The ultra-violent Korean TV show Squid Game has become a Netflix smash hit with its story of hundreds of indebted men and women competing on a deadly game show in twisted kids games for a cash prize of £ 27 million.
The nine-episode series has risen to number one in the broadcast giant’s rankings with blood-soaked scenes of bullets fired at contestants’ heads, stacked bodies, and graphic dissection as their organs are subsequently removed.
Each episode revolves around a traditional Korean children’s game, with some like Grandma’s Footsteps and British Bulldogs, and the winners advance to the next round of a chilling Hunger Games-style ladder.
In addition to the depravity, the contestants are poor people who are drawn to compete to win a grand prize of 45 billion won ($ 38 million, £ 27 million, AU $ 52 million).
A contestant is covered in blood after another player’s head is blown off in a hellish version of a Grandma’s Footsteps-like game played in an early episode.
Sae-byeok is played by 27-year-old fashion model HoYeon Jung (pictured) in her first on-screen role.
Terrifying masked assassins roam the game show and kill contestants who fail.
The unlikely heroes are Seong Gi-hun (Lee Jung-jae), a failed gambling father, and his flawed childhood friend Cho Sang-woo (pictured) (Park Hae-soo), a fallen banker. misfortune wanted by the police.
In addition to depravity, the contestants are poor people who are tempted to compete to win a grand prize of 45 billion won (pictured: a still from the show).
The unlikely heroes are Seong Gi-hun (Lee Jung-jae), a failed father and addicted to gambling (pictured)
The unlikely heroes are Seong Gi-hun (Lee Jung-jae), a failed father and addicted to gambling, and his childhood friend Cho Sang-woo (Park Hae-soo), a disgraced banker wanted by the police.
The candy-colored sets in this fictional game show look like a playground, but they are just the opposite, like masked men strapped with machine guns waiting to shoot the losing contestants.
But not even the dead are spared, as a medic is dispatched to dissect the corpses of the losing players to extract their organs after each round.
As the story progresses, the contestants increasingly face each other, culminating in the final round, the Squid Game of the same name, in which the main protagonist Gi-hun must kill his childhood friend Sang- woo.
Slate Magazine says: ‘There are literally hundreds of such deaths in the show’s nine episodes, with an extra dissection scene, if what you’re really craving is to see some intestines.
And almost everyone on the show is scared all the time; the actors are constantly shaking, crying and shaking, under the most extreme forms of duress.
“If you can handle all of that, you should watch this show.”
Many say it’s the game show’s narrative that makes it addictive, with the audience intrigued as to what the next stage in the spooky game will be and who will advance to the next rank.
NME says: ‘Thematic intelligence aside, Squid Game is also a white-knuckle watch, thanks to its element of visceral competition. The twists, rules and settings of the games are finely calibrated to elicit maximum tension and excitement. ‘
This fast-paced narrative structure runs alongside well-developed protagonists with compelling stories that the viewer hopes will survive the attack.
Other critics argue that it’s these characters that keep you coming back for more.
The I The newspaper says: ‘The main reason viewers stick with the series is because the characters are complex, interesting and in all cases, even the bad ones, completely captivating …
“ As the games progress, you find yourself attached to certain players and you wait for the disappearance of others. ”
Each episode is now available on Netflix, with a version dubbed in English or with the original Korean audio and subtitles.
The terrifying gunmen in masks who organize the games and shoot those who fail to the next round.
The show has been likened to the Hunger Games and Takeshi Castle.
The candy-colored sets in this fictional game show look like a playground, but they are quite the opposite, as masked men tied up with machine guns prepare to shoot the losing contestants.
Launched on September 17, the show entered the Top 10 two days later and rose to No. 2 the next day, and was at No. 1 on September 21.
With the series’ massive success, there are already doubts as to whether there will be a sequel.
But writer-director Hwang Dong-hyuk, who has seen huge success on the big screen in recent years, said he may have to go back to the movies before he gets there.
“I don’t have well-developed plans for Squid Game 2,” he told Variety. “ It is quite exhausting to think about it. But if he did, he certainly wouldn’t do it alone. I would consider using a writers ‘lounge and I would want several experienced directors.’