‘Squid Game’ released; tops Netflix charts in days

Allison Coyne, Photography & Art Editor

Released on September 17, ‘Squid Game’ is a bloody South Korean thriller directed by Hwang Dong-hyuk.

In the first episode, the main character Seong Gi-hun is introduced. His life begins to rapidly fall apart when his debts catch up to him. In economic despair, he decides to join a game that allows him to win money.
When all 456 players arrive at the game arena, they are unsure of how they got there. Confused, disoriented, and dressed in teal tracksuits, each competitor signs a contract consenting to the games. Masked guards in pink suits give instructions for the first game. However, they soon realize the games are not what they seem.
Game one sounds simple enough: Red Light Green Light. When the game begins, it is revealed that losing the game results in a brutal death. Move during the red light, and guns from above shoot down. Don’t finish the game in time? Instant death.
Once the true nature of the games is revealed, an important question is posed to the players. What would you do for money?
Throughout the show, common South Korean television troupes are discussed. The most prevalent is the current socioeconomic environment of the country.
In addition to money, other themes are friendship, lack of education, the mafia, and North Korea. This made the show captivating and interesting throughout.
Along with the large amounts of blood and gore shown during the games, other aspects of the show create an uncomfortable and creepy atmosphere. The setting is bright and happy while players get eliminated. The Blue Danube composed by Johann Strauss II is an uplifting classical piece. It is the chosen song blared to the players as they walk to their possible death and is a great choice by the director.
Lee Jung-jae, who portrays Gi-hun, does a phenomenal job encompassing a man desperate enough to risk his life for money. Another major character, a North Korean defect played by Jung Ho-yeon, brings an emotional aspect to Squid Game.
While the show is incredibly gory, I feel the scariest part of the show is how it could truly happen in real life. I was on the edge of my seat the whole time, wondering who was going to win and what I would do in each situation.
Viewers have the option to watch the show in the original Korean audio or dubbed in English. Subtitles in both Korean and English are available, along with a few other languages. Personally, watching the show with the English audio gave me the full experience of the visuals without having to read subtitles.
Within days of release, Squid Game rapidly rose to the top of Netflix’s Top Ten. It has hit number one in more than ninety countries, including the United States. Now expected to surpass Bridgerton, Squid Game will become the most popular show in Netflix history.
I highly recommend this show, especially as Halloween is this weekend. As one of my favorite shows this year, it is a must-watch to anyone who loves thrillers and mysteries.
For lovers of Squid Game, a season two is to be expected. At the end of the first season, which includes nine episodes, the show leaves you on a cliffhanger, wondering who will truly win the game. No renewal date has been announced yet, but is in the works.
Disclaimer: ‘Squid Game’ is rated TV-MA for mature audiences.