Sweet Home (TV series)
Sweet Home (Korean: 스위트홈; RR: Seuwiteuhom) is an apocalyptic horror South Korean television series starring Song Kang, Lee Jin-wook, Lee Si-young and Lee Do-hyun. Based on the Naver webtoon of the same name by Kim Carnby and Hwang Young-chan, which recorded over 2.1 billion net views, the series was released on Netflix on December 18, 2020.
|Based on||Sweet Home|
by Kim Carnby and Hwang Young-chan
|Developed by||Studio Dragon|
|Creative director||Kim Seol-jin|
|Country of origin||South Korea|
|No. of seasons||1|
|No. of episodes||10|
|Executive producer||Kim Young-kyu|
|Camera setup||Single camera|
|Running time||44–59 minutes|
|Picture format||4K (Ultra HD)|
|Audio format||Dolby Digital|
|Original release||December 18, 2020|
After an unexpected family tragedy, Cha Hyun-soo decided to leave his home and move into an apartment. Soon after, monsters begin trying to wipe out humanity. People inside the apartment are trapped inside the building, realizing that monsters are lurking everywhere outside. Hyun-soo and other residents shield themselves inside the building in hopes of surviving as long as they could.
- Song Kang as Cha Hyun-soo, a suicidal high school student who moves into 1410 in Green Home after his family is killed in a car accident. He finds himself caught in the middle of an apocalypse, he later gains the powers of the infected after merging with the beast inside him and becoming a superpowered being.
- Lee Jin-wook as Pyeon Sang-wook, a mysterious man with a scar on his face. He punishes evil with evil and is mistaken for a gangster. He has enhanced physical strength.
- Lee Si-young as Seo Yi-kyung, a former firefighter whose fiancé disappeared two days before their wedding. She has trust issues and is an expert martial artist, having served in the special forces. Her character is exclusive to the television series, having not appeared in the webtoon comic.
- Lee Do-hyun as Lee Eun-hyuk, Eun-yu's older brother, a medical student. He is the leader of the building's survivors. He handles everything with calm mind and rational decision, causing the others to regard him as remote and cold hearted.
- Kim Nam-hee as Jung Jae-heon, a Korean Language teacher and a devout Christian who lives in 1506. He has a keepsake jingum, a Korean martial arts sword, to defend himself and protect others. He saves Yoon Jisoo and sticks around her. In the show, Jae-heon and Ji-soo are romantically interested in one another.
- Go Min-si as Lee Eun-yoo, Eun-hyuk's younger sister and a former ballerina who quit due to an injury on her foot. She lives with her brother.
- Park Gyu-young as Yoon Ji-soo, a bass guitarist who moves into 1510 in Green Home after her boyfriend's suicide. She was saved by Jae-heon and after then sticks around him. Unlike the webtoon, she is a recurring character rather than a main one.
- Go Yoon-jung as Park Yoo-ri, a senior caregiver who appears to have some training as a medical care professional. She is asthmatic.
- Kim Kap-soo as Ahn Gil-seob, a terminally-ill patient living with his caregiver Park Yoo-ri.
- Kim Sang-ho as Han Du-sik, living in 1408. He is the neighbor of Cha Hyun Soo, a middle-aged man bound to a wheelchair and a former military man. He is talented at making weapons.
- Woo Hyun as Kim Suk-hyun, a grocery store owner who is often abusive towards his wife.
- Kim Hyun as Ahn Sun-young, Suk-hyun's wife
- Kim Hee-jung as Cha Jin-ok, a mother who was desperately trying to save her daughter, only for her to witness her death.
- Heo Yool as Kim Su-yeong, the 9-year-old girl and Kim Yeong-Su's sister
- Choi Go as Kim Yeong-su, the 6-year-old boy and Kim Su-Yeong's little brother
- Kim Gook-hee as Son Hye-in, a middle-aged woman who always carries her pet Pomeranian named Bom.
- Lee Bong-ryun as Im Myung-sook, a mother who lost her child when the stroller rolled away from her, causing a truck to collide into it.
- Go Geon-han as Choi Yoon-jae, a Child Predator, heavily beaten up by Pyeon Sang-wook.
