If you enjoyed ‘Squid Game,’ watch these Korean movies & TV shows

6 great options to keep you busy.

words by: Alee Kwong
Oct 15, 2021

Squid Game has made Netflix history with 111 million viewers worldwide, making it Netflix’s most watched series. There’s no questioning why this show has done so well — from the jump, it drags the audience into the depths of the players’ emotional well-being. The stress, fear, and desperation is not confined to the screen or the characters on the show.


We find ourselves with hearts nearly beating out of our chest, clasping our clammy hands, and emotionally toiling as we are experiencing the very harsh (yet necessary) conditions Squid Game thrusts onto the characters.


Korean cinema and K-dramas have been known to enthrall audiences worldwide, with gripping stories, heartfelt dialogue, and near-perfect casting. So if you enjoyed how messed up Squid Game is, here are some recommendations for your watchlist.


This shouldn’t be surprising, but most of these are streaming on Netflix — so ready your account or mooch off a friend’s account.


Oldboy (2003)



Where to watch it: Shudder

One of the classics. The film follows the story of Oh Dae-su, who is imprisoned in a cell which resembles a hotel room for 15 years without knowing the identity of his captor or his captor’s motives. Once he’s finally released, Dae-su finds himself still trapped in a web of conspiracy and violence. His own quest for vengeance becomes tied in with romance when he falls in love with an attractive young sushi chef, Mi-do.


The Handmaiden (2016)



Where to watch it: Amazon Prime Video

In Japanese-occupied Korea, a con man operating under the sobriquet of “Count Fujiwara” plans to seduce a Japanese heiress named Lady Hideko, then marry her and commit her to an asylum in order to steal her inheritance. He hires a pickpocket named Sook-hee to become Hideko’s maid and encourage Hideko to marry him.


Forgotten (2017)



Where to watch it: Netflix

If you love twists and turns that’ll have you shocked every time, this needs to go at the top of the list. When Jin-Seok’s abducted brother returns, seemingly a different man with no memory of the past 19 days, he chases after the truth behind the mysterious kidnapping.


Call (2020)



Where to watch it: Netflix

In 2019, 28-year-old Kim Seo-yeon loses her cellphone while traveling to visit her sick, estranged mother in a rural area. Arriving at her rundown childhood home, she finds a decades-old cordless phone, and through it receives calls from a distressed woman who says she’s being tortured by her mother. After investigating the house, Seo-yeon figures out that the woman on the phone, Oh Young-sook, is living in the same house but in 1999. The two are able to communicate across time through the phone, and exchange information about their lives. Young-sook is orphaned and lives with her adoptive mother, who is a shaman, while Seo-yeon lost her father in a fire that she blames her mother, Eun-ae, for.


Kingdom (2019)



Where to watch it: Netflix

This show is loaded. A period-piece filled with the drama of Joseon-era politics and zombie horror, Kingdom, follows the story of Crown Prince Lee Chang and his subordinates, who stumble across an unnatural plague that resurrects the dead amidst his investigation of a brewing political conspiracy and rumors of the King of Joseon’s death. Amidst the chaos and death that ensues, Chang meets allies who try to make a stand in the city-state of Sangju before it spreads further into the province, only to discover that the plague has already adapted.


Sweet Home (2020)



Where to watch it: Netflix

After an unexpected family tragedy, Cha Hyun-soo decides to leave his home and move into an apartment. Soon after, monsters begin trying to wipe out humanity. People inside the apartment are trapped inside the building, realizing that monsters are lurking everywhere outside. Hyun-soo and other residents shield themselves inside the building in hopes of surviving as long as they can.


Photo via Netflix