Who doesn’t love a post-apocalyptic story? It seems like in this day and age the world has a fascination with the end. In fact, we’re even living in our own end of the world scenario right now. Today we’ll be looking at one of Netflix’s brand new series to hit the shelves. Based on the Korean Webtoon of the same name, “Sweet Home” is currently trending as the number 10 most popular show on Netflix. Should you watch it? Let’s dig deep and find out as we explore a bit of the original comic and how the series adapts it. As always here’s a spoiler warning.
The Original Webtoon
So what exactly is “Sweet Home” and where did it come from? It may be surprising but “Sweet Home” was originally a webtoon written by Kim Kan-bi and Hwang Young-chan. The line-comic is exclusive to “Webtoon”, a site dedicated to hosting multiple webcomics from various authors. If you wish to read the webtoon, the original comic can be found here. Be warned though some chapters are locked as you can only read the first 14 chapters without interruption. So, now that we know where “Sweet Home” originated, what about the plot? Well, it’s definitely a breath of fresh air.
“Sweet Home” follows the story of Cha Hyun-Soo, a teenage boy who finds himself living alone in an apartment complex. His parents have met an unfortunate end and Hyun does not see any point in continuing to live his life. However, things change when the people in his apartment complex and the surrounding city begin to turn into monsters. Now, Hyun must step up to the challenge as he finds the will to live and survive the horrors that wait for him and his apartment neighbors. Of course, there is a twist. Hyun is slowly turning into a monster too. Will he be able to fend off the urge to change and save his new friends or will he be doomed to join the countless other horrors outside?
The first season of “Sweet Home” does a great job of adapting the majority of the webtoon. It brings all the action, horror, and drama that the webtoon contained to the realm of live-action adaptations. As a bonus, it also leaves a few plot threads open for a potential second season. In fact, it actually ends on a cliffhanger.
As with any adaptation, the series takes a few liberties with the source material. Some character’s personalities are changed slightly and plot threads are added to fill out the series. However, unlike “The Walking Dead” which shoots itself in the foot every time they deviate from the source material, “Sweet Home” manages to take deviations while leaving most of the story intact. So if you’re looking for an adaptation that isn’t just the source material in name only, then consider giving this show a view.
From here on out it seems fans will be entering uncharted territory and an opportunity to see the world expanded way more than the rushed ending of the comic did. Will we find out the origins of the monsters? Will we see what the rest of the world is like? These are all good questions and hopefully, we’ll get some of them answered if the show gets renewed.
Monster Mayhem and Character Drama
“Sweet Home” has a very interesting premise for its monsters. Instead of the usual pandemic that turns people into zombies, the comic and the series takes a different approach. The phenomena that is plaguing the world forces humanity to turn into creatures that represent their deepest desires. This actually opens the door for plenty of creative creature designs that will make any monster enthusiast leap for joy.
Monster effects are surprisingly good. They have a nice combination of practical effects and CGI. There are always going to be moments where the CGI looks off but having something solid added to the mix makes those moments less noticeable. Movement is also sped up for certain creatures which gives them this bizarre and surreal presence as they wander around the halls and the exterior.
The first half of the season has plenty of creature moments however, the second half focuses more on the characters. While this may be somewhat of a turn-off for monster lovers like myself, the characters are well written enough to carry the series forwards even during quiet moments. Hyun is an interesting character to see get some development as the series progresses. Not only do his motivations change as he experiences the horror but his struggle between becoming a monster staying human fuels the series.
Great Visuals, “Interesting” Choice of Soundtrack
Some of you may be aware of “Imagine Dragons” presence in the show. The rumors you have heard about are true. Oddly enough, the song “Warriors” is frequently used during action sequences. In fact, any time a character does something heroic “Warriors” begins playing and after a few episodes, it begins to overstay its welcome. The show could really use a more dramatic or eerie soundtrack during these moments. The current one sometimes goes as far as to suck out all the tension at times when it has the opportunity to build up thrills. Yet, in a strange turn of events, it somewhat makes it hilarious to watch.
Despite the problem with “Warriors” blasting every episode, “Sweet Home” manages to create cool scene aesthetics with their wide variety of color palettes. The rooftops are surprisingly orange as the sun rises and the interior of the apartment complex has bluish hues and hellish reds. It really makes you feel like you’re watching a motion comic. It also just makes the show interesting to look at even when the characters remain indoors most of the time.
Should you watch it?
Monsters, mayhem, and excessive use of “Warriors” makes “Sweet Home” worth checking out. There’s plenty of creepy and creative ideas to help carry the series past the midseason drop in quality. The characters are interesting and you want to follow their stories. If any post-apocalyptic series deserves a season 2 it’s “Sweet Home” and we’ll be waiting here till it does.