5 Movies to Watch If You Liked Squid Game

Last Updated on April 27, 2022

Netflix’s Squid Game has been lighting the world on fire since its debut, and we have five movies for you to watch if you liked it. The slightly dystopian, cynical-yet-hopeful Korean thriller series follows a group of people as they compete in deadly games for a huge cash prize. The source of many a meme and Halloween costume this year, Squid Game is the most-watched show in Netflix history, generating over $900 million in value for the streaming giant, and with good reason. With as many lovable characters as there are to root against, and ongoing nail-biting sequences that left viewers scrambling to pick their jaws up from the floor, it’s no surprise how swiftly Squid Game dominated not just the national conversation, but the worldwide zeitgeist too.

Squid Game had been in some kind of development for ten years, and when it finally hit our screens it exposed a nerve culturally and socially. Its commentary on the 1% and its treatment of the rest of us transcended language barriers and borders, whether viewers the world over decided to watch it with subtitles or dubbed, it didn’t matter. What’s clear is that in our global society, the yearn for quality storytelling and engaging characters trumps all; and if you finished episode 9 of Squid Game craving more, here are 5 movies to watch next. While Squid Game was a series, you might be looking for something a little more breezy and done-in-one, and boy are there some options for you to choose from. Some of them will be familiar, some of them maybe not, and some of them you might raise an eyebrow at, but they’re all worthy suggestions when considering the vibe that Squid Game has laid out.

Battle Royale

Battle Royale

Battle Royale was a game-changer upon its release in 2000. The Japanese thriller presents a – say it with me now – dystopian future, where a totalitarian government tries to curb youth rebellion by sending random classes of 9th graders to an island to fight to the death, allowing the last survivor to leave the island. If there is more than one survivor, the explosive collars fitted around their necks detonate, killing them all.

The controversial movie was based on an equally-controversial novel, and faced its fair share of heat from the Japanese government (who tried to have it banned) and media. Those criticizing Battle Royale miss the point of it, though; it’s not a titillating exercise in watching teenagers kill each other; it’s a warning as to how far a totalitarian government might go in this day and age if no one steps up to stop them.

The beauty of Battle Royale is the way it translates relatable high school cliques into a tribal survival tactic. Would the weird girl no one really talks to be a help or a hindrance? Are the cool kids going to watch your back in exchange your food? Are the smart kids going to find you all a way out of this? Battle Royale is a great (and yes, very violent) movie that, just like the Squid Game series, asks a lot of tough questions of both its characters and its audience. You also get a wonderful performance from Takeshi Kitano as the teacher-turned-drill instructor forcing the teens to fight. 10/10 recommend.

The Hunger Games

The Hunger Games served as an introduction to the dystopian-games-that-result-in-death subgenre to the majority of the Western world’s teen population. Based on the popular book series by Suzanne Collins, The Hunger Games is like an Americanized version of Battle Royale. Set in the near future, a post-war USA finds itself divided into 12 districts, ordered by prosperity and trade, with the Capitol lording over them all. In the 70-odd years following a major uprising, the Capitol punishes and reminds the Districts of their place with a tournament to the death. Each District is obliged to provide two “tributes”, a boy and a girl, to the contest of death known as The Hunger Games.

Jennifer Lawrence obviously rose to stardom here, playing the erstwhile Katniss Everdeen, conveniently proficient with a bow and arrow. The Hunger Games franchise covers four movies, showing Katniss’ transformation from rebellious contestant to revolutionary figure. The parallels between this and Squid Game are obvious, with many of the tributes here being as poor and lacking in choice as the contestants of Squid Game. It’s a little sanitized, but an entertaining franchise that asks some important questions about society and the role of leadership. Definitely worth a rewatch if you’re still hungry (sorry) for more content like Squid Game.

The Belko Experiment

Produced/written by fan-favorite James Gunn (Guardians of the Galaxy, The Suicide Squad) and directed by the capable hands of Greg McLean (Wolf Creek), this fun, cynical 2016 horror-thriller’s central premise describes itself as Office Space meets Battle Royale… and it’s every bit of fun as that concept sounds. The film follows eighty Americans trapped in their high-rise office building and instructed to kill each other off; if they don’t play, they die.

Fairly underrated upon its release, and to this day (with a 40% rotten audience rating on Rotten Tomatoes), there’s a lot of fun to be had here – don’t let the 40% rotten rating fool you. John C. McGinley and Tony Goldwyn are superb as the middle-management gone mad, and John Gallagher Jr makes for a likable protagonist who tries to prevent his colleagues from playing the sick game. Gunn regulars Sean Gunn, Michael Rooker and David Dastmalchian are also along for the ride, providing fun comedic asides.

The experiment/game of death has obvious similarities to Squid Game, and gives a fairly scathing indictment of corporate culture in the 21st century, which often times can feel like kill or be killed – just like the barbs flung at the class structure in Korea in Squid Game. Check it out if you liked the latter, as this writer believes time will be kind to The Belko Experiment.


2016 was a good year for movies about people forced to participate in deadly games against their will. Nerve, starring Emma Roberts and Dave Franco, revolves around an app where Players can choose to participate in increasingly-dangerous and illegal “dares”. Roberts plays Vee, a girl encouraged by her friends to live life a little fuller by participating in the game. She meets another contestant, Ian (Franco) and they spend the night running/driving around Manhattan, forced into ever more life-threatening dares and challenges by the ‘Watchers’. It’s an enjoyable and breezy 96 minutes and has all the deadly-game-vibes you loved in Squid Game.

I Saw the Devil

I Saw the Devil Lee Byung-hun

If you’re looking for a little more Lee Byung-hun action in your life after his role in Squid Game, look no further than I Saw the Devil. The story of a trained secret agent whose wife is murdered by a serial killer, I Saw the Devil shows the absolute descent of a man as he goes to extreme ends for revenge. A deadly game of cat-and-mouse ensues, and I Saw the Devil gives a visceral account of one monster going after another. Fans will find shades of Byung-hun’s character in Squid Game here and vice-versa, making this a go-to for a movie you might love if you liked Squid Game. Be warned, though; I Saw the Devil is not for the faint of heart.

What movies do you recommend for Squid Game fans?

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