Show Review: Squid Game



Squid Game was released worldwide on Sept. 17 2021.

   Exhilaration, anticipation and trepidation.

   Hwang Dong-hyuk’s “Squid Game” is a nine episode thriller that has deservedly gained the title of being the most-watched Netflix series globally. 

    The show follows 456 desperately impoverished people with debts to play and prices to pay. The high stakes and absurdity of the  games  jawdropingly depict just how far people would go for money. 

    Characters initially receive a strange invitation to earn $45.6 billion won over the course of six days by simply playing childrens’ games.  

   The catch? You die if you lose. 

   Only after the characters awoke in an unfamiliar dormitory, encircled by masked staff, did they realize that they had signed up for and designed their own demise.

   The intensity and unpredictability of the show defied my expectations. 

   In the very first episode, a seemingly harmless game of red light green light became a battle between life and the ever present death.  

     Bullets are fired and characters drop dead, all set against the chants of a murderous doll. 

   As the doll cried “Mugunghwa kkochi piotsseumnida” (“the hibiscus flower blooms”), my skin crawled. 

   The doll’s eerie cries still echoed even through the English subtitles.  

   Regardless of language barriers, “Squid Game” exhilarates and torments all its viewers —because viewers always know the next lifeless body could be one of their favorite characters. 

   Death is inevitable. 

   There are several more childrens’ games left and there is only one winner. 

    When the animatronic girl finally turned around, the participants were able to run towards the finish line, however, when the doll faced them, it scanned for movement. Blood spilled for those who lost balance.

    Once the game was over, half of the players had been killed, and the remaining group had the opportunity to quit the game. Yet, when they were reminded of the amount they were playing for, many decided to continue playing despite the murders that took place in front of their eyes. 

   Still in the jaws of death, contestants willingly overlook their collective good for the promise of financial stability, often associated with success and happiness.  

   And as time elapsed, the game quickly became “survival of the fittest.” As the tasks toughened with every passing day, so did the contestants’ desire to defeat one another—to emerge victorious.   Their normalized sighs of relief when others died rather than themselves were frightening.

   The contestants’ detachment from humanity could result in success, but how far could that success possibly take them and at what cost? 


Quick take: Chilling, captivating and calamitous.