On December 18th, Netflix released a new Korean horror/survival titled Sweet Home. I had known nothing prior to the title until I read the synopsis. My mind immediately went “Wait. I know this. I’ve seen this before”. After reading up on it some more, it dawned on me that this new series is based on a Webtoon that I binged a month or two ago. As a huge fan of the comic, this was pretty big news and I couldn’t wait to dive into the show as soon as possible. Needless to say, it didn’t disappoint.
WARNING: There’s a brief mention of suicide ahead.
Based on the popular Webtoon of the same name (which I will provide a link to at the end of this article), Sweet Home is about a young man by the name of Cha Hyun-soo (played by Song Kang) who moves into a new apartment complex after the recent death of his parents and little sister. He’s about to jump off the roof to his death when a girl, Lee Eun-yoo (Go Min-si) manages to talk him out of it. He goes back to his apartment only to find out that monsters have broken out over the city. When he meets other survivors in the building, they come to discover that the monsters are the result of human desire (more on that later) and they’re forced to survive together while trying to put aside their differences.
Plot wise, the show stays very true to the Webtoon. While there were some minor changes here and there which I won’t discuss due to possible spoilers, there is hardly a difference between the series or the Webtoon. You have the horror aspect. Drama. Sense of community and family. All of it is still very much present despite it being an adaptation. Many fans were worried that it wouldn’t be true to the source material but surprisingly it was (not including the cliffhanger at the finale). In fact, I might even go back and reread the series again just to see if there’s anything I missed the first time around and compare it to the Netflix adaptation. There might be something new to discover with the second read-through.
Let’s talk monsters. Because I’m a huge fan of creature design, the most exciting part about the show personally was seeing the monsters go from picture to screen. But first let me backtrack on the whole “human desire” concept that was mentioned previously. The monsters that you see on the show are manifested through intense human desire as they make the transformation from human to creature. So for example, if someone has a desire to become the fastest runner in the world, they will turn into a creature with a bodily feature related to running (mainly strong legs). Symptoms of turning into a monster might include nosebleeds, fainting, cough, etc. The possibility of monster designs are practically endless with this concept. However there was one monster I was really hoping to see from the Webtoon that didn’t make it onto the show. Hopefully if the show is renewed for a second season, it’ll make an appearance.
What’s most admirable about both the web series and show is the character development. We see Hyun go from wanting to end his own life to wanting to live and protect others despite the position he’s put in. Regardless of the situation around him, he recognizes that he needs to put his feelings aside and help the other survivors of the apartment building. In a way I guess you could say we see Hyun go from a boy who just stayed in his room all day playing video games to a man who rose up to the occassion and became a team player, which was a huge jump from the shy, scared boy we see him as in the beginning.
In conclusion, Sweet Home is amazing and I highly recommend giving it a watch if the apocalyptic horror genre is your cup of tea. Also, as promised, I’ll provide readers with the link to the Webtoon in case anyone is interested in giving it a read.
Sweet Home is available to stream on Netflix now.