finds that she has kept their child's room the same as it was when she was killed a year prior. When he sees a picture of the same restaurant, he races out to go there, but it is closed when he arrives.
Sun-jong finds a taxi. Though the taxi driver considers it bad luck to have a woman as the night's first fare he takes her anyway. With the fare reaching almost $30, she asks him if he would take a child. He answers of course, that children are people too. She asks him what he would do if that child were a few dollars short of the fare, would he leave her alone in the middle of the night? Disturbed and frightened, he orders her to leave the car and when he tries to force her out she shocks him unconscious with a taser. With him handcuffed to the steering wheel and suffocating with a garbage bag over his head, she pushes him down a flight of stairs and he dies. Summoned to the scene, Detective Oh finds a cassette tape of the children's song, sung by his dead child. He tries repeatedly to call her but her cellphone is turned off.
The next night Sun-jong returns to the store and arranges a meeting with the waiter. He drives her to a secluded spot and tries to force himself on her, promising her a job; as she is giving him oral sex, she draws out a pair of scissors and threatens to cut off his penis unless he stays still. She binds him with duct tape and forces him to curse at his mother when she calls his cellphone. She tortures him with the scissors and leaves him bound in the car. He escapes hours later and the police find the windshield covered in Princess Aurora stickers. Detective Oh finally relents and tells the police that the killer is his ex-wife, giving them her name and address before handing in his resignation. He realizes that her next victim will be the defense attorney Kim Wu-taek, who defended their daughter's killer with a successful insanity plea.
Sun-jung has arranged a tryst with Kim and they to a hotel. She answers his cellphone when Oh calls, and taunts him to find her. She smashes Kim's head with a lamp and they struggle until she knocks him out with a wine bottle. She ties him to a chair and smuggles him out covered in a washing machine box. As she drives she tells him that she may spare his life if he can remember who Oh Min-ah was, and taunts Detective Oh when he calls again. Kim remembers who her daughter was, relating the story of her rape and murder.
She drives to the landfill where Min-ah's naked body was found and hoists Kim on a crane before calling every news station in Seoul and the police. Surrounded by police and news crews, she hallucinates that she is Min-ah and nearly kills Kim before she is caught by police. We see a flashback explaining what happened to her daughter and why she killed her victims: she picks up her daughter from school, and Min-ah tells her that her friend's stepmother (the first victim) always hits her and she hopes she dies. Sun-jong gets into a car accident with the waiter and is delayed from picking up Min-ah from the friend and her boyfriend (the second and third victims) who were watching her. They close the store and leave her alone on the street; by nightfall she hails a taxi but is thrown out when she tells the driver she doesn't have enough money. Walking alone at night and crying, she is picked up by her killer.
Four months later Sun-jong is found not guilty by reason of insanity and confined to the same mental hospital as Min-ah's killer. Detective Oh smuggles in a razor blade; Sun-jong kills Min-ah's killer before she commits suicide herself.
The film ends with her former husband who has given up his pastor studies as he prepares to avenge her loss and kill lawyer Kim whose car is shown to have a Princess Aurora sticker on his car's tire indicating that lawyer Kim is targeted for murder. The movie fades out at this point.