- Woo Jung-gook as Kang Seung-wan, a bespectacled and timid resident
- Lim Soo-hyung as Noh Byung-il
- Ahn Dong-goo as Lee Soo-ung, a soldier
- Lee Joon-woo as Ryu Jae-hwan, survivor
- Jeong Ha-dam as Kim Ji-eun
- Kim Sung-cheol as Jung Wooi-myung
- Kim Ji-eun as Han Yu-jin
- Lee Ji-ha as Moon Hyeon-sook, Hyun-soo's mother
- Kim Yi-kyung as Cha Soo-ah, Hyun-soo's younger sister
- Lee Ki-hyuk as Hwang Seung-jae
- Park Ah-in as The Girl Next Door
- Ham Sung-min as Park Ju-yeong, Hyun-soo's classmate
|No.||Title||Directed by||Written by||Original release date|
|1||"Episode 1"||Lee Eung-bok, Jang Young-woo & Park So-hyun||Hong So-ri, Kim Hyung-min & Park So-jung||December 18, 2020|
|In September 2020, Cha Hyun-Su is a soldiers' target in what appears to be a no-man's land. One month earlier, he moved into the apartment complex Green Home where a variety of people live. Depressed and suicidal, he avoids going outside and relies on food deliveries. One night, he realizes that his ramyeon delivery was opened by his neighbor and witnesses a woman holding the head of a dead cat in the apartment next door. He rushes into his apartment but is followed by his neighbor asking for help before turning into a "glutton" monster. Meanwhile, on the ground floor, residents cannot go out of the building which is on lockdown and one of them dies in the hands of a "vampire" monster.|
|2||"Episode 2"||Lee Eung-bok, Jang Young-woo & Park So-hyun||Hong So-ri, Kim Hyung-min & Park So-jung||December 18, 2020|
|Asleep and guarded by his upstairs neighbor Ji-soo, hikikomori Hyun-soo relives the last moments before his parents' and sister's deaths in a car crash as well as their funeral where he blames them for not leaving him enough money to survive. Sang-wook kills the "glutton" monster. Ji-soo and Jae-heon encounter the "lotus root" monster. On the ground floor, conflicts start to arise between residents as they learn more about their situation and how people turn into monsters. Hyun-Su saves two orphan siblings (whose father was killed by the "eyeball" monster) and then is saved in return with the help of his disabled neighbor, Du-sik, but soon starts experiencing symptoms.|
|3||"Episode 3"||Lee Eung-bok, Jang Young-woo & Park So-hyun||Hong So-ri, Kim Hyung-min & Park So-jung||December 18, 2020|
|Hyun-Su encounters the monster side of himself, who tries to convince him to embrace his evil side. The "Protein" Monster manages to infiltrate the building and is currently chasing the orphans Kim Su-Yeong and Kim Yeong-Su. Getting cornered by the "protein" monster, Im Myung-Sook gets in the way and unexpectedly changes into a monster and helps to stop the monster. Hyun-Su escorts the children to Han Du-Sik, while Ji-Su attends to Im Myung-Sook who heals herself and reverts to human. Jae-Heon tricks the "protein" monster to fall off the building. Yi-Kung goes to the basement and tries to fix the building's electricity, only to be attacked by the "Tentacle" monster, a spider-like creature which webs her to the ceiling. Meanwhile, the survivors on the ground floor watch the national broadcast and witness in horror as the president turns into a monster, causing panic amongst the survivors. The next morning, the desperate mother Cha Jin-Ok opens the gate of the building and tries to rescue her daughter. The soldier Lee Su-Ung rushes to save her, only for the "Vampire" monster to impale them both, killing them.|
|4||"Episode 4"||Lee Eung-bok, Jang Young-woo & Park So-hyun||Hong So-ri, Kim Hyung-min & Park So-jung||December 18, 2020|
|Yi-kung manages to escape from her bonds and escapes from the 'tentacle' monster. An official government announcement details the current incident to the survivors. Hyun-su, Jae-Heon, and Ji-Su decide to leave for the ground floor to check-up with the other survivors, while Du-Sik stays in his room with Myung-Sook and the children. Suddenly, something attacks Hyun-Su, making him free-fall from the 9th floor to the ground. Moments later, he wakes and is approached by Eun-Hyeok and Eun-Yu. Now that Hyun-su's monster identity is revealed, the survivors discuss whether or not Hyun-su should be kicked out. Eun-Hyeok suggests they hold a poll, but the convenience store owner Seok-Hyeon insists that Hyun-su must be kicked out. To everyone's surprise, the result of the poll is a tie, and Seok-Hyeon is furious. He suddenly gets a nosebleed, showing symptoms of turning into a monster. Thus, Hyun-su is allowed to vote, and have himself isolated along with Seok-Hyeon. Sang-wook catches up with Yoon-Jae and beats him again, leading Yoon-Jae to seek refuge with the isolated ones. Jae-Heon prevents Sang-wook from beating him even further. Meanwhile, back upstairs, Du-Sik discovers that Myung-Sook has turned into a monster, a fetus-like shape which heart still beats and hums a song. Du-Sik makes a promise that should she turn into a monster, he will kill her - but he can't do it.|
