Squid Game has risen to the top of Netflix charts so soon after its release, and it’s not hard to understand why. The series uses horror and gore to expose the rot in society and the crippling class difference that sees a small demographic get super-rich while a majority of humanity wallows in poverty.
Four hundred fifty-six participants in dire financial straits play for the chance to win close to $40 million. They believe that they’ll participate in a series of children’s games, which is partly true. What they do not know is that failure results in elimination by execution.
Unfortunately, the nine episodes of Squid Game end so quickly. Fortunately, we’ve compiled a list of seven shows on Netflix similar to Squid Game that you can binge on.
Netflix’s first Brazilian show is set in a future that mirrors the financial gap in current society but portrays it more explicitly. A small percentage of people live in an affluent island known as the Offshore, while the rest live impoverished lives in the Inland.
The system gives you a chance to leave the Inland if you are skilled and talented enough. Every year, 20-year-old volunteers participate in a competition known as ‘The Process,’ which eliminates most contestants leaving the top 3% to earn passage to the idyllic Offshore.
To bring down the unequal system, an uprising dubbed the Cause recruits a mole among the 3% to sabotage Offshore from the inside. Will the recruit give up their hard-earned riches for a cause that might fail? Watch 3% on Netflix to find out.
Alice in Borderland (2020- )
The Japanese series stars two strangers stuck in an abandoned Tokyo. The player’s existence in Tokyo ends in death when their ‘visas’ expire. A participant can extend their visa by winning games determined by playing cards.
The high-stakes nature of Alive in Borderland matches Squid Game. No matter how much you oppose the game, you have to play or risk death by a laser beam hidden outside the playing arena.
Another similarity the show shares with Squid Game is that the origin of the game is a mystery. The tension and excitement you will experience as the series unravels are unmatched.
Extracurricular doesn’t have the gore and death prevalent in Squid Game, and it brings out the class divide in society in a more intimate manner. Ji-Soo is a top student in his high school class but lacks the funds to pay for university.
To raise funds, he starts an illegal business, which Gyu-ri discovers. Gyu-ri comes from a wealthy background and faces pressure from her parents to take over the family business. Nevertheless, she accepts Ji-soo’s offer to join the business.
Everything starts going wrong after Min-hee, another participant in the illegal business, gets apprehended by police. Watch Extracurricular on Netflix to find out what happens next.
Snowpiercer (2020- )
Seven years after the world gets covered with a sheet of ice, the remaining humans survive in a gigantic train that circles the globe about three times a year. The movement powers the 1,001 carriage train and prevents its passengers from freezing.
You would think that an apocalyptic event would eliminate the class system dominant in today’s society. However, inequality prevails in the train, with those higher in the social hierarchy enjoying better lives.
It isn’t long before a revolution gains traction in the lower classes. The revolution has little to do with dialogue and a lot to do with violence.
Black Mirror (2011-2019)
Black Mirror takes all the fears we have about technology and brings them to life. The brilliant mind of Charlie Brooker gives us episodes set in some sort of dystopian future which experiences the catastrophic effects of science fiction technology.
The series absolutely messes with your mind and fills you with a unique dread you don’t get from typical thriller flicks. The cherry on top is that Black Mirror tackles contemporary issues such as the effects of social media on morality.
Sweet Home (2020- )
This Korean series rightly attracted over 2 billion views. The series starts slow as an unexpected family tragedy forces Cha Hyun-soo to move into an apartment. Cha is suicidal but gets little time to dwell on his sorrow as humanity faces extinction from monsters.
The apocalyptic event turns humans into monsters mirroring their worst traits. The people inside Cha’s apartment must work together to hold off the monsters as soon as possible.
Sweet Home mimics Squid Game in that strangers must come together to defeat what seems like an unstoppable force. The series also tackles social issues as the monsters symbolize the worst traits of humanity.
The Society (2019)
A diverse group of kids on a school trip are forced to return home due to bad weather. They return home to find every adult member gone without a trace. Furthermore, a dense forest appears from nowhere, trapping the kids inside the town and blocking all communication from the outside world.
The kids face two choices: Work together to utilize the available resources wisely or die. It seems like an easy choice, but for kids who rarely saw eye to eye, it proves hard to trust each other.
Just as in Squid Game, the class theme comes out as the unique situation in West Ham, Connecticut, equalizes all students regardless of their previous social status. Teamwork is also a prevalent theme as the kids must come together to overcome an obstacle none of them understands.