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7 Series And Movies To Watch Next If You Got Hooked On 'Squid Game'

From Korean shows to Japanese and American hits that you can stream online.
Series and movies like Squid Game
PHOTO: (LEFT TO RIGHT) NETFLIX/TIME TO HUNT, PARASITE/CJ ENTERTAINMENT
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If I were to recommend the newest Netflix hit, Squid Game, to someone, I'd say, "If you're angry and you know it, watch this show." The series transports you to a fictional island where players compete in childhood games and literally fight to the death. All contestants either have severe debt they can't pay off. The prize? A whopping 45.6 billion won (almost P2 billion).

Leading the cast are veteran actors Lee Jung Jae (from Chief Of Staff) and Park Hae Soo (from Prison Playbook). Both are known to not shy away from controversial themes and dark humor. But the star of the show is really the writing. The savagely entertaining series features a mix of themes—from mystery and thrill to gory violence and betrayal. The concept is so unique, so you won't really find a K-drama dupe. The closest familiar concept might be The Hunger Games (but Squid Game is not a dystopian series). However, there are existing series and movies with similar themes.

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Check out the list below if you're on the lookout for shows to watch after Squid Game:

If you liked the gore: Sweet Home 

Where you can watch it: Netflix

No child's play here—in this apocalyptic horror, humans need to fight monsters in order to survive. In the process, they attempt to preserve their humanity and protect their community. There will be a lot of blood and killing, much like in Squid Game.

If you liked the human nature when faced with desperation: Parasite

Where you can watch it: Viu

A dirt-poor family of four find themselves leeching off a naive wealthy family. As the story progresses, it's like they play a thrilling game of hide-and-seek and much like Squid Game, there are people who end up dead. The distinct similarity between the two is how they show how far people are willing to go for money and for self-preservation.

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If you're looking beyond K-dramas: Alice In Borderland

Where you can watch it: Netflix

This Japanese series centers on elaborate life-or-death games. A trio led by video game-obsessed Arisu find themselves in a replica of Tokyo without the thousands of people and activities. Eventually, Arisu meets a woman who's also trying to survive the games. They set out to unfurl the mystery of the sadistic setting.

If you prefer American movies: Nerve

Where you can watch it: Netflix

The game is simple: Truth or Dare. Except there are thousands of people around the world tuning in on your decisions. And, you could end up hurting others or even committing crimes just to fulfill challenges. Emma Roberts and Dave Franco end up playing for the pleasure of watchers. What's at stake is hundreds to thousands of dollars and glory—if you survive, that is.

If you love money heists: Time To Hunt

This underrated movie stars Lee Je Hoon (Move To Heaven and Taxi Driver), Ahn Jae Hong (Reply 1988 and Fight For My Way), and Choi Woo Sik (Parasite). It's set in a dystopian Korea, which the three of them dream of leaving. In order to do so, they plan to steal money but inadvertently become targets of a devious murderer in the process. Like the characters of Squid Game, they need to escape death and test their trust in each other.

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If you want a heartwarming Ssangmun-dong: Reply 1988

Where you can watch it: Viu

When you just want to go back to a warmer depiction of the neighborhood, it's time to watch Reply 1988 again. Here, the genius character is ridiculously rich yet kind (and naive) to the core. The main cast members are difficult to hate, too. So only the name of the neighborhood and the nostalgia are the same. The rest of the storyline is totally different. Wash away those bloody scenes with heart-fluttering ones from this drama.

If you liked the games: Running Man

Where you can watch it: Viu

Running for more than a decade already, the variety show has done practically all games imaginable, including those featured in Squid Game. Tug of war? They've done it countless times—one with hundreds of players on a football field. Red light, green light? They did several hilarious versions of the classic Korean game, The Rose of Sharon Has Bloomed. Glass stepping stones? Running Man has done it all—or at least versions of it. Except maybe the squid game (but if you know an episode where they played it, please share!) The great thing about it is nobody dies. The losers get soaked in paint, ice-cold water, and embarrassment doing penalties. Think of it as the thriller's fun PG-13 version that has over 500 episodes to binge-watch. It's the perfect palate cleanser, we think. Enjoy!

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