|5||"Episode 5"||Lee Eung-bok, Jang Young-woo & Park So-hyun||Hong So-ri, Kim Hyung-min & Park So-jung||December 18, 2020|
|Eun-hyuk comes to Hyun-Su and asks him to retrieve Du-Sik upstairs, and says the priority is the old man rather than the children. Yi-kung dislikes the plan of using Hyun-Su to do dangerous tasks, although Eun-hyuk has his reasons, as well as showing her something that sparks her memory with her fiancé. Sang-wook has his own agenda for going upstairs, having secretly taken Yoon-Jae's key. In a burning hallway, Sang-Wook is suddenly snatched by the "Reach" monster, while Hyun-Su is attacked by the "Speed" monster. Luckily, the monster is scared by An Gil-Seob and Park Yu-Ri. They discover that Sang-Wook is only knocked unconscious. As they retrieve him, through the diary beside the dead monster, it is revealed that the guy lost his son because he failed to save him, and that he can't let go of the guilt so that he succumbs to the monster. As Sang-Wook recovers, he continues going upstairs and reaches the locked room. Inside, he discovers the room to be a red room, finding photos of abused children - indicating that Yoon-Jae is a pedophile. Confronting Yoon-Jae downstairs, Sang-Wook goes all out on him and finally beats him to death. He takes his body outside and comes back with the body of Su-Ung and Jin-Ok's daughter. Although he wants to isolate himself outside, Jae-Heon takes him back inside. The survivors build a funeral for the dead residents. Yi-Kyung discovers that she is pregnant. Hyun-su keeps on doing dangerous tasks for Eun-Hyeok.|
|6||"Episode 6"||Lee Eung-bok, Jang Young-woo & Park So-hyun||Hong So-ri, Kim Hyung-min & Park So-jung||December 18, 2020|
|Through flashbacks, it is revealed that Sang-Wook's father was caught in a fire accident, in which Sang-Wook barely survives with burn marks. He murders Ki-Hyuk, a man responsible for the fire but escaped trial prosecution. Years later, he was confronted by a father who begs him to rescue his daughter, in which he brought personal justice to Yoon-Jae in the present time. The survivors conduct a trial run in case of a monster attack, and they establish rules around the building to prevent any more casualties. Later, they all witness Seok-Hyeon has finally turned into a monster. His wife Seon-Yeon lands the killing blow to end his life. Eun-Yu starts to have feelings for Hyun-Su, in which she makes a promise to him. Hyun-Su is tasked to try find a functional car so they can use it to drive outside the building. But, after waiting for minutes, the others try to rescue him. Eager to find out more about the situation, Yi-Kyung decides to leave for her fiancé's office to look for answers. She discovers that the government has been experimenting with people turning into monsters. Before she is about to leave, she is captured by the military.|
|7||"Episode 7"||Lee Eung-bok, Jang Young-woo & Park So-hyun||Hong So-ri, Kim Hyung-min & Park So-jung||December 18, 2020|
|While being interrogated by the military, Yi-Kyung ends up revealing about Hyun-Su. Hearing about this, the military decides to let her go, on condition that she will report anything about Hyun-Su and leaves her with a tracker that will call the military to her location. The team tries to rescue Hyun-su from the basement and then arrives in time to save Mr. Han from the spider monster. Ji-soo is discovered to have appendicitis and needs surgery so he dispatches the team heads out to get surgery tools on top of food. It is also revealed that Hyun-su was bullied in school. Hyun-Su was trying to be a decent person, but things were not as he expected. Having grown fed up with everything, he tried to commit suicide by cutting his arm with a penknife. As soon as the dispatch team gets outside, their vehicle gets hit and turns upside down. The "Protein" monster is responsible for the attack.|
|8||"Episode 8"||Lee Eung-bok, Jang Young-woo & Park So-hyun||Hong So-ri, Kim Hyung-min & Park So-jung||December 18, 2020|
