Netflix does Webtoon’s ‘Sweet Home’ justice

A monster as it appears in both the “Sweet Home” comic and Netflix show.

Tana Gam-Ad, .Tana.G

The South Korean drama, “Sweet Home” is based on a Webtoon comic of the same name created by Kim Carnby and Hwang Young-chan. The Netflix show based on the comic puts its own spin on the post/midapocalyptic genre. The dramatized version does take its own liberties, so for those who have read it, this is a warning to not expect an exact adaptation when opening up that Netflix tab.

This just-gory-enough 10-part series starts off with the end of the tale before flashing back to the very beginning, immediately rousing interest. With a beginning like that, the questions of what is happening and who are these characters start pouring in. Most of these questions are answered through the action-packed, CGI-monster-filled, incredibly well-acted episodes.

“Sweet Home” follows the story of troubled teen Cha Hyun-Soo, who moves into Green Home apartments, the setting for the series. The single apartment building feels large enough for the story’s twists and turns, and the viewers can piece the puzzle together as everything comes to a head. The eclectic residents of Green Home also have their own stories and different personalities who learn how to work together to survive the monster apocalypse.

Still reeling from his past, Cha Hyun-Soo’s move is shortly followed by an appearance of aggressive behaviors in some of his co-residents that are leading to bloodlust. Many of his neighbors start to turn into monsters, and so do people in the rest of the world. A bizarre infection that can target anyone is running rampant and the cause is anyone’s guess. With nowhere to go, the uninfected band together inside the building, fending off monsters in an attempt to survive.

The pacing of the entire series starts off with an action and mystery-packed first couple of episodes filled with monsters, but it makes a slow approach toward the end and falls in line with most other zombie thrillers, losing more and more monsters along the way. That is, until the last few episodes where things fall into place and action picks back up again. Flashbacks do appear now and then to round out both the story and the characters and tease viewers with small hints of what’s really going on.

Viewers may notice a few holes in the lore when it comes to the monsters themselves and the infection, the whys and hows can be confusing at times. However, the concept behind them is a solidly interesting take when it comes to a competitively filled genre.

Characters range in personality and skill, from the heroic to morally dubious to the completely unlikeable. Though some supporting characters really don’t offer much to the story besides narrative movers, there will still be enough characters to root for to make it through.

Some of the highlights of “Sweet Home” are the relationships between the characters that really come through with the acting prowess of the cast, as well as the premise behind the monsters that call humanity and human behavior into question. On the other hand, things to groan about are the inconsistent pacing, sometimes clunky editing and most of all, the distracting soundtrack.

“Sweet Home” is available on Netflix and the original comic is available on Webtoon.

Final verdict: 7.5/10