‘Die as a human or live as a monster.’

If you need to unravel your hectic week or you want a dose of horror, thriller, action and gruesome monsters, then K-Drama,  ‘Sweet Home’ is all you need! It has all the spine chilling tropes packed in one but is also hiding a plethora of emotions, thought-provoking moments, and a tinge of comic relief under that rough and cold exterior.

Also, be mindful about a few SPOILERS you may find.

 

Sweet Home Official Posters: Live-Action Vs Web Comic

 

Produced as a Netflix original, Sweet Home is based on LINE WEBTOON’s Web-comic of the same name. It has gained tremendous viewership with 22 million paid subscribers within the first month of its release on 18th December 2020. It also made it to Netflix’s Top 10 List in 70 countries and gained an appreciation for the portrayal of strong female leads and straying away from the orthodox zombies.

 

[Images used in the article are sourced from Netflix and HanCinema.]

 

 

The plot explores the story of Cha Hyun-Soo, who moves into ‘Green Home’ apartment and finds himself and the other residents in the middle of a catastrophe. They have to save themselves from the monsters that are ridden with bloodlust, and so comes calling upon harsh decisions to stop being infected and turning into monsters themselves.

 

 

South Korea is known for its apocalyptic genre, so what sets this drama apart?

Well, it’s a rather refreshing approach to see literal monsters than the usual undead. Moreover, the answer to these questions – How humans turn into monsters, How the human desire fuels the monster and shapes its appearance, and How to finish them, is very distinctive to the show. Even if the title Sweet Home might seem at-contrast and ironical but it lives up to its name at the conclusion.

 

With the typical sinister elements, the narrative also displays the emotive facet through the back-story of its unique characters – all leading to the grand question, ‘Are humans the real monsters?’ It has the potential of being quite the tearjerker, not shying from depicting the vulnerable and damaged side of human lives and making you think about humanity and what it comes to be when in danger.

 

 

Song Kang is presented as one of the lead roles, in a very different character than his previous works – a suicidal teen who has lost his family. Lee Do-Hyun plays Lee Do-Hyuk, a medical student and a caring brother to the blunt and carefree sister played by Go Min-Si.

We have Lee Si-Young playing Seo Yi-Kyung, a former firefighter adroit in martial arts. Although her character is not in the web-comic, it’s much needed in the premise of a strong female lead along with the actress Park Gyu-Young. The outcast, Pyeong Sang-Wook, played by Lee Jin-Wook, comes across as a gangster but has an opposite underlying motive. All the supporting characters too have shown exceptional performance, adding depth to the main roles.

All these odd characters trapped together (both literally and figuratively) bring even vividness to the plot with their own stories as the episodes pass by, all contributing to the grand scheme of things towards the end.

 

 

The production too does not withdraw from showing the most ghastly scenes on the screen. The monsters devouring blood and guts and dismembered limbs, rightfully dub it as “gore”. The two-toned, red-green palette used for the cinematography is another cherry on top to enhance the desolate sentiment. Although the CGI of the monsters can be a little off but the inimitable twists definitely make up for it!

 

 

The camera work is also splendid, with the brilliant use of the confined space of the apartment to portray the survival chase scenes on the corridors and stairs. Don’t be surprised if you feel labored or your heart reaches up to your throat after watching these tensed scenes.

The OSTs are a packed punch of pumping, mysterious as well as reflecting BGMs for the various themes of the episodes. Musicians like Gaemi and Lee Jung-Hwa have provided the inexplicable instrumentals. The official tracks –Side By Side by BewhY, a fast rap piece with dramatic orchestra mixed with EDM, talks about running away from temptations and ‘Sweet Home by YONGZOO, a slow, melancholic track with appeasing guitar, reminiscing about home; add to the overall themes of the drama. ‘Warriors’ by Imagine Dragons is also played several times in the drama series.

 

 

With each episode ending in nail-biting cliffhangers, the drama makes sure you won’t leave your seat unattended until the story has taken its final pause. The drama never bores you in its 10-hour long runtime and is a treat for adrenaline junkies, so make sure to have popcorns and coke ready by your side when you watch!

The show however also, ends with some lone threads yet to be tied together so, we can certainly hope for a second season to discover more of this ‘Sweet Home’ universe. If you can’t stand the wait, you can also go ahead and check out the webcomic first.

 

View the trailer below to get a taste of what awaits you:

 

Can’t wait to dive straight into this enrapturing series? Have you already binge-watched it?
Spill your thoughts in the comments.