Check out these thrilling and action K-Dramas while you wait for Squid Game Season 2!

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The South Korean television series Squid Game took the world by storm with its unprecedented success and captivating content, all achieved without any prior promotion. The show not only resonated with audiences worldwide but also brought international recognition to its talented cast, including renowned actor Lee Jung-jae. The Squid Game 1 left viewers on the edge of their seats with a thrilling cliffhanger, generating immense anticipation for the highly anticipated second season. Recently, Netflix delighted fans by announcing the renewal of Squid Game Season 2, although no specific release date has been revealed yet. As fans eagerly await the return of Squid Game, there are other movies and web series available that offer similar thrilling experiences.

From 2019 to 2021, the world witnessed a surge in the release of spine-chilling K-dramas that pushed boundaries and left audiences with goosebumps. Now, in 2023, a new wave of thrilling gems has emerged, each vying for the top spot in the highly competitive category of “most thrilling K-drama.”

One notable entry in this category is Hwang Dong-Hyuk’s Squid Game, which achieved tremendous international success. The show garnered numerous accolades, including the People’s Choice Award for the most Bingeworthy Show of the Year. Additionally, it received a prestigious nomination for Best Television Series – Drama at the Golden Globe Awards. These achievements highlight the show’s ability to captivate viewers and solidify its position as a global phenomenon.

While awaiting the release of Squid Game Season 2, fans can explore other thrilling movies and web series that offer similar adrenaline-pumping experiences. These captivating narratives will keep viewers engaged and on the edge of their seats, just like Squid Game did. From psychological thrillers to intense crime dramas, the world of K-dramas offers a diverse range of options for those craving thrilling and suspenseful storytelling.

As Squid Game’s success continues to resonate with audiences, it serves as a testament to the power of exceptional storytelling and its ability to transcend cultural boundaries. The anticipation for Season 2 is palpable, and fans can rest assured that the legacy of thrilling K-dramas will continue to evolve and captivate audiences around the world. While we await the next chapter of Squid Game, let’s embark on a thrilling journey through the captivating world of K-dramas.

K-dramas to watch while you wait for Squid Game Season 2

Here are some recommendations for shows and movies similar to Squid Game, featuring high-stakes games and moral dilemmas. These selections come from Korea and other parts of Asia:

Physical: 100

“Physical: 100” is a reality competition series that shares similarities with Squid Game in terms of its competitive format and elimination process. However, unlike Squid Game’s intense and deadly challenges, “Physical: 100” focuses on physical prowess and athletic abilities. The show features 100 contestants who compete against each other in various challenges, with eliminations taking place until only one winner remains. The series highlights a range of disciplines, pitting strongmen against gymnasts and showcasing the perfect human body.

While “Physical: 100” offers a competitive and intense atmosphere reminiscent of the Jean-Claude Van Damme classic “Bloodsport,” it is important to note that there are no reports of life-threatening situations or gory deaths associated with the show. While an actual Squid Game reality show may be in development, “Physical: 100” arrived earlier and emphasizes physical strength and skill without the extreme consequences seen in Squid Game.

It is available in the Netflix catalog.

“Oldboy” (Movie, South Korea)

“Oldboy” is a highly acclaimed South Korean film directed by Park Chan-wook. Released in 2003, it is part of Park’s acclaimed “Vengeance Trilogy.” The revenge-driven thriller tells the story of Oh Dae-su, a man who is mysteriously imprisoned for 15 years without knowing the reason behind his captivity. Upon his sudden release, he embarks on a quest for revenge and redemption, uncovering shocking truths along the way.

“Oldboy” is known for its dark and twisted narrative, intense performances, and stylistic filmmaking. It explores themes of revenge, morality, and the consequences of one’s actions. The film received critical acclaim and gained international recognition, winning the Grand Prix at the 2004 Cannes Film Festival.

Please note that “Oldboy” contains mature themes and graphic violence, and it is recommended for adult audiences.

“Confession of Murder” (Movie, South Korea)

“Confession of Murder” is a South Korean film released in 2012, directed by Jung Byung-gil. The film revolves around a former serial killer named Lee Doo-seok who publishes a book confessing to his crimes after the statute of limitations has expired. As the public becomes aware of his actions, a detective named Choi Hyung-goo becomes determined to bring him to justice.

The movie delves into a cat-and-mouse game between Lee Doo-seok and Detective Choi, as they confront each other and uncover hidden truths. “Confession of Murder” is a thrilling crime drama that explores themes of revenge, justice, and the consequences of one’s actions. It offers a tense and suspenseful narrative, filled with twists and turns that keep the audience engaged.

The film received positive reviews for its gripping storyline, strong performances, and well-executed action sequences. It showcases the psychological and emotional toll that the pursuit of justice can have on both the criminal and the investigator.

Please note that “Confession of Murder” contains violent and intense scenes, and it is recommended for mature audiences.

Hellbound (Webtoon adaptation, South Korea)

Hellbound” is a South Korean webtoon adaptation that was released as a television series on Netflix in 2021. It is directed by Yeon Sang-ho, known for his work on the critically acclaimed film “Train to Busan.” The series is based on the webtoon of the same name by Yeon Sang-ho.

“Hellbound” is a dark fantasy thriller that explores themes of faith, religion, and the concept of divