Squid Game is a Killer Show


Official Netflix Promotion Image

Squid Game follows multiple different characters’ journeys as they compete for 45.6 Billion Won in a series of 6 childhood games.

On September 17th, Nexflix premiered its original series Squid Game, starring Lee Jung-Jae, and directed by Hwang Dong-Hyuk. The show has been met with global admiration, topping daily charts in 83 countries, garnering a 100% Rotten Tomatoes score, and gaining considerable coverage in the media. 

Squid Game follows multiple poverty-stricken, desperate characters who are convinced to participate in a series of games for the chance to win 45.6 billion Korean won (around 38 million USD). The games they will participate in are revealed to be childhood games that they are all familiar with: red light green light, tug of war, and more, but with a darker twist. As they enter the first game, they realize that people who lose aren’t just eliminated; they are killed. The remaining contestants now realize that they’ve been tricked into participating in a game to the death.

The series, a gruesome criticism of capitalism’s effects on the working class, depicts how the need for money causes people to throw away their humanity and morals. As the games continue and more contestants are eliminated, tensions grow higher and people begin to turn on each other, becoming increasingly desperate for the money. Every actor does a great job capturing the very essence of this, from the guilt each character goes through as their friends and teammates are eliminated, to the complex feelings they have as they’re forced to sacrifice their morals for the sake of their survival. The game explores each character’s different thoughts and feelings towards the game. Some of whom, such as Cho Sangwoo, believe they were able to survive because of their wits, while others, like the main character Seong Gi-hun, believe they were able to survive due to the sacrifices of the other players. 

When it comes to other details of the film, Squid Game continues to awe viewers with the amazing detail put into each scene. The sets used are incredibly detailed, providing both a sense of nostalgia with the playful, pastel colors and shapes based off of children’s textbooks according to Director Hwang Dong-Hyuk, a sharp contrast to the high stakes from losing each game. Art director Chae Kyoung Sun’s creativity shines in these sets, even in areas such as the main room, where the unique way the beds are laid out like boxes in a warehouse helps emphasize the objectification of the players. The nearly identical tracksuits, differing only in number, add to this concept, as do the tracksuits worn by the administrators. Each set sets the tone of the episode, as the games continue and contestants are eliminated. 

While Squid Game isn’t suitable for all audiences due to the gruesome violence, it’s a great show to watch for those who can stomach the gore and psychological horror, especially for those who enjoy survival games. It’s incredibly addictive and great for binge-watching, especially with the great pacing of the series, as well as the cliffhangers that lead viewers from each episode to the next.