|Following an attack that leaves Ji-soo heavily injured, Eun-hyuk performs surgery, even though he's inexperienced at the job. Outside, Gil-seob and Hyun-Su are cornered by the "Protein" monster. Gil-seop prepares to sacrifice himself to save Hyun-Su, but Yi-Kyung suddenly comes with a firetruck and rams the "Protein" monster into the wall, and later pushes it down the cliff for it to be impaled by metal rebars. Inside, the surgery proves to be a success, and Ji-soo wakes up and has a heart to heart with Jae-Heon, him promising to teach her how to use his sword. Suddenly, the survivors discover someone who appears to be working with the military. With his walkie-talkie transmiting signals before it is destroyed, Yi-Kyung orders for the help sign to be dropped down. After taking down the sign, Hyun-Su and Sang-Wook spot the infected security guard carrying a grass cutter with bugs swarming his entire face. Jae-Heon loses one of his arms in the process of keeping the Security Guard Monster occupied while the others are too fearful of fighting it. Jae-Heon then sacrifices his own life to have Eun-hyuk throw a molotov cocktail, killing him along with the monster, much to everyone's shock and horror.|
|9||"Episode 9"||Lee Eung-bok, Jang Young-woo & Park So-hyun||Hong So-ri, Kim Hyung-min & Park So-jung||December 18, 2020|
|Ji-Su is devastated to learn that Jae-Heon has died, and Seon-Yeon has shown signs of turning into a monster. The group is attacked by a group of outlaws, but luckily Yi-Kyung and Sang-Wook stay hidden from them. The mercenaries torture the survivors, gathering them in a boundary circle, and shoot them if they cross the line. They tell the story of how they encountered a chapel full of dead bodies, as a result of the people in there killing each other, showing how humans can be scarier than monsters. Seon-Yeong appears to have already succumbed to be a monster, and Hyun-Su is forced to kill her. Through enough preparation, Yi-Kyung and Sang-Wook ambush the mercenaries, leading the survivors to overpower the latter. Yu-Ri is terrified at her killing a person in self-defense. Du-sik starts to show signs of nosebleeds, indicating that he is infected. On the rooftop, the team leader is about to kill Hyun-Su, when one of the team members suddenly stabs and throws him off the building. He then murders the rest of the team, sparing only one. He introduces himself as Ui-myeong, revealing himself to be a monster just like Hyun-Su. He reveals that he is the sole survivor from the church, and that joining the mercenaries was to disguise himself. Soon, the military sends pamphlets that ask the survivors to report any infected so that they will be granted safety. Ui-myeong asks Hyun-Su which side he will be on, once the survivors learn of the information on the pamphlet.|
|10||"Episode 10"||Lee Eung-bok, Jang Young-woo & Park So-hyun||Hong So-ri, Kim Hyung-min & Park So-jung||December 18, 2020|
|As the elevator opens, Hyun-Su introduces Ui-myeong to the rest of the survivors and states that he is just like himself, which causes the group to stand down. Upon burning and killing the goo monster, Ui-myeong believes humans and monsters cannot coexist. When Sang-wook attempts to take Yu-ri outside after finding her having an asthma attack, he is stopped by Ui-myeong, who won't let them go knowing that they will be eliminated by the military during Operation Golden Hour, which would eliminate everyone and everything. Hyun-Su allows Sang-wook to leave but this causes Ui-myeong to open fire and kill two survivors, it is only after Hyun-Su turns into a monster that he is stopped. Du-Sik sacrifices himself to calm Hyun-Su down. In the other room, Gil-seob peacefully dies in his sleep and is buried. However, it reveals a secret tunnel. After the bodies are buried, winter arrives, as well as the military who say the survivors will be transferred to a safety camp as well as the infected should surrender. Hyun-Su goes to confront the military while the apartment building starts to collapse as a result of a surviving outlaw causing an explosion and Eun-hyeok is killed during the collapse just as his nose starts to bleed. The survivors make it above ground after entering the tunnels and are transferred to a safety camp. Yi-Kyung decides to join the military, and advises the survivors to stay alive. Hyun-Su wakes up in an armored vehicle after confronting the military and is greeted by Sang-wook, only to realize it is instead Ui-myeong, who has taken Sang-wook's form.|
Director Lee Eung-bok "roughly" knew the ending of the Line Webtoon on which the series is based before the later released its last chapter in July 2020, though he decided to "differ a bit from the webtoon because [they're] showing on different platforms."
