‘The Squid Game’ is sweeping the Netflix viewing figures. The people of the platform themselves are stunned that a series that does not belong to a previous franchise or is an adaptation is working like that, but clearly it is a sign that people also need fresh and renewing products. Of course … what happens when it ends?
Waiting for a second season that may still be late in coming, we have a few possibilities that you can access if you liked this splendid Korean torture chamber. From claustrophobic horror to Olympic dystopias, these are some ideas to continue the vibes of ‘The Squid Game’, and which you can access right now at streaming.
‘Alice in Borderland’
The series with which ‘The Squid Game’ has been most tirelessly compared is this Japanese production with which it bears indisputable parallels. Although in this case the action takes place in a kind of transformed and virtual Tokyo, and there is a clear component linked to video games. The protagonist and a couple of friends will have to face successive lethal tests to survive, in a production based on a manga that is just now beginning to be published in Spanish.
Another series with which ‘The Squid Game’ has been invariably compared, although this one has much more accentuated dystopian levels. It is a powerful Brazilian series in which lThe wealthy go to live on an island and the rest of the population can only be saved if it belongs to a privileged 3% that passes a series of deadly tests. Hunger games and gymkhanas to the limit.
Although the ultra-moral thriller plot of the fun saga of soap operas and torture porn James Wan goes the other way, ‘The Squid Game’ has a lot in common with this series. On one side the elaborate torture systems that are both tests of skill and examinations of conscience. On the other hand, the psychological background behind the concept of games, closer to lethal psychoanalysis than entertainment to just pass the time.
The comparison between ‘The Squid Game’ and ‘Parasites’ may seem simple (both are Korean, both have been international hits), but it makes perfect sense: The vision they offer of the clash of social classes is bitter and ruthless, but it is not without a sense of humor. And although both are set in the present, the allegorical style of the two sends us to a kind of contemporary dystopias, to which must be added a certain tone of macabre game of identity theft in Bong Joon-ho’s film, which connects with the deadly tests disguised as children’s entertainment from the Netflix series.
A modest and very curious film, which draws so much from the fashion of the torture porn a la ‘Saw’ like stylized and claustrophobic science fiction movies like ‘Cube’, and which puts a group of people locked in a moral dilemma that sustains the entire film. The participants in this test have to vote and decide who is the next to die of all of them. A nice abstract fable, tense and full of twists.
‘The Hunger Games’
Other clear and direct reference, both for its allegorical tone and for the very idea of a lethal game that will bring prosperity to those who win. The youthful tone of ‘The Hunger Games’ undoubtedly distances itself from the extremely violent aesthetic of ‘The Squid Game’, but it is always a good idea to recover this franchise that, once the media maremagnum that accompanied it has passed, has remained as a sympathetic dystopia for all audiences with elements (such as game hosts) ingrained in pop culture indelibly.
Halfway between ‘The Hunger Games’ and ‘Battle Royale’ (the great absent from this list, which is not present on any platform), this Amazon youth series was canceled after just one season, but the one we have provides its good dose of suspense and tension. Each summer in a Texas town, seniors compete in a series of challenges with the winner taking home a large amount of money. All 23 players will face their fears to win.
‘Nerve: A game without rules’
A virtual game based on typical social media challenges and demanding ever-increasing recklessness in exchange for money is the basis of this youthful thriller that connects with the famous ‘The Game’ by David Fincher, perhaps one of the first times that mainstream cinema adapted the idea of urban cat and mouse games. Much brighter and more carefree than ‘The Squid Game’, it provides a good time of adrenaline and crazy tests for those who do not want to face a whole series.
Its plot can go along different paths (here we have a tower with interconnected floors where every so often the two inhabitants of each floor change places and have to survive for several days with the food that they are left on upper floors), but we also have a lethal test with a desirable final prize, and that the protagonists have to master no longer to win, but directly to survive. An openly dystopian Spanish film, with limited resources but overflowing imagination, which became an international success when Netflix took over.