‘Squid Game’ delivers plenty of gore in a compelling story


Russell Chesnut

In the Netflix series “Squid Game”, masked guards are seen wearing pink hooded jumpsuits which frequently become splattered with blood.

The 2021 South Korean Netflix series, “Squid Game,” is a brutal and intriguing exercise in balancing extreme elements of horror and dystopian sci-fi. It does so in a story that has characters that are funny, likeable and most importantly, human.

With an enormous body count, the show will surely satisfy gorehounds and horror fans, but may be too much for anyone who is squeamish or has a weak stomach.

The series, directed by Hwang Dong-Hyuk, begins with the introduction of Gi-Hun, a father who is down on his luck and has a serious gambling addiction.

What seems like the setup for a grounded story based in reality is quickly disrupted. A mysterious stranger appears and offers to help Gi-hun pay off his debts if he participates in a series of unspecified games. This is where things take a sharp left turn from the realistic k-drama into the realm of a dystopian nightmare.

The show dives into a series of games where the penalty for losing is death. The characters will seemingly do anything to be the last one standing and win the cash prize. Faceless guards watch the players’ every move as they struggle to survive.

Players are pitted against each other in a series of increasingly complex challenges disguised as children’s games. The games are designed to bring them to their breaking point through
psychological torture and extreme violence.

As the characters form alliances and rivalries, each person’s backstory of how they ended up in the games is revealed: a man sold his mother’s house to pay his debts, several parents wanted to provide for their families, greedy gang members got too deep in debt and an old man has a terminal illness.

On top of all that, most of this is revealed within the first episode, just barely scratching the surface of what “Squid Game” has to offer.

Be forewarned, “Squid Game” is not for those who cannot handle extreme amounts of violence. While not always showcasing the most creative kills, the show always makes sure that each individual death is seen and felt in a way that borders on sadism.

The violence is not without reason though, as it shows just how far the characters are willing to go to win the games.

Overall, “Squid Game’’ has a lot to offer in its compelling story and complex characters, but may be divisive to some due to its over-the-top bloody mayhem.

For anyone with nine hours to spare and a hunger for hyper violent media, “Squid Game” is highly recommended.