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Netflix and thrills: 5 ‘death game’ films and shows to watch after ‘Squid Game’

Ysa Abad
Netflix and thrills: 5 ‘death game’ films and shows to watch after ‘Squid Game’

ALICE IN BORDERLAND. Kento Yamakazi and Tao Tsuchiya lead the Japanese series.


Up for more gore, brutal challenges, and life-and-death situations? These shows are for you!

At this point, you’d have to be living under a rock if you still haven’t heard of Squid Game. 

The nine-part thriller series, which morphs popular childhood games into deadly survival challenges with a 45.6-billion South Korean won (or around P2 million) prize, has quickly become Netflix’s biggest original show debut.

Something about its deadly games, intriguing characters, and brutal deaths has sparked interest in viewers worldwide. 

And if you’re one of those who find watching people in life-or-death situations appealing, then this list is perfect for you! Don’t worry; they’re all available on Netflix:

Battle Royale

A survival-themed list won’t be complete without the cult favorite 2000 film Battle Royale. Based on a novel by Koushun Takami, Battle Royale follows a class of ninth-graders who are sent to a deserted island to fight each other. 

Wearing an explosive collar fitted around their necks, each student is given a map, food, supplies, and various weapons that they can use for them to survive. To leave the island, they are given the mission to kill each other and be the lone survivor.  If three days pass and more than one of them survives, the collars will explode and kill them all. 

If you can’t get enough of the gory deaths in Squid Game, then the blatant display of violence in Battle Royale will surely be up in your alley – it’s one blood-splattered death after another and saying goodbye to characters you both learned to love and hate. 


Set in a post-apocalyptic dystopian future, this Brazilian series revolves around a world divided into two castes: the so-called 3%, a group of elites who live in a secluded paradise called the Offshore, and the rest of the population who lives in desolation on the Inland. 

Every year, every 20-year-old in the Inland is given the chance to escape living in poverty and go to the Offshore by participating in a series of rigorous tests known as The Process. Only 3% of the candidates succeed.  The tests range from a simple interview to solving fake crime scenes, and the aptitude tests turn morbid as candidates became more violent in their attempts to survive. 

Think of it as Squid Game meets The Hunger Games. If you’re looking for mind-testing games that don’t involve too much blood, and just want to focus more on watching desperate people battling against all odds for the chance at a better life, then don’t miss 3%. 

The series has four seasons on Netflix so prepare yourself for a whole night of binge-watching. 

Alice in Borderland

Based on the manga series of the same name by Haro Aso, Alice in Borderland follows video game enthusiast Arisu and friends who are transported into an alternate, abandoned version of Tokyo. 

They’re then forced to compete in a series of life-threatening games. But if any of the participants attempt to escape while the game is in progress, they are then hit in the head by a laser by a mysterious entity. 

Compared to Squid Game, players in Alice in Borderland are not fighting each other for a monetary reward but are solving problems for them to stay alive. Challenges also make use of sci-fi elements and a more intricate game structure.

So if you’re looking for a mind-boggling and reality-bending survival game series, Alice in Borderland is the show for you. The first season premiered in December 2020 and Netflix has confirmed that a second season is in the works.

Darwin’s Game

Based on the manga of the same name, the anime series follows 17-year-old high school student Kaname Sodou, who accepts an invitation to play a mysterious mobile game called Darwin’s Game.

When he joins the game, he belatedly realizes that it’s a brutal battle where players fight one another with their given special abilities called Sigil. Twist is, players who lose in the mobile game can actually die in real life. 

In Darwin’s Game, players aren’t forced to participate. For the money or bragging rights, they have varied reasons for joining. Meanwhile, Kaname joined the game to end it for good. 

Sweet Home

Unlike in Squid Game, Sweet Home doesn’t need a controlled environment for humans to battle it out in a survival game. Set in a dystopian future where humans begin to transform into monsters, the South Korean apocalyptic horror-drama centers around orphaned teenager Hyun-soo and his neighbors as they try to not get infected and morph into deadly creatures.

It might sound like a classic zombie apocalypse story, but the gory and supernatural elements in the show will keep viewers anticipating what’s gonna happen next. Like in Squid Game, you’ll have no idea which of the characters you’ve grown attached to will survive. 

The series premiered in December 2020. Several reports have claimed that a second season is possibly in the works, but Netflix has yet to confirm the news. 

Have you watched any of these shows yet? Share with us your favorites in the comments section!–