Squid Game has taken the world by storm. This gripping Korean drama has become a pop-culture hit, with critics and viewers celebrating it in their masses.
For those who haven’t seen it, Squid Game invites hundreds of cash-strapped contestants to compete in a series of children’s games for a life-changing cash prize, with some deadly stakes.
So, if survival and/or post-apocalyptic TV series and films take your fancy, you’ve come to the right place.
Why are we so obsessed with survival as a genre?
Portrayals of survivalism and its themes have been heavily influenced by wartime, nuclear weapons races and political discord. The genre highlights the moral panic of societal collapse and offers social commentary on important issues.
It is so gripping in many cases because it is believable. Outside of fantasy themes such as zombies etc.
With the Coronavirus pandemic testing the world’s resolve, the appeal for dystopian survival shows has sky-rocketed.
Perhaps we’re empathetic with the loss of control we’ve had recently in our own lives. Perhaps shows like Squid Game temporarily make us feel that little bit better.
Alice in Borderland
Alice in Borderland is a Japanese sci-fi drama TV series that focuses on troubled gamer, Ryōhei Arisu.
Stumbling through life, Arisu and his two friends find themselves in an abandoned and unknown Tokyo.
To survive in this new world, the trio is forced to compete in a series of sadistic and lethal games.
The MVP of the survival-horror genre. This 2000 Japanese cult classic film paved the way for many survival films and TV series that followed.
Battle Royale sees a class of children sent to a deserted island by the Japanese government. Tired of the societal discord among youths, the group is forced to brutally fight to the death. The last one standing is free to leave.
Given essentials and various weapons, they must battle their way to victory. Meanwhile, an explosive collar is fitted around their neck to ensure no rules are broken and control is maintained.
Sweet Home is a Korean horror drama TV series set in a post-apocalyptic world where survival is the only option.
Humans have begun to transform into monsters and the uninfected must work together in order to survive.
The main character, Cha Hyun-soo, lethally works alongside his neighbours to keep each other safe for as long as humanly possible.
3% is a Brazilian thriller TV series detailing a fascinating tale of elitism in a dystopian world. Candidates from the impoverished ‘inland’ face a process of elimination to gain access to the utopian ‘offshore’ island – those who succeed, are the lucky and worthy 3%.
The story follows protagonist Michele Satana as she makes her way through ‘the process’. She believes its head has murdered her brother. Working alongside the revolutionary party ‘the cause’, she aims to destroy the unfair and immoral process from within in vengeance.
Japan Sinks: 2020
Japan Sinks: 2020 is a dark Japanese anime TV series a family’s humanity and resolve is tested after a series of devastating earthquakes ravage Japan.
This heartwrenching story follows them as they use their wits and determination to survive the sinking archipelago and regain a sense of humanity in the madness.
Snowpiercer is a US sci-fi TV series that explores social inequality in a post-apocalyptic world.
The Earth is frozen and the last surviving humans live aboard a giant train that circles the world. However, with classism thrown into the mix, the struggle to coexist worsens with some harrowing consequences.
Have you watched Squid Game yet – what did you think of it?