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9 shows and movies to watch after Squid Game

Park Hae-soo, Lee Jung-jae and Jung Ho-yeon star in Squid Game
(Image credit: Netflix)

Squid Game has taken the world by storm. The Korean drama has become one of Netflix’s biggest hits for its violent, twisted take on popular children’s games like Red Light, Green Light. The well-drawn characters and thought-provoking examination of capitalism are also why TG staffers are among the millions of viewers who can’t stop watching Squid Game.

Once you’ve binged all nine episodes, you may be left craving more. Netflix has yet to announce Squid Game season 2, but luckily, there are similar shows and movies to fill the void. We’ve compiled a list of what you should watch after Squid Game. 

Alice in Borderland

Like Squid Game, Alice in Borderland features characters who must play and win games or face deadly consequences. As you might imagine, it's also a violent and bloody exploration of human nature. Based on a manga of the same name, the series follows hardcore video game enthusiast Arisu (Kento Yamazaki) and friends who become trapped in an alternate, dystopian version of Tokyo. There, they are forced to play a series of games, like Tag and Hide and Seek. If they win, they survive and advance. If they lose, they die. If they sit out a game, their “visa” to the Borderlands expires and (you guessed it) they die. 

Rotten Tomatoes score: 83%
Rating:
TV-MA
Streaming on Netflix

Battle Royale

The cast of Battle Royale

(Image credit: Toei Company)

If you’ve ever played Fortnite, you know the premise of the 2000 Japanese movie Battle Royale. Based on a novel by ​​Koushun Takami, it’s one of the most influential films in the genre (many see The Hunger Games, among others, as owing a lot to Battle Royale). In a totalitarian society, a class of 9th graders are sent to a deserted island, and each is given a weapon, a map and supplies. If three days pass and more than one of them survives, they will all die. Which means the kids have to kill each other until there’s one winner remaining. Battle Royale was so controversial in its day that it was banned in several countries, and never got an official U.S. release. 

Rotten Tomatoes score: 88%
Rating:
NR
Streaming on Amazon Prime Video

Sweet Home

This Korean fantasy horror drama checks a few of the same boxes as Squid Game: survival, deep relationships and violence. Sweet Home centers on a group of people who lock themselves in their apartment building when monsters start wiping out all of humanity. After people are killed, they turn into monsters that reflect their inner desires, like one resident who becomes a Glutton Monster. Teenager Hyun-soo (Song Kang) bands together with some neighbors in a bid to survive. They all have their own emotional baggage, creating a tense environment in the building all while the monsters prey on them.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 83%
Rating:
TV-MA
Streaming on Netflix

3%

The life or death scenario in 3% is more figurative than literal, but, just like with Squid Game, the Brazilian dystopian thriller is a provocative meditation on class inequality and capitalism. In the show, most of the world lives in poverty on the inland. Only 3% of people live on the Offshore, a colony in glorious utopian harmony. Every year, 20-year-olds are given the chance to go to the Offshore. To get there, they  must take part in a series of tests, ranging from a simple interview to solving a fake crime scene. Whoever passes “the Process” doesn’t win money but an escape from their bleak lives into paradise.

Rotten Tomatoes score: N/A
Rating: TV-MA
Streaming on Netflix

As the Gods Will

Similar to Squid Game, the 2014 Japanese supernatural horror flick also features deadly rounds of children’s games like Red Light, Green Light. The story follows Shun Takahata (Sota Fukushi), a high school student who spends a lot of time playing violent video games. One day, his school turns into a battle royale arena, where he and his friends must fight to survive. They’re not the only ones, either; kids all over Japan and the rest of the world are facing similar tests. Shun and the other players compete for their lives, and also to find out who’s behind this demented situation.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 57%
Rating: TV-MA
Buy on Vudu

Escape Room

In this 2019 thriller, six strangers receive mysterious invitations to participate in an escape room with a $100,000 prize. They come from different backgrounds — one is a college student, another is a wealthy day trader and a third is an Army veteran. Once they enter the complex, it’s locked and they discover the levels become increasingly deadly. They also realize that some of the rooms remind them that they’re all sole survivors of various disasters, like a plane crash or a car accident. But which one will be the ultimate sole survivor?

Rotten Tomatoes score: 51%
Rating: PG-13
Rent on Amazon

#Alive

Like Sweet Home, #Alive doesn’t revolve arounds games. The 2020 Korean film is a survival story that features a friendship built during a harrowing time — very much the vibe of Gi-hun and Il-nam in Squid Game. Joon-woo (Yoo Ah-in) is a young man who is alone in his family’s apartment when a zombie outbreak begins. He barricades himself inside, but begins to lose his mind when food, water and internet access run out. On the verge of suicide, Joon-woo sees a signal from someone in the building opposite from him. They send supplies over a zipline, and bond using a walkie-talkie. But the zombies are relentless, and so the pair will have to work together to stay alive. 

Rotten Tomatoes score: 88%
Rating: TV-MA
Streaming on Netflix

Darwin’s Game

Based on the manga of the same name, the anime series follows Kaname Sudo, a high school student who receives an invitation to play an app game. When he opens the app, Kaname learns he’s joined a deadly battle where players fight one another with superpowers called Sigils. Unlike other battle royale stories, Darwin’s Game doesn’t force people to participate. Instead, they choose to play, for money or ego or other reasons. Kaname, meanwhile, goes ahead in a quest to end the game for good.

Rotten Tomatoes score: N/A
Rating: TV-14
Streaming on Netflix

The Hunger Games

It feels a little silly to even include this blockbuster franchise on the list, since millions of people all over the world have seen it. Still, if you somehow missed The Hunger Games, then this is your opportunity to catch up. The movies are set in a dystopian world divided into districts of varying wealth. Every year, the districts must send two teens to the titular deathmatch, where only one leaves alive. Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) is from the very poor District 12 and enters the Games after taking her younger sister’s place. Using hunting skills gained from time in the woods, Katniss is completely focused on making it out of the arena and back to her family. While The Hunger Games isn’t as violent or gory as Squid Game, it grapples with similar themes of rich vs. poor and the human condition.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 84%
Rating: PG-13
Streaming on Hulu

Kelly Woo

Kelly covers streaming media for Tom’s Guide, so basically, she watches TV for a living. Previously, she was a freelance entertainment writer for Yahoo, Vulture, TV Guide and other outlets. When she’s not watching TV and movies for work, she’s watching them for fun, seeing live music, writing songs, knitting and gardening.