The series spent most of its budget, with each episode costing $2.7 million. Choreographer Kim Seol-jin and contortionist Troy James were chosen to record the monsters' movements through motion capture.
Although filming had already started, Netflix officially announced the series' lineup on December 18, 2019, with Song Kang, Lee Jin-wook and Lee Si-young in lead roles, and Lee Do-hyun, Kim Nam-hee, Go Min-si, Park Gyu-young, Go Yoon-jung, Kim Kap-soo and Kim Sang-ho as part of the ensemble cast.
Lee Eung-bok revealed that, during Song Kang's audition, the actor reminded him of Johnny Depp in Edward Scissorhands: "an image of someone who has a pure and innocent soul but is holding a spear in his hand." The actor was recommended to Lee Eung-bok by the director of Netflix's Love Alarm which propelled him to fame in August 2019. Lee Si-young's character does not appear in the original webtoon but the director "wanted to add a female character who can pull off really cool action scenes"; the actress being a former amateur boxer. She trained for six months prior to filming the series. Park Gyu-young admitted that she did not have high hopes about being picked for the series but "as soon as [she] left the audition set, the director called [her] and said to leave with a script."
Designers from Legacy Effects, VFX Studio Westworld and Spectral Motion, who worked on films such as the Avengers and Avatar as well as the television series Game of Thrones and Stranger Things, were recruited for Sweet Home.
On November 18, 2020, Netflix released a trailer for the series announcing that Sweet Home would premiere on December 18.
Sweet Home is the first South Korean series to enter Netflix Top 10 in the United States, reaching the top 3. Three days after its release, the series ranked #1 in 8 regions and was within the Top 10 in 42 regions. The show was viewed by 22 million paid subscribers worldwide in the first 4 weeks of its release and appeared in the Netflix top 10 in more than 70 countries.
The series drew attention among viewers for its portrayal of strong female characters. It was praised by viewers for its "high-quality visual effects" and "the deep human connections among the characters." However, many criticized the soundtrack which they believe did not fit with the story, as well as the lack of monsters in the latter episodes of the season. On this, director Lee Eung-bok said that "[he] know[s] some of the viewers were anticipating more gore, but [he] hope[s] they will understand why monsters were absent from some parts of our drama."
Kavya Christopher of The Times of India gave a rating of 4/5 and said, "One does not need to be a lover of the horror genre to enjoy this series, thanks to the many underlying plots of the various characters – both big and small. The action is superb, to say the least, and the drama is endearing at various levels."
Joel Keller of Decider said that "despite its flaws and a premise we’ve seen before, Sweet Home distinguishes itself by its setting and its monsters. We will see if the drama between the survivors will keep us watching."
Pierce Conran of South China Morning Post gave a rating of 3/5, saying that "despite a breathless opening episode and some grisly fun throughout, Sweet Home does not provide much of a story for viewers to get hooked on."
In another mixed review, Meagan Navarro of Bloody Disgusting said that "what sprints out of the gate and sets up an exciting creature-filled horror series quickly comes to a slow crawl zombie apocalypse that we’ve seen many times before. It just swaps out the zombies for monsters."
Similarly, Jonathan Wilson from Ready Steady Cut said that "Sweet Home gets off to a racing start and never really lets up, leading to a frantic, messy, but ultimately enjoyable binge-watch."
Awards and NominationsEdit
|2021||57th Baeksang Arts Awards||Best New Actor (TV)||Song Kang||Nominated|||
|Best New Actress (TV)||Park Gyu-young||Nominated|
|Technical Award (Visual effects)||Lee Byung-joo||Nominated|
- Go, Jae-wan (December 18, 2019). "[공식]송강X이진욱X이시영, 넷플릭스 '스위트홈' 제작 확정". Sports Chosun (in Korean). Naver. Retrieved December 20, 2019.
- Schwartz, William (December 19, 2020). "Lee Eung-bok Makes Convincing Comeback With "Sweet Home"". HanCinema. Retrieved December 22, 2020.
- Lim, Jang-won (December 22, 2020). "[Herald Interview] 'I almost became a monster'". The Korea Herald. Retrieved December 22, 2020.
- Yonhap (December 22, 2020). "Hit director Lee Eung-bok returns with loveless 'Sweet Home'". The Korea Times. Retrieved December 22, 2020.
- Lee, Jae-lim (December 16, 2020). "New Netflix series hopes for same success as its webtoon namesake". Korea JoongAng Daily. Retrieved December 22, 2020.
- Kang, Minji (December 18, 2019). "Director Lee Eung-bok to Return With New Netflix Original Series Sweet Home". Netflix Media. Retrieved December 20, 2019.
- White, Peter (December 18, 2019). "'Sweet Home': 'Mr. Sunshine' Director Lee Eung-bok To Adapt Korean Horror Cartoon For Netflix". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved December 20, 2019.
- Lim, Jang-won (December 23, 2020). "'Sweet Home' actor Song Kang rises to Netflix stardom". The Korea Herald. Retrieved December 23, 2020.
- Hwang, So-young (November 15, 2020). "After first lead role, Lee Do-hyun reflects and prepares". Korea JoongAng Daily. Retrieved December 22, 2020.
- Lim, Jang-won (December 16, 2020). "Star K-drama director Lee Eung-bok brings 'Sweet Home' to life". The Korea Herald. Retrieved December 22, 2020.
- Park, Ji-won (December 17, 2020). "Korean monster thriller hits Netflix". The Korea Times. Retrieved December 22, 2020.
- "Netflix Remake of Korean Webtoon Set to Be Released". The Chosun Ilbo. December 17, 2020. Retrieved December 22, 2020.
- Layug, Margaret Claire (November 19, 2020). "Here's everything you need to know about Netflix's new Korean thriller series 'Sweet Home'". GMA News Online. Retrieved November 19, 2020.
- Lee, Gyu-lee (December 27, 2020). "Netflix's 'Sweet Home' soars in streaming ranking worldwide". The Korea Times. Retrieved December 27, 2020.
- Schwartz, William (December 21, 2020). ""Sweet Home" Ascends to Eighth Place in International Netflix Chart". HanCinema. Retrieved December 22, 2020.
- Frater, Patrick (January 19, 2021). "East Asian Series Score Global Audiences on Netflix (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved January 21, 2021.
- Schwartz, William (December 20, 2020). ""Sweet Home" Draws Praise for Strong Female Characters". HanCinema. Retrieved December 22, 2020.
- Lee, Jae-lim (December 23, 2020). "When it comes to gore, the 'Sweet Home' series proves more is more". Korea JoongAng Daily. Retrieved December 23, 2020.
- Christopher, Kavya (January 7, 2021). "Sweet Home Season 1 Review: A gripping tale that leaves you wanting to devour more". The Times of India. Retrieved January 21, 2021.
- Keller, Joel (December 18, 2020). "Stream It Or Skip It: 'Sweet Home' On Netflix, Where Residents Of A Grungy Apartment Building Hide From Bloodthirsty Monsters". Decider. Retrieved December 19, 2020.
- Conran, Pierce (December 21, 2020). "K-drama review: Sweet Home – in Netflix horror show, monster fun makes up for a hokey story". South China Morning Post. Retrieved December 22, 2020.
- Navarro, Meagan (December 21, 2020). "[Review] Netflix's "Sweet Home" Replaces Zombies with Monsters in Repetitive Apocalypse Tale". Bloody Disgusting. Retrieved December 22, 2020.
- Wilson, Jonathon (December 18, 2020). "Sweet Home review – a relentless, gore-soaked good time". readysteadycut.com. Retrieved February 2, 2021.
- Kim, Ji-hye. 제57회 백상예술대상, TV·영화·연극 부문 최종 후보 발표..13일 생방송[공식] [The 57th Baeksang Arts Awards, finalists announced in the TV·Film·Drama category.. Live broadcast on the 13th]. Herald Pop (in Korean) – via Naver.