Sweet Home is strangely unexpected. An all-out gloopy, gross-out horror show that adapts a popular Korean webcomic that's gotten over 1 billion views on WEBTOON, it's really a no-brainer that Netflix would make a live-action TV show. It's not about a zombie apocalypse for a change.
Song Kang plays Hyun-Soo, a suicidally depressed teenager who moves into a rundown apartment building after he loses his family in a car accident. He spends his days as a recluse in his miserable studio apartment playing video games and trying to work up the courage to kill himself. Then things take a turn in the building. The tenants discover that someone has locked all entrances trapping everyone inside. Then monsters and demons start stalking the halls and Hyun-Soo and the residents have to band together to fight them and survive. A mysterious infection is spreading through the city, turning people into demonic versions of how they see themselves. Hyun-Soo himself becomes infected but stays in control. The thing about the demons is they don't die.
Sweet Home is the first straight-up gore and FX-laden supernatural horror production to come along for ages that are not about zombies, and nobody expected this to be the cathartic horror we needed all this time. There's a pure pulpy glee to the series that you might get from a Sam Raimi movie. The series is surprisingly faithful to the Webtoon series but makes minor changes to punch up the pace and the characters. Hyun-Soo's tragic past is revealed much sooner and he's more suicidal than in the comic. Lee Si-Yeong plays a character not in the comic, a tough ex-firefighter who handles a lot of the action sequences as she fights monsters. Many of the webcomics' set pieces are faithfully recreated and even improved. The scene where Hyun-Soo's neighbor buzzes his door demanding to be let in might become a new classic scene of creeping horror.
A filmmaker friend thinks the show lifted visuals and moments from Lamberto Bava's 1986 movie Demons 2, which features people trapped in an apartment building with rampaging demons, but Sweet Home takes the premise in its own, very Korean, direction. The monsters are more surreal and uniquely meme-worthy. "Protein monster" already has a cult following. We may not want to see too many dramas about quarantines and lockdowns right now, but Sweet Home bucks that trend with the type of blockbuster horror insanity that feels cathartic. We actually needed this. Sweet Home is now streaming on Netflix.