Webtoon, Reviews

The Guy Upstairs Review: Surviving a Killer

Enter Hanza’s dark thriller “The Guy Upstairs” and explore the unhinged story that delves into the minds of its fascinating characters.

The Guy Upstairs Cover
Image: Webtoon
By: Amy MouaFeb 23, 2024, 2:27 AM

The Guy Upstairs

Review
Rating
10
Excellent
The Guy Upstairs Full Cover

Writer: Hanza

Artist: Hanza

Publisher: Webtoon

Release Date: October 13, 2022

Format: Webtoon

With suspenseful storytelling and dynamic characters, Hanza creates an intriguing webtoon that makes you want to uncover more of its mysteries and twists.

I’ve been a longtime fan of Hanza since their 2019 debut work, “My Deepest Secret.” That series left many readers, myself included, amazed at their skills in creating a captivating webtoon filled with interesting characters and compelling storylines. So, you cannot imagine my excitement when Hanza came out with their second and current work, “The Guy Upstairs.” I picked up the webtoon thriller expecting good things, and so far, Hanza has delivered. Continue below to read my review of the ongoing first season of “The Guy Upstairs.”

Overview

Rozy is a college student who often hears suspicious noises coming from the apartment above her. While her neighbor living in that apartment seems normal, gentle, and charismatic, Rozy discovers his true character when she accidentally witnesses him murder his date. But when the cops and her own best friend don’t believe her, Rozy must take things into her own hands, especially before her friend becomes his next victim.

Adam attacks his victim

Review

I personally view suspense and mystery as difficult genres to accomplish. Creators must balance elements of suspense, surprise, and character development without the story becoming predictable or cliche. It takes a deep understanding of storytelling intricacies to tell a genuinely captivating mystery. In the case of “The Guy Upstairs,” Hanza executes the genre very well. They are great at using dramatic facial expressions, angles, and out-of-frame scenes to build suspense throughout every episode. In a unique twist, the story does not even shy away from revealing Adam as a murderer early on. While most stories would have slowly built up the tension to such a reveal, this webtoon wastes no time on what is only the tip of the iceberg. With that revelation out of the way, it makes room for the plot to thicken even further, adding more layers of mysteries to uncover. Each episode leaves readers hanging at the edge of their seats, as plot twists have been a major highlight for this series. It’s hard not to come up with a million theories every time the story drops a big revelation. I am always left in torture, waiting a week for the next clue. While my usual rofan webtoons torment my heart, this engrossing thriller plays with my mind.

As thrilling as the plot is on its own, the characters and their distinct personalities are what pull me into the story. Rozy is a book- and street-smart female lead who can hold her own even in the most dangerous situations. Despite her very withdrawn and quiet nature, Rozy has a subtle charm that makes her such a fascinating character to follow. Rozy’s smarts and unique charisma are why it’s often alluded to how similar she and Adam are. The only times she ever loses her cool and calm are when she has to protect her best friend Hawa. Her sometimes weirdly erratic behavior has made me curious to see more of her POV. However, so far it feels like Rozy’s character hasn’t had much screen time as the plot shifts to explore Adam and Hawa’s relationship dynamic and character development. With Rozy at the center of it all, I expect big things to be revealed about her character as the story continues to unfold.

Rozy is shocked

Adam, on the other hand, has everything you’d want from a well-written and compelling villain. His charm is expressed through his dialogue and demeanor when he seduces and manipulates other characters with his “nice guy” act. When he puts on his façade, he acts like a gentleman and takes on softer facial expressions. There is even a subtlely brighter tone in coloring when he has his “mask” on for other characters to see. But when the doors are closed, his actions and appearance become much more vicious. It’s no surprise that some readers are drawn to his distinct charm and presence despite his evil ways. Think of him as a fictional, better-looking, Malaysian version of Ted Bundy. While my interest in Adam isn’t as big as it is for Rozy, the webtoon is great at teasing the details of his backstory and motivations for wanting to kill.

Then there is Hawa. She is Rozy’s best friend and the fixation in Adam’s eyes. While her bubbly personality stands out at first, the story shows there’s much more to Hawa than it seems. Season one gives glimpses of her POV, revealing a more complex nature behind her character. She’s bold and optimistic, albeit a bit sheltered, which makes for a good contrast against Rozy’s more cynical and rational personality. As frustrating as it can be when Hawa puts herself in dangerous situations despite Rozy’s best efforts, her character helps to pull the whole story together. Hawa and Rozy share such an interesting dynamic that only gets more intriguing when Adam enters the picture. Ultimately, the relationships between the three MCs keep me hooked on the story and where it will lead.

Hawa is questioning what's happening

Final Thoughts

In the recent episodes, tension is high between Rozy and Hawa as Adam drives a wedge between their relationship. Along with this, there seem to be allusions to important revelations about Rozy’s character that I feel will be a shocker when readers find out. I’m impressed by how Hanza has been building the story so far. Even though it feels like the webtoon just started, I’m really looking forward to how it will eventually end. Once we hit the halfway mark of the series, I believe the pace will pick up and lead to the best plot twists yet. Overall, season one has been a thrilling read that continues to hook me in with each episode.

Why You Should Read The Guy Upstairs

  • The unique plot and original characters easily draw you in for a thrilling experience.
  • Hanza’s skill in writing suspense constantly keeps you on your toes.
  • With careful color choice and sharp character expressions, the art delivers a somber mood that matches the dark thriller.
TAGGED: Webtoon
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