Squid Game Review

Photo courtesy of Netflix.

Photo courtesy of Netflix.

With its simple childhood games juxtaposed with life or death outcomes, the all new nine-part Korean thriller, “Squid Game,” recently exploded on social media after being released as a Netflix exclusive in mid September. 

Throughout the series we follow a cast of unique characters living distinctly different lifestyles and varying circumstances. Even so, the characters all find similarity in that they are all saddled with large amounts of debt. Each contestant is presented with an equal opportunity to win the money, which would be more than enough to pay off what they owe. By competing in the Death Game, players who fail to complete the challenge or lose face impartial execution by game staff.

One of the characters is Seung Gi-hun, a divorced, debt crippled, middle aged man who is presented the opportunity to participate in the game with 455 other players for the chance to win 45.6 billion won, or close to 40 million U.S. dollars. Contestants quickly are “eliminated” as soon as they individually (or as a team) lose a game. 

The language of origin for squid games is in Korean and presents Non-Korean speaking audience members with 2 options, Subbed or Dubbed. While the dubbing of the show makes the view easy, the dramatization and emotions portrayed by the actors is very quickly lost. Watching the series subbed may take time to get used to. However, watching the show subbed better captures the actors original vocal intent. 

Squid Game dives into commentary on social class and inequality, a common trope seen in the thriller genre. However, Squid Game envelopes a deeper illustration of the unequal conditions from which the contestants come, bringing up questions on human nature of people who have nothing to lose. 

Squid Game is not for the squeamish, with gratuitous gore at some points and the generous use of blood. If blood doesn’t bother you, it is an excellent series for lovers of psychological thrillers and dramatic horror.

Overall, Squid Games acting is believable and realistic and conveys emotions through more than just dialogue. The clash of colorful settings and the dark tone of the characters creates a rift in the emotions that requires the viewers to contemplate exactly what they feel. Squid Game ranks highly and I would recommend those who like a little darkness to their thrillers to check it out.