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Gruesome thriller series Squid Game is currently number one in the world on Netflix. It involves deadly high stakes for the hundreds of cash-strapped players taking part in children’s games.
The South Korean show sees debt-ridden players sign up to compete in six games for a cash prize of £27 million to be won.
However, in the small print if you lose, you get killed.
In the nine-episode series, episode one is a game of Grandma’s Footsteps (which is known as Red Light, Green Light in South Korea) leaves bodies piled high as the shell-shocked winners proceed into round two. It’s children’s play but with a lot of blood splattered.
The well-produced horror thriller has captivated viewers and is the first Korean show to reach the top spot on the streaming platform in the US and is currently number one in the UK.
With the current generation of viewers who previously got hooked on murderous series The Hunger Games and cult favourite Battle Royal the success doesn’t come as a surprise.
The set pieces are so inventive and the cast are what give Squid Game the binge worthy appeal.
The characters are trapped inside a candy-coloured fortress and overseen by masked guards, wearing pink.
Actor, Lee Jung-jae plays Seong Gi-hun a gambling addict with a heart of gold and Park Hae-soo who plays Seong’s childhood friend, a disgraced banker on the run from the police Cho Sang-woo. These characters are what keeps viewers hooked to the story.
One of the series highlights is watching the icy, resourceful pickpocket Kang Sae-byeok (Jung Ho-yeon) – a North Korean escaper trying to save her separated family – learn to trust those around her.
With regular murders of hundreds of people and an orphan trading subplot, this group of characters are what bring surprising sweet heartfelt for the show.
With the worlds obsession with gameshows, Squid Game has hit the nail on the head with it's plot line.
The players involved are being watched but the viewers are only one step removed which makes it impossible not to put yourself in their shoes.
One fan said its "shocking, gory and brutal scenes" meant they "couldn't stop watching" the series.
Another person wrote: "Man, do I love Squid Game – just really tight, intense, gory, cannot peel eyes away, excellent television."
"Oh my God. I just smashed Squid Game on Netflix. I had no idea what it was going to be about but half an episode in I could not stop watching! Shocking, gory, brutal and I loved it! 9/10."
However some fans disagreed and were unimpressed, one viewer wrote: "Seriously #SquidGame is the worst series I've ever watched. So violent and cliche. I wonder how all of these people liked it!"
Another admitted: "I'm this close to crying. This show is so violent," while a third person insisted: "Squid Game is good but I wouldn't recommend it to those under 20. It's too gory."
Writer and director Hwang Dong-hkuk sets up multiple compelling dilemmas including whether you would betray your friend to escape death. He allows the characters to play out the agonising games in stretches.
While speaking to Variety, he said: "I don't have well-developed plans for Squid Game 2, it is quite tiring just thinking about it.
"But if I were to do it, I would certainly not do it alone. I'd consider using a writers' room and would want multiple experienced directors."
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