Vengeance’ is sweet.

“Sympathy for Lady Vengeance,” the latest installation in director Chan-wook Park’s so-called “vengeance trilogy,” debuted at the Guild Theater this Friday to a packed house of PIFF-frenzied film lovers. From the beginning credits to the final pan-out of the last scene, the audience was riveted, and rounded off the film with a hearty round of well-deserved applause. Park has again demonstrated his mastery of this genre and with the finale to his cycle takes a refreshingly different view of revenge than that displayed in the trilogy’s other films. Those expecting a chilling, blood-soaked tour de force such as “Oldboy” might not get what they are looking for, as the topic of vengeance is explored very differently in “Lady Vengeance,” but the film does not fail to deliver on its themes.

“Sympathy for Lady Vengeance” follows Lee Geum-ja as she is released from prison after serving a 13-year sentence for kidnapping and murder, and plans her revenge against the man who put her there. It becomes clear that, although involved, she indeed did not commit the crime, and the favors she won in prison all come together to help her bring her plan to fruition.

It’s difficult to say more without revealing key elements of the plot, but the suspense built up as we see Geum-ja’s machinations unfolding is more than enough to maintain interest. What this film deals with heavily that the others in the cycle did not is redemption, something Geum-ja seeks for her role in the murder. Her plotting seems motivated more by redemption than the actual desire to inflict brutality on her enemies; the latter is somewhat of a tool to the attaining of the former. When she finally locates the man responsible for her downfall, the film reaches a brutal yet surprisingly humorous climax as a whole new host of characters are faced with the opportunity to exact revenge of their own.

While indeed a bloodbath in the finest Park style, the film reaches to a much deeper level at this point, calling the whole idea of vengeance into question from multiple points of view that are all different, yet linked by a common thread. This thread also runs deeply into Geum-ja’s own life, and it is her resolution of that which ultimately grants her the redemption she seeks.

It seems fitting that the final chapter of the vengeance story leaves that central theme fragmented and dispersed into the world, carried on the shoulders of many, while Geum-ja is finally able to slough off some of her own load. All this makes for a somewhat lighter mood than that of the film’s predecessors, but the omnipresent humor is definitely black, and for many the laughs will trail off into a queasy feeling in the pit of the stomach.

At times, the religious treatment of vengeance is a little heavy-handed and maybe even a bit cheesy, but this minor gripe barely detracts from a well thought out, impactful, visually engaging and masterfully conceptualized film. The vision at work here is obvious and genuine, and that more than overcomes any missteps that may be present.