The Korea Herald


[Herald Review] Monster horror series 'Gyeongseong Creature' disappoints

By Lee Yoon-seo

Published : Dec. 27, 2023 - 15:36

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"Gyeongseong Creature" (Netflix)

Touted as the most anticipated Netflix original Korean drama series of the second half of the year, "Gyeongseong Creature," the latest work of director Jung Dong-yoon, fell flat upon its release.

Set against the backdrop of Gyeongseong, today's Seoul, in 1945, "Gyeongseong Creature" is a 10-part thriller drama that centers around the stories of two individuals who encounter monsters in a mysterious hospital.

While the series proclaimed itself as a monster horror series, the computer graphics for the creatures left much to be desired, especially under a whopping 70 billion won ($54 million) production price tag. The CG quality in "Gyeongseong Creature" is even more glaring when compared to that of "Sweet Home," a popular monster horror series. Studio Dragon created the CG for both series.

Viewers may also find it difficult to immerse themselves in the drama as the characters mix the language and speech style that was prevalent in Korea during the Japanese colonial period with modern Korean language and slang.

Perhaps the most problematic of all is the drama series' implausible and slow-paced plot. The romance between the main protagonists played by Park Seo-joon and Han So-hee, one of the integral events in the drama moving the plot forward, is unconvincing and rushed. Each episode is flooded with intentionally slowed scenes that drag the plot and running time.

There was much excitement for the latest work by Jung who helmed tvN's romance drama "It's Okay to Not Be Okay" and SBS' sports drama "Stove League." He paired up with famed screenwriter Kang Eun-kyung, who was responsible for numerous hit Korean drama series including SBS' "Dr. Romantic" trilogy, MBC's "Gu Family Book" and KBS' "Bread, Love and Dreams."

The unique combination of the popular monster horror and historical drama genres, and casting of popular actors such as Park, Han, Claudia Kim and Wi Ha-joon, only added to the anticipated frenzy.

Even with the release date strategically scheduled over the holiday season to attract the maximum audience, "Gyeongseong Creature" has drawn mostly mixed reviews online.

The first season of "Gyeongseong Creature," or the first seven episodes, is streaming on Netflix. The last three episodes of the drama series, labeled as the second season, will air on Jan. 5.