Shows and Movies Like 'Squid Game' to Watch

On the hunt for high stakes and serious gore? We've got you covered.

Man yelling
(Image credit: Netflix/YOUNGKYU PARK)

Netflix's new K-drama Squid Game has captivated viewers with its mix of social commentary, high-stakes thrills, and what-would-you-do moral dilemmas. The hit show follows a cast of people in serious debt who compete through a series of deadly kids' games for a literal fortune. Viewers are tearing through the fast-paced nine episodes, but luckily, there are several shows and movies from South Korea, Japan, and the U.S. that live up to Squid Game's high stakes and serious gore. Here's what you should check out if you loved the hit Korean drama.

1. Alice in Borderland (2020)

This Japanese sci-fi series has drawn tons of comparisons to Squid Game, but instead of winning money, the contestants are playing for survival. While hiding from some cops near Shibuya Crossing, three boys are suddenly transported into an alternate Tokyo, an arena where they must play through deadly games to load their individual "visas," or else they'll be executed. The games themselves are categorized through playing cards: Spades for strength, Clubs are team battles, Diamonds are battles of wits, and Hearts are games of betrayal.

Watch on Netflix

2. Sweet Home (2020)

One of Netflix's most successful k-dramas, Sweet Home also follows a group of people who have to fight their selfish nature and work together to survive. A high schooler (Song Kang) moves into an apartment complex right before a zombie/monster apocalypse hits Korea. He and the residents, mostly strangers to one another, shield themselves in the building and band together to survive as long as they can.

Watch on Netflix

3. 3% (2016)

This dystopian show from Brazil is set a near-future São Paulo where 20-year-old residents of the impoverished Inland compete to be admitted into a utopian Offshore society through The Process, a difficult and sometimes deadly series of tests where only 3% of participants make it through.

Watch on Netflix

4. Battle Royale (2000)

The OG dystopian murder competition. In this cult-classic Japanese film, a future government captures a group of ninth-grade students and forces them to kill each other in a twisted competition on a deserted island. You may have read the mega-hit YA series it inspired, The Hunger Games.

Watch on Amazon

5. As the Gods Will (2014)

This supernatural Japanese film has also been trending lately, since it has a similar kids'-games premise to Squid Game. A class of high school students has to undergo a series of trials set by "gods," giant animated versions of popular Japanese dolls that kill indiscriminately. Based off the trailer, this horror film may be even more bloody than the Netflix hit.

Watch on Vudu

6. Circle (2015)

In this U.S. horror film, fifty strangers are kidnapped and placed in a hi-tech execution room where they're forced to choose which of them deserves to live. While it flew under the radar upon release, the surprising film has found some fans through Netflix.

Watch on Netflix

7. The Purge (2013)

If you think the scariest part of Squid Game was its realistic, present-day setting, this is the horror series for you. In a near future (like, a couple of years near), the U.S. has designated one night per year where all crime, including murder, is legal. In the first film, a family has to stick out the night when a gang comes after a stranger they let into their highly-armed home.

Watch on Amazon

8. Nerve (2016)

In this thriller, a young woman (Emma Roberts) joins an online game where players win money for completing random dares. The game teams her up with another player (Dave Franco) and the play quickly turns twisted as the duo loses control.

Watch on Amazon

Contributing Culture Editor

Quinci is a Contributing Culture Editor who writes pieces and helps to strategize editorial content across TV, movies, music, theater, and pop culture. She contributes interviews with talent, as well as SEO content, features, and trend stories. She fell in love with storytelling at a young age, and eventually discovered her love for cultural criticism and amplifying awareness for underrepresented storytellers across the arts. She previously served as a weekend editor for Harper’s Bazaar, where she covered breaking news and live events for the brand’s website, and helped run the brand’s social media platforms, including Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. Her freelance writing has also appeared in outlets including HuffPost, The A.V. Club, Elle, Vulture, Salon, Teen Vogue, and others. Quinci earned her degree in English and Psychology from The University of New Mexico. She was a 2021 Eugene O’Neill Critics Institute fellow, and she is a member of the Television Critics Association. She is currently based in her hometown of Los Angeles. When she isn't writing or checking Twitter way too often, you can find her studying Korean while watching the latest K-drama, recommending her favorite shows and films to family and friends, or giving a concert performance while sitting in L.A. traffic.