Seen ‘Squid Game’? Take a look at that next.



The Korean TV series “Squid Game” has been a sensation since its Netflix debut in September. The curvy thriller – about a series of desperate debtors who risk their lives in a series of supercharged kids’ games in hopes of winning a big cash prize – has audiences with its fantastic sets and costumes, cliffhanger-heavy plot, and pointed commentary captivated by human nature and the class struggle.

There are only nine episodes of “Squid Game” (for now, anyway); So it is very easy to get hold of the whole series in just a few days. But what then? Where can viewers turn for more exciting, imaginative scenes of people humiliating themselves for money and survival?

There are some hit films with obvious parallels to this series, including “Saw”, “The Hunger Games” and (from Japan) “Battle Royale”. But the six films and TV series below – all available for streaming – are slightly deeper cuts and in most cases a few nuances more extreme than “Squid Game”. They all share some of the thorny topics that made the series such a hot topic of conversation.

Keep streaming it arrow, Tubi or Vudu (free with ads); rent or buy on Alamo on call or Vudu.

In the early 2000s, a new generation of Korean filmmakers with their imaginative and sometimes shocking genre films became favorites at festivals and arthouses around the world, acclaimed for their dynamic visual style and bold storytelling. Park Chan-wook was part of this wave and secured his reputation with his violent and provocative “Revenge Trilogy”. The first film in the cycle is also the darkest: the story of an unemployed man who kidnaps his ex-boss’s daughter to raise money for his sister’s kidney transplant, only to start a tragic cycle that becomes sadder and bloodier with every move and return. “Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance” was followed by “Oldboy” and “Lady Vengeance”, which are also terrific. But be careful: these films are all just as disturbing as they are exciting.

Keep streaming it Netflix.

Over the course of its four seasons and 33 episodes, this chilling Brazilian series presented a vision of a future in which some disadvantaged young people undergo a series of tests, interviews, and games annually to see if they’re worthy of the handful of elites to join those who live wealthy in an offshore paradise. Like many dystopian sagas, “3%” is about how its heroes can work together to turn a gruesome system inside out. But it is also about how the history of this world reflects our own, as those in power demand that each succeeding generation prove that it deserves basic human rights.

Keep streaming it Netflix; rent or buy on Amazon Prime Video, Apple, Google play, Vudu or Youtube.

Squid Game’s success comes just two years after Korean writer and director Bong Joon Ho landed an international hit with Parasite, a wickedly entertaining, Oscar-winning film about a family of lower-class flu. But the more relevant bong movie for this list is its 2013 science fiction adventure Snowpiercer, an adaptation of a French graphic novel about a socially stratified train speeding through a frozen post-apocalyptic landscape. Chris Evans plays as one of the poorer passengers who leads a rebellion, moves the mob forward one car after another, and gets closer and closer to the secrets of those who live in luxury. TNT’s TV adaptation, which premiered last year, is now available for streaming HBO max.

Keep streaming it Hulu, Shudder or Tubi; rent or buy on Alamo on call, Amazon Prime Video, Google play, Vudu or Youtube.

Pat Healy plays a hapless auto mechanic named Craig in this searing horror comedy, in which a bored wealthy couple (played by David Koechner and Sara Paxton) pit Craig and his buddy Vince (Ethan Embry) against each other in a series of escalating ventures. During the night, fueled by alcohol and anger, the two friends try to outdo each other in increasingly humiliating and dangerous stunts. While the premise of “Cheap Thrills” is uncompromisingly gritty, the talented cast helps make even the most humiliating scenarios in the film fun – in a perverse way.

Keep streaming it Netflix.

As in “Squid Game”, the characters in this creepy, heavily allegorical Spanish satire volunteered for a hell of a experiment and agreed to live in a facility that is part prison and part residential tower. Every day a large plate of food rushes through the center of the building from top to bottom, leaving only a few minutes for each resident to feed in a horrific, stomach-turning frenzy. The lower residents, who do not starve to death, have the opportunity to climb higher. When the youngest resident (Iván Massagué) tries to convince his neighbors to adopt a more equitable system, he fights against the widespread fear that they will be left with nothing if they don’t take everything.

Keep streaming it Netflix.

Perhaps the easiest way for Netflix subscribers to get that “Squid Game” buzz back is to dive right into the first season of this wild Japanese series based on a Haro Aso manga. Set in an empty parallel universe version of Tokyo, “Alice in Borderland” follows a group of mischievous players who are drawn into a seemingly endless series of goofy competitions just vying for the right to survive another day. From its flashy looks to the deceptive simplicity of the games its young heroes have to play, this show should look very familiar to anyone who has just finished watching the latest Netflix hit.



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