Review: Squid Game

I don’t actually do much social media (other than a relatively limited set of subreddits), so I didn’t actually notice what was apparently a fairly large storm of people watching Squid Game, but when it came up on Honest Trailers it seemed pretty interesting. 9 episodes and I just finished Stargate Universe, so I figured, let’s give it a spin!

Let’s say… that’s at once exactly what I expected, but even then had a few interesting twists and turns. It’s a battle royale of sorts, centered around (mostly Korean) kids’ games, where the winners in the running for tens of millions of dollars and the losers–well, let’s just say they aren’t. There’s a whole pile (heh) of interesting characters, blood and gore a plenty, a bit of nudity (although that’s not really the focus), and a fair bit of digging into just how dark people can get when money is on the line. I want to believe that such a thing couldn’t happen ever happen in the real world… but sometimes I wonder.

Overall, if you’re not bothered by more than a little violence, it’s quite a watch. And at only 9 episodes, quick too (4 days for me!).


Reviews/thoughts for each episode. Spoilers within an episode should be minimal, spoilers between episodes perhaps more so:

  1. Red Light, Green Light

    Kids’ game sounds fun! And… then that devolved incredibly quickly. Gambling, nose blood soup, daughter with a new step father drama.

    Oh. He’s going to be playing kids games with other adults for money? Sure.

    [woman on PA] I will now repeat the rules. You are allowed to move forward when “it” shouts out, “Green Light” stop when “it” shouts, “Red Light.” If your movement is detected afterward, you will be eliminated.

    Oh. Ooooh. Oh my.

  2. Hell

    [Sang-woo] Consent form clause 3. If all the players agreed to stop playing, the games are allowed to end. Or am I wrong?

    The idea that it would either be our main character or the old man (001!) who has to break a tie is pretty obvious. That they actually let them go… now that was a surprise.

    An episode to find out just why they might all want to come back? Solid.

  3. The Man with the Umbrella

    Korean acting—or perhaps it’s just this genre—is so surreally over the top. Oh 212 in the bathroom—she’s my favorite so far I think. The game this time—sugar honeycomb—looks fun… if not for the obvious drawbacks.

    Something about the red jumpsuits and the faceless masks with simple symbols is delightfully creepy.

    Also… Is business school / SNU impressive?

  4. Stick to the Team

    The tensions of life and death children’s games are getting to them even between. expected, but still. Oy.

    [Gi-hun] Listen, you don’t trust people here because you can. You do it because you don’t have anybody else.

    The subtitles are darkly hilarious.

    [thwacking continues]

    … tug of war. Wonderful. I wonder why they didn’t explain the rules. Just that obvious? Not much they could do?

  5. A Fair World

    The organ harvesting subplot is fascinating. Plots within schemes within twisty darkness.

  6. Gganbu

    That’s just intentionally cruel. Oy. Oy oy oy.

  7. VIPS

    Oh how it escalates. An entire history of games… rich men in fancy masks, betting on death. It’s interesting how deadly they’ve gotten. I suppose there’s no particular reason they need to even have a winner…

    I wonder if previous games were nor all in Korea, do they play local kids’ games? Or Korean ones?

  8. Front Man

    [Front Man] That gun of yours holds five bullets.

    But for police regulations, one chamber must remain empty, and one must be filled with a blank.

    That leaves three live rounds.

    You’ve already used one to kill a man and another one to break the lock.

    Which means that there’s only one bullet left in your gun.

    And now the real twists begin…

  9. One Lucky Day

    Ending as it began… with the Squid Game. I wonder if any more had survived how that would have changed things. Although I suppose, being fiction, this is the only way it could have ended.

    And then it was `001` all along… I actually managed to spoil that for myself, which means I noticed a few oddities all along. Even without that he never really fit in. Fascinating twist either way. But niw that he’s dead… .