When it comes to most creature features, they are usually shown as the results of scientific experiments, either as unforeseen collateral damage or as a planned weapon for mass destruction. The Gyeongseong Creature falls into the latter category. The Korean drama has been touted as being a story of ruthless greed and ambition. That makes sense since all colonizations were a result of that. In the thirst for more power, scientific experiments were carried out to create a monster that would be equal to an army. The scientist in the Gyeongseong Creature is able to do that, but the problem is that he doesn’t know how to control it.
The monster was created by introducing a worm called the Najin into their system. People who are able to resist the Najin become monsters, and others simply die after a few days of illness. So far, the Najin have managed to work on only one person, and that is the monster they have. But the problem with the monster is that it is a creature driven by bloodlust and hunger. It has no agenda, unlike its creators, and all it wants to do is kill and eat. But it is far from being a zombie. The creature is intelligent enough to learn to use the elevator, and eventually, we see how it tries to protect Chae Ok when it recognizes who she is.
So far, the creature can only be subdued by strong nitrogen gas. We suppose it knows how to heal itself since all the bullet wounds are not able to finish it off. Our guess is that the worm (Najin) obliterates all the senses of human beings other than their sense of sight, smell, hearing, and hunger. The newly created monsters are in fight-or-flight mode. This is something extremely primal, so much so that it feels like evolution took a few steps back in the creation of these monsters.
When Chae Ok called out to the monster as ‘mother,’ it immediately stopped its attack on her. That was the only thing the scientist needed to see: whether the monster could be controlled using people from its past life. The monster recognized Chae Ok since the memories of her as a child were still fresh in its mind. It protected Chae Ok with all it had by recognizing the threats around it and then breaking off Chae Ok’s chains to free her, and it even threw her towards the exit. We are looking at a being with maternal instinct that was willing to sacrifice itself for the sake of its offspring. The way it protects Chae Ok is also proof of the monster’s intelligence. It notes the threats coming from all around it, and when freeing Chae Ok, it is aware of her ability to run to protect herself. But the most stunning part of the monster’s actions was its ability to mimic humans when it did not remember that part of itself. The creature knew how to use the lift because it had seen the officers do that before. It had noted that action and was acting on it. Secondly, it must be noted that the creature sought freedom. It is fair to assume that the creature was not starving in any sense of the word. When it escaped, the only thing the monster was seeking was to not be confined. We don’t know what makes it more human than that.
We are often told that animals only kill for their need, which is hunger, whereas humans kill for their ‘greed,’ which can be food, clothing, or sport. The monster killed many people, but it was not eating all of them. That means it wasn’t even simple hunger guiding it, but just a plain desire for bloodshed. Even zombies kill because of some sort of insatiable hunger, but not this creature. Something we have to consider is that maybe the creature was taking revenge. After all, it was capable of retaining memories. Maybe it remembered being captured, experimented on, and perhaps being separated from its offspring, which is why it wanted to destroy everything in its way. At some point, the creature lost a sense of differentiation between enemies and friends and only came back for a brief second with Chae Ok.
Drawing from the creature features we have seen, human experiments are often about turning them into zombies. It also alters them to have no sense of anything except hunger, and they can’t be killed because they are just a mass of rotting body parts that have no effect on their lives. As for other creatures, like Godzilla, Jaws, or anything else, they are the result of an accident gone wrong, which gives them unspeakable strength. However, we are thinking of The Last of Us, where a fungus of some kind altered people’s biology over time. In contrast to all that, this Najin made by the scientist turned people into monsters in a matter of days. It not only obliterated their senses but changed their entire biology uncontrollably, and they did it too soon. Could the scientist have anticipated this or even planned for it? Our guess is that he did not begin with the intention of creating such a monster. He simply wanted to create soldiers who would be led by nothing but bloodlust and would be strong because of it. But the monster was the result. The scientist was not scared of his creation, but he celebrated it. His madness had gone beyond his job and what he was initially told to do. He did not care about which country the monster would kill for. He just wanted to learn how to control it so that he could become the most powerful person in the world.
One of the disappointments of Part 1 of Gyeongseong Creature was that the scientist and his madness did not get enough screen time. With the possibility of more monsters in Part 2, maybe that mistake can be fixed because, cliche or not, it is the most interesting part of the narrative.