By: Gabriela Gutierrez
For anyone in search of a binge-worthy, psychological thriller, Netflix’s release of the nine-episode series “Squid Game” is the perfect choice. Fair warning,
this South Korean-based show is not for the faint of heart.
Simply put, “Squid Game” is a survival game show with a dark twist. The result is a bloodbath.
The first episode does little to sugar-coat the way humans constantly betray one another, especially for money.
The main character, Seong Gi-hun played by Lee Jung-jae finds himself stuck in a life of debt. He is an alcoholic who gambles on everything he owns,
even if it costs him the luxury of buying his daughter a gift for her birthday.
Gi-hun is in the subway one night when a man wearing a suit approaches him. The nameless man asks Gi-hun to play a game that involves Gi-hun getting
his face punched, but also the chance to win 10 thousand Korean won. (Korean won is the name of the currency used in South Korea, North Korea and old
Gi-hun wins and the man gives him a card with three shapes stamped on one side and a number to call on the other.
The phone number comes with the opportunity for Gi-hun to make more money. He goes home intrigued, but he is unsure of whether he should call the
Gi-hun eventually calls to accept and is put to sleep to help keep the host and his followers anonymous.
When Gi-hun wakes up he finds himself in a room with the other players. They realize soldiers in red jumpsuits who are wearing masks surround them.
The host of the game is unknown to the players and the audience for most of the show.
A man called the front man takes orders from the host and remains anonymous as well by hiding behind a black mask and a voice-changing apparatus.
Before the game begins, all players are asked to sign a contract where they agree to follow the game’s three simple rules: players must continue to play
until the game is finished, players who refuse to play will be eliminated and the game can stop if, and only if, most of the players agree to do so.
The players all agree to the three rules and begin the first game of six. Like any other game, players who win move forward and those who lose are left
Spoiler alert.) The catch? Players who lose also lose their lives.
It is not until after the first game is completed, and after the players understand the awful nature of the game, that they decide they do not want to continue.
However, once they find out the prize money is 45.6 billion won, things get complicated.
What director Hwang Dong-hyuk does beautifully with “Squid Game” is highlight the essence of human nature, especially when faced with adversity.
However, Dong-hyuk is unapologetic and displays human nature in much more complex ways that will have the audience gasping in disbelief.
Dong-hyuk places the characters in situations where they must choose between life and death.
Such pivotal moments reveal surprising character developments that will have the audience re-evaluating the images and expectations they have of certain
The soundtrack by Jung Jaeil is strange at first, but adds to Dong-hyuk’s attention to detail. It has an old film feel which represents the dark humor
throughout the show.
What makes this show all-the-more watchable is its impeccable cinematography.
Filmed in 4k, the image is crisp, clear and perfectly executed.
The show which is based in South Korea showcases South Korean actors.
The original language is Korean, but it can be watched in English or with English subtitles.
Viewers who enjoy intense gore in films and shows will not want to miss out on “Squid Game.”
The show has become increasingly popular in the entertainment industry with pop-up set replicas in Seoul, South Korea to fans re-creating the games that
“Squid Game” was released on Netflix Sep. 17 and is still streaming now. It is currently in Netflix’s Top 10 as number one.