Squid Game has become an international phenomenon, with the Korean show on track to become Netflix’s biggest series ever.
The show follows a man, Seung Gi-hun, who, due to massive debts he owes loan sharks, signs up to take part in a game where he could win 45.6billion won, or £28.2million.
Participants are tasked with playing childhood games to progress to the next round, like playing ‘Green Light, Red Light’, or carving shapes out of honeycomb – but the twist is, the losers aren’t just eliminated, they are brutally killed.
The only downside to becoming obsessed with Squid Game is that there’s just one season to watch, so after it ends, you may be looking for something in a similar vein.
Here are 10 examples of the deadly competition genre that may satisfy your twisted needs.
The daddy of all deadly competition movies, if any Squid Game fans haven’t watched this cult classic, you’re missing out.
This 2000 Japanese action-thriller follows a group of high school students who are chosen to participate in the government’s annual ‘Battle Royale’ to curb juvenile delinquency.
Each student is given a random weapon and sent out onto an island where they will fight to the death for three days until a winner emerges – with explosive collars on their necks ready to blow up any participants who refuse to cooperate.
While Battle Royale initially faced bans and distribution issues around the world, it became a cultural phenomenon, and is considered one of the most influential films of the 21st century, inspiring directors like Quentin Tarantino.
Alice In Borderland
If you’ve finished Squid Game, you may have noticed this Japanese drama being recommended to you by Netflix, and for good reason.
Based on the manga of the same name by Haro Aso, Alice In Borderland – which premiered last year on Netflix – is a bit like Squid Game in premise, but more on the sci-fi spectrum.
Two players are forced to compete in dangerous games in an abandoned building, the type and difficulty of which are determined by playing cards.
If they survive, they get a ‘visa’, but once their visa expires, they will be executed by red lasers. Fun!
The Hunger Games
The Hunger Games drew plenty of parallels to Battle Royale when Suzanne Collins’ books hit the big screen, but that didn’t stop the trilogy becoming one of the highest grossing film franchises of all time.
Jennifer Lawrence plays Katniss Everdeen, who volunteers as a ‘tribute’ in a nationally televised event, where ‘tributes’ from various districts in a dystopian America fight to the death until one survivor remains.
Series 7: The Contenders
Perhaps a bit ahead of its time, the 2001 film Series 7: The Contenders is a satire on reality television that didn’t make too much of an impact upon its release.
However, in recent years, it’s become a bit of a cult film.
Shot in the style of a reality show, we watch the seventh series of the show The Contenders, where five people chosen from a national lottery, along with the winner of the previous season, are given guns and forced to hunt and kill each other for the cameras.
Das Millionenspiel and Le Prix du Danger
Both the German film Das Millionenspiel and French-Yugoslav movie Le Prix du Danger are adaptations of the 1958 short story by Robert Sheckley, The Prize of Peril.
The films and the story tell the tale of a television show where the chosen candidate must survive being hunted down by professional killers to win a cash prize.
The Running Man
Based on the Stephen King novel, The Running Man is set in a dystopian America in 2017, where economic collapse has led to a totalitarian police state, and criminals attempt to flee mercenaries on the game show The Running Man to earn a state pardon.
Arnold Schwarzenegger plays a man who was framed for a crime and finds himself competing in The Running Man in exchange for two resistance fighters’ freedom.
The action film is being remade by Paramount Pictures, with Edgar Wright at the helm.
If you want a series to get your teeth into, try the Brazilian thriller 3%, which ran for four seasons on Netflix.
The Portuguese language show follows people from the impoverished ‘Inland’, who are given an opportunity to complete ‘The Process’ and advance to the affluence of the distant ‘Offshore’ society.
However, through ‘eliminations’ and deaths, just 3% survive/
Doctor Who – Bad Wolf
You can find pretty much every genre in Doctor Who, so it’s no surprise ‘deadly competition’ popped up way back in the first series of the revival in 2005.
The highly praised episode saw the Doctor (Christopher Eccleston), Rose Tyler (Billie Piper) and Captain Jack Harkness (John Barrowman) brought on board the game show broadcasting satellite Satellite Five to help defeat the Daleks, who are controlling the controller.
The trio find themselves competing on TV classics like Big Brother and The Weakest Link, but anyone voted off will be exterminated.
Ready or Not
A surprise hit for 2019, comedy horror Ready or Not gives the deadly competition genre a twist by throwing in a creepy family and a wedding night.
Samara Weaving plays Grace, who marries into the Le Domas family, the owners of a successful family games company. As part of a family tradition, Grace is told to choose a card from a puzzle box, on which there will be a game they must play.
Grace draws ‘hide and seek’ – which quickly turns the family hunting Grace to avoid a perceived curse which will kill them all at dawn.
Very bloody, very twisted, and very funny.
The Belko Experiment
Written by Marvel director James Gunn, the 2016 horror thriller The Belko Experiment is set at a company in Bogotá, Colombia, which employs 80 Americans.
All is normal when the employees show up to work one day, until they are locked inside the building and instructed by a mysterious voice to start killing each other.
Talk about a bad day at the office.
Squid Game is available to stream now on Netflix.
Credit: Original article published here.