Squid Game - A Forrest Review
Everyone’s talking about this new Korean show on Netflix called Squid Game. I’ve seen it, and here I am talking about it. Some minor spoilers. Hope ya’ll enjoy. 👍
There’s something about violence and horror that stirs something innately within us. That monstrous feeling that rises like bile when someone has horribly wronged us or someone we love, something unforgivable, fueled by fear, mixed and stirred with hate and rage. Horror can be about heroes, rising against evil. Or it can be about that same evil consuming us.
Squid Game, however, seems to be senseless, gratuitous violence. The evil in this world, much like the real world, is fueled by an endless fortune that has turned these mens’ lives into a cesspool of boredom and unempathetic hedonism. They have no purpose in life but to find the most horrifying ways to entertain themselves, like forcing themselves onto others for their own gratification, or say…a battle royale over children's’ games. (Note, there is no actual sexual violence in this show.)
But it’s not these men who will be participating. They offer their funds for those desperate enough to risk their lives for a ridiculous sum of money. Their players just don’t know they’re risking their lives yet.
Men and women mired in financial debt, whether by gambling all their assets away, or born to unlucky and unfathomable circumstances and anything in between, are scouted out by this megalomaniacal group.
Come play a game for the chance to wipe all that debt away. We offer freedom.
But we won’t give you any information. You’ll just have to trust us. Here’s a taste…
Squid Game is both as fascinating as it is insane, and I was hooked. A Netflix original, I watched the English dub of this Korean show without complaint. While there were a few moments of awkwardness in the dub itself, I felt the dub was actually quite well done and would recommend it to others.
Over four hundred contestants are rounded up to play six children's games. I was honestly impressed with the simplicity of it. Because they’re children's games, the contestants are immediately buffed with confidence. This’ll be easy, right? But when chaos erupts, all bets are off.
I think what attracted me to this show was, at first, just the sheer shock of what I was seeing. I mean, did I expect it? I didn’t KNOW, but I had an idea. The first room looks so unassuming, but that’s what’s unnerving about it. And ALL the rooms are like this: unassuming, friendly, even. They start playing Red Light Green Light and when the robotic girl announcing the light turns her head to catch anyone moving, and the panels slide down to reveal guns… Woof. I was expecting it, but it still managed to shock me, haha.
I’m not glorifying the actions in this show by any means. It’s fun, it’s entertainment, but it’s not real, and to be honest it’s a modern take on colosseum gladiators, in some ways. You “fight” to win a “game” for your “freedom”, which would be your literal life, and also your financial freedom. I would never want to see something like this existing today. It is messed up. But as a story, it holds up. It pushes the boundaries and explores what humans will do to survive, forces someone to rationalize what they would normally never commit, just for a chance at winning. Of surviving. Because do they really have any other choice? Die in the games, or die in the real world. For them, at this point, there is no living without winning.
What really solidifies this show is that there is one man that, despite the odds, despite every irrational human around him, still finds a way to find hope, to find goodness, in the darkness threatening to swallow everything. Seong Gi-hun is somehow still a precious bean. Is he in denial? It seems like it sometimes. He just wants to get through this. But maybe the games will still manage to corrupt him. Perhaps Squid Game really is about the evil in this world consuming us. You’ll have to find out for yourself.
Squid Game takes real life struggles, though, like debt and financial instability, to a harrowing level. Financial trouble is a reality for many, many people around the world, and so it is not hard to relate to many of the characters on some level. There are more characters than just the protagonist himself to root for, or to understand in some way.
If you’re into thrillers with an edge of mystery, and are okay with a Lot of violence, definitely give Squid Game a go. It’s been at the top of the charts for a while now for a reason. Each episode seems to get better than the last, and I’m already considering a rewatch.
5/5 would recommend and ready for Season 2.