15 Movies Like Squid Game For More Deadly Survival Games

With the verdict still on squid game season 2 release date, it’s no surprise that avid viewers are looking for something similar to bide their time. Can we blame them? Not even in the least. With the psychological K-drama reaching streaming heights in a matter of days, it’s clearly not lacking in mass appeal.

For the most part, this is a contest with a grand prize that most are willing to lose their lives for. A group of 456 players take over and compete in a series of children’s games with a deadly twist. The price – a whopping ₩45.6 billion. To sum it all up, the show offers pure relatability and an unapologetically serious look at the human condition.

At this point, viral memes and TikToks probably aren’t enough to fill this Squid game-shaped hole in your soul. So, to make the wait more bearable, here are 15 movies that will give you that squid game atmosphere.

RELATED: The Best ‘Squid Game’ Memes to Help You Through Trauma

1. Escape Room

Image via Columbia Pictures

Cryptic invitations, check. Deadly games, check. An appetizing grand prize, double-checked. escape room is by far the perfect parallel for squid game amateurs to discover. Directed by Adam Robitel, the psychological horror film captures the events that follow after six very different strangers meet at the Minos Escape Room Facility. With the promise of $10,000 on the table, they embark on a series of mind-blowing games that test their limits and more. No doubt this one is a bit gory and gory, but you’re sure to catch something similar squid game buzz.


2. The Belko experience

Picture via MGM

Talk about a day at the office gone wrong – it’s the premise that Belko Experience is built on. Eighty employees are not only trapped in their office building, they must also engage in a series of deadly games to survive. For them, the origin of their misadventure is a mysterious voice in the intercom which gives them half an hour to kill two workers.

This unfortunate development pits friend against friend and builds unlikely alliances along the way. In the end, it all comes down to survival of the fittest.

3. Purging

In a future where all crimes are punished once a year, a wealthy family struggles to make it through the night after their seemingly safe home is attacked. The intimidating thing about The purge is that few people have a choice in the matter. While some embrace the sordid festivities, others are forced to fall victim in a twisted game of cat and mouse. With authentic and relatable characters, this one is an eerily realistic watch.

4. Circle

Image via FilmBuff

The premise for Circle is as twisted as it is intriguing, starting with 50 practical strangers waking up in a dimly lit room. First of all, they have no idea where they are or why they are there. The only recognizable pattern is how one person dies every two minutes. Soon the group realizes they can vote out other strangers to preserve their own lives, and that’s when things get interesting. True human nature is revealed as secrets are unveiled, alliances are formed and sacrifices are made.

5. Do you prefer

do you prefer-brittany-snow
Image via IFC Midnight

A strange cross between dinner for fools and The purge, would you rather explores the length a sister would go to save her brother and the sick aristocrats willing to exploit that. Here, Iris (Brittany snow) becomes entangled in a twisted game of “would you rather”. In an effort to pay the cost of her brother’s expensive leukemia treatment, Iris (Brittany snow) chooses to participate in the most dangerous “would you rather” game of all time. Along with seven other desperate players, Iris discovers that there can only be one winner, the last one to breathe.

RELATED: ‘Squid Game’ Games, Ranked

6. The Tournament

Picture via AV pictures

This one features a central theme of the wealthy pitting the underprivileged against each other for sport. Sound familiar? In this case, the twisted event is called “the tournament” and it takes place every ten years. Since this is a life-threatening affair, only the downright unhinged and dangerous volunteer to partake in the sordid affair. Of course, it’s much more bearable to see dodgy characters stalking each other. But it’s also disturbing in the sense that it makes viewers take a closer look at just how far the rich would go to catch some thrills.

7. Alive (2020)

Picture via Netflix

Living is another survival type of the fittest tale. This time the battle lines are drawn between one man alone and survival itself. Following a full zombie attack, Joon-woo (Yoo Ah-in) finds himself locked in his apartment building. When things seem too bleak to continue, he comes across a survivor, Kim Yoo-bin (Park Shin Hye) and they team up to do it for as long as they can. Just as it is with squid game, the show brings out the worst in humanity – even when they’re not quite human anymore.

8. Battle Royale

battle royale
Image via Toei Company

In many ways, the hunger games is the American version of this controversial piece, so you will see some parallels there. battle royale itself, is based on an even more controversial novel (the genre that’s banned) and explores a dystopian future where randomly selected 9th graders are pitted in a brutal battle against each other – and yes, that’s to death. Of course, there’s no fun in watching teenagers butcher each other. But, it’s fascinating to see common high school movie tropes emerge amidst all this physical violence.

9. The Running Man

Image via TriStar Pictures

Based on a Stephen King novel, The running man truly embodies the competitive spirit of squid games. It takes place in a dystopian version of America where corruption is practically the order of the day. There, a policeman, played by Arnold Schwarzenegger, is framed and his only chance for freedom is to participate in the infamous Running Man show. Here’s the truth, this is a deadly game show where criminals are practically on the run from hitmen whose mission is to hunt down every criminal before they have a chance to earn their pardon. At the end of the day, it’s as sick as the squid game.

10. As the Gods Will

Image via Toho

Before you jump into this one, there’s something you need to know: it’s as bloody as it gets and definitely not for the faint of heart. Now that that’s over, let’s dig in. As the gods will will is yet another movie that takes mundane games to a whole new level. At the center of it all is Shun Takahata (Sota Fukushi) a seemingly normal teenager aside from his appetite for violent video games. On the fateful day when everything gets worse, Shun and his friends are engrossed in a game of Red Light, Green Light AKA Daruma-san ga koronda, and that’s when the whole notion of life and death becomes all too real. This quickly turns into a global ordeal and students around the world are forced to participate in micro-games that determine if they live or die.

11. Nerve

Image via Lionsgate

Chances are you’ve never seen a game of truth or dare to say bold like what’s portrayed in the 2016 movie, Nerve. With Emma Roberts like Vee and James Franco as Ian, the film explores a trendy new app that forces players to engage in increasingly dangerous challenges. As they challenge, Ian and Vee meet and become top players together overnight. But as the plot thickens, it’s obvious there’s more to the game than just a fix for thrill seekers, it’s deadly as they come.

RELATED: “I Want to Play a Game”: Contemporary Survival Game Horror Movies and What They Say About Us

12. The Hunger Games

The hunger Games
Image via Lionsgate

The first part of the trilogy, The hunger Games plays with familiar themes from deadly games with hefty rewards for the last man standing. It takes place in a dystopian future, where there are 12 districts under the rule of the power-drunk Capitol. In an effort to control the masses, the annual Hunger Games features two tributes from each district competing in a tournament to the death. Just as it is in squid game, the candidates come from the bowels of society and have little or no choice to bend to the will of the Capitol… or do they?

13. I saw the devil

i saw the devil
Image via the releasing magnet

I saw the devil is the perfect parallel in more ways than one. First there is Lee Byung-hun, a familiar face of squid game, as well as the gripping storyline. In a classic tale of the hunter becoming the hunted, Jang Kyung-chul (Choi Min Sik), a serial killer finds himself entangled in a twisted game of cat and mouse with a secret agent whose fiancé he murdered. Talk about revenge on steroids, the secret agent slowly tortures him through an epic series of catches and releases. Heads up; this movie doesn’t hold back with brutality or gory deaths.

14. Cube

The cast of Cube
Image via Trimark Pictures

In the beginning there was cube, and the film practically set a precedent for hits like escape room. However, there’s no invitation in this one, it’s just five strangers waking up in a cube-shaped room. It doesn’t take them long to figure out that they have to solve a series of puzzles for their freedom. What they probably didn’t expect is that each stage is riddled with life-threatening traps and tricks. It may be a bit older, but it didn’t earn a loyal cult following for being an inferior watch.

15. The Convicts

the convicted
Image via Lionsgate

It may not be the most serious compared to squid games, corn The convicted packs a medium punch of brutality wrapped in a signature sadistic game. This time the spotlight is on Jack Conrad (Steve Austin) a death row inmate awaiting his end in a corrupt prison. In what appears to be a chance at redemption, he’s bought off by a wealthy television producer and taken to a remote South Pacific island where he’s supposed to fight for his freedom – and an eye-catching sum – against nine convicted felons like himself. Be warned, there’s a lot of melodramatic violence and unwarranted cheesiness, but that makes for a pretty entertaining watch.

How scary is ‘Squid Game’? The real horror, as always, is capitalism

The second scariest thing is games where people die.

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