R E V I E W – S E R I E S
Extra sweetness might be sour.
Are you a fan of Stranger Things? Were you devastated when the sequel got delayed due to Covid-19? Well, Netflix has brought you the perfect compensation for that. Sweet Home is a South Korean apocalyptic series which got adapted from the comic of the same name. The series stars South Korean actors: Song Kang, Lee Si-young, Lee Jin Wook, and Lee Do Hyun. It premiered on Netflix on 18 December, 2020.
Sweet Home takes its viewers on a ride where they get to see the survival quest of people in it. With its splendid intro at the inception of each episode, the series accelerates towards a dramatic plot where we get to see the monster inauguration and character reveal. Aside from its eerie premise, it explores the utopia of personal stories of each of the characters present.
The whole drama takes place in an old apartment complex which has inclusive people where some are cordial, some are chaotic, while some are egocentric. The main character is a high school student Cha Hyun Su (played by Song Kang), a lonely suicidal person, who has lost his family in a terrible accident. Though the series had an assemble cast, the story somehow returns to him. Our other characters include a female firefighter, a gangster, a girl who has lost a dear one, a sword guy, and a brother and sister duo. There are other side characters, but these six are the ones on whom the plot pivots.
The series starts with showcasing Hyun Su moving to an old apartment complex after his family’s death. The surrounding serves as an omen with its aura of foreboding. Things get more perplexing when we get to see some people suffering from a nosebleed. And, this chilling environment gets petrifying when mystic beings start appearing. It is revealed that a zombie or monster apocalypse has occurred because of which humans are turning into savage beings. The nosebleeds were the first symptoms. The whole country needs to be quarantined. Fighting the bloody monsters is the only option left behind.
Sweet Home has made a quirky approach towards the typical zombie thriller. Here, things are not happening owing to any scientific misconduct (which we get to see in almost all zombie genre films). Rather, it has apprised a premise where the monster spectacles are occurring due to an unknown curse, which gets exacerbated by human desire. That is, there is no exact reason behind why all of it is happening. This grimy atmosphere keeps the viewers intrigued, keeping them guessing who the next victim might be.
There was a scene where we get to see a convenience store owner withholding food instead of giving it to the starving residents. Again, there was a scene wherein the sword guy keeps on fighting for the residents despite losing a hand.
To summarise, the series exhibited a dilemmatic world where we get to see both selfishness and self-sacrifice. The situations portrayed in the show compel one to look at one’s inner self and rethink their perspective on life. Furthermore, our main lead Hyun Su himself gets infected. So his fight to stay human alongside fighting the monsters was another fascinating thing to watch.
Each cast member performed terrifically. The portrayal and transition of all the female leads were strong. They didn’t display that typical Cinderella syndrome, where they depend on muscular male leads for survival. Even the negative characters, like the aforementioned shop owner, played his part so well that I felt like punching the screen. Not to mention the series had a fantastic soundtrack which I still listen to on YouTube.
However, it is the CGI which brings calamity to the series’ supremacy. Despite the fact that some VFX team members of Game of Thrones and Stranger Things were associated with it, the overall cinematography was mediocre. There were some monsters which, to me, looked cartoonish. This series might not be the best fit for people who care about good VFX. As for the subplots, in the midst of amassing miscellaneous characters, some subplots were filled with plot holes which I hope will be answered next season.
Aside from all that, with its immaculate blending of zombie and monster, plot, and profound emotional drama, Sweet Home is a must-watch thriller in this boring quarantine. So grab your popcorn and give it a go.
Faizunnahar Fiza is a daydreamer who gets emotional by thinking a lot.