Why Squid Game is So Horrible and So Popular

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Curated by informed

The dystopian South Korean Netflix series is incredibly popular. In our reading this evening, we try to unravel why.

  • Since it came out last September, the Netflix series Squid Game has captured the imagination of many around the world.
  • Squid Game is a dystopian horror drama which capitalises on themes such as violence, schadenfreude, social inequality and voyeurism.
  • Since Oscar winner Parasite and the boy band BTS, no other Korean cultural export has achieved this level of global impact.
  • But there's a dark side to the series' popularity. Some people have tried Squid Game in real life, with disastrous consequences.
  • Understanding what's behind the success of Squid Game provides some important insights into our cultural moment. But be warned: Spoilers ahead.
Articles from 5 publishers

5 articles on this topic


What is Squid Game about? Inside the games and symbols of the Netflix hit

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12 min read
The Conversation

Social inequality and hyper violence: why the bleak world of Netflix's Squid Game is a streaming phenomenon

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4 min read

The "Squid Game" critique is also a love letter to a unified Korea

10 min read
Everyday Health

Why ‘Squid Game’ Is Giving You Nightmares

6 min read
News9 Live

Squid Game: Is Netflix's global hit a reality check — or escapist fare?

8 min read