Halloween isn’t for another week, but Netflix already has another treat for horror lovers. Creature, the new Turkish horror miniseries, has premiered on the 10 most popular shows on Netflix. It stars Taner Ölmez as Ziya, an idealistic young doctor whose determination to defeat death results in the creation of his own Creature (Erkan Kolçak Köstendil).
If you think that sounds like the plot of Mary Shelley’s famous novel, Frankenstein, then you’re not wrong. Çağan Irmak has put his own personal touches on the story that is at once familiar and different. And we’ve got three reasons why you should watch Creature this Halloween. We also have a viewing tip: Watch it in the original Turkish language with subtitles. The English dub isn’t as convincing as the native tongue from the original.
Almost every incarnation of Frankenstein takes some liberties with the original story, but Creature takes more than most. In addition to changing the names of the major characters, the primary setting for the story is Istanbul in Turkey during the reign of the Ottoman Empire.
That means more than just a new backdrop for the story. It’s an entirely different culture with its own beliefs about death, science, and beyond. Ziya is initially more altruistic than Victor Frankenstein was in the novel. In his mind, Ziya sees conquering death as his ultimate gift to mankind, and he truly believes that this will change the world for the better. But like Dr. Frankenstein, Ziya is so blinded by his ambition that he doesn’t realize he’s gone too far until it’s too late.
Because this story doesn’t play out exactly like Frankenstein, Erkan Kolçak Köstendil had the rare opportunity to play two roles in this incarnation. He portrays Ziya’s mentor, İhsan, the man who helped teach him that life doesn’t necessarily end with the grave. Unfortunately for Ihsan, his untimely death allows Ziya to resurrect him as the unnamed Creature.
The Creature proves to be a disappointment to his maker, and also a showcase for Köstendil to bring out the pathos of his character. The Creature is capable of more than just death or destruction, and he just wants to find the same community and love that humans have for each other. Unlike Frankenstein’s Monster in the book, the Creature actually gets a taste of having real love in his life. At least until fate cruelly snatches away his only chances for happiness.
At its core, Frankenstein is about the man and the monster, as both Victor and the Monster trade roles during the course of the story. Creature follows the same trajectory with its tale of Ziya and his creation. Surprisingly, it doesn’t stray that far from the novel, although at times it seems to be taking more influences from the Frankenstein movies than the original book.
Regardless, the confrontation between Ziya and his Creature plays out in a satisfactory way. Without spoiling things, their final meeting mirrors the birth of the Creature. And while there are tragic elements, at least one member of this cast of characters gets to end the show in a happier place in his life.
Watch Creature on Netflix.
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