If you haven’t already jumped on board the absolutely mind-bending films and TV shows coming out of South Korea, there is no greater time than now to join the growing base of international fans who fall more in love with every big or small screen venture.
The creative minds of the filmmakers in the East Asian country are getting praise from audiences in a variety of genres, but when it comes to horror, it seems to be the one area that they are the most dominant.
Modern Korean horror is unlike their Hollywood competition in a number of different ways, with the most obvious being the no-holds-barred approach to storytelling that seems to be free of constraints in terms of pure violence and unpredictability.
While a lot of Western films seem to be more focused on PG-13 gimmicks and easy laughs, there seems to be a directly opposite approach from dazzling filmmakers who are now getting all eyes on them thanks to streaming services distributing their artistic debuts.
In late 2020, Netflix dropped a new horror show coming out of the country called Sweet Home and the word-of-mouth reception seems to have most international viewers all on the same page…
With our minds utterly blown and trying to recoup from the onslaught of heartbreaking moments and pure horror excellence that was somehow managed to be filled in a beautiful 10-hour story.
Sweet Home (2020)
Available on Netflix
Trigger Warning: Sweet Home does have scenes showing domestic abuse and also touches on the topic of suicide a number of times, if you are affected by either of those things I recommend you watch this show with caution.
We are currently in the golden age of television and when it comes to the horror genre that is exemplified by a number of the new shows that seem to push the envelope into a visceral new medium to which even the films have been struggling to match.
Based on the Webtoon of the same by author Kim Carnby, Sweet Home, is a stunning mix of serious topics that meets outlandish monsters and impressive character-driven storytelling all within an epic horror that seems relatable to anyone feeling isolated or missing what their world once was.
So, kind of all of us right now, given how things are going…
It will be next to impossible to find another show that manages to fit so much into a first season without it ending up being a bloated mess, amazingly enough, there isn’t a single moment of the series that feels even slightly unnecessary.
Not a single character arc, word of dialogue, onscreen violent death, or even a mood-lightening joke. Every single part of this series fits a perfect purpose and not a moment of it seems to drag.
Another highlight is how the show is how it manages to capture light and a fun outlook to apocalyptic events when needed but then does a complete 180 to give a grim outlook of the dire situation that the characters are stuck in facing horrifically gruesome creatures.
If you’re a fan of monster based action, this series takes things to the next level in terms of originality and makes every episode feel like a video game set on difficult, which in the end will leave you at the edge of your seat because you’ll never know exactly the next attack may come.
On the note of seriousness, there are a number of taboo topics referenced throughout the show that may make it a tough watch for some viewers, but they are handled with such an incredibly delicate touch that makes them worthy of further discussion after you’ve seen them.
The cast is filled with such interesting characters and each of their storylines is somehow placed together to help the overall arc that really comes together by the final episode in such a flawless first season, that you’ll be dying for more by the final frame.
To sum it all up, there is not a single thing wrong with this show. No seriously, not one single bad moment or thing throughout its entire run.
Is that being hyperbolic? Maybe, but if you’re looking for a multi-genre hybrid that can manage to make you laugh, cry, jump, and never have you know where it is going no other show will be able to pull it off at this level.
On top of all that, this was a masterclass of how to write heroic characters and had a number of absolutely terrifying villains which came in all shapes and sizes.
This emotional chaotic rollercoaster is as fun as it is gut-wrenching and, I say this as a diehard horror fan, it is exactly what the genre needs right now in terms of style, story, and pure originality against the face of a wave of formulaic Hollywood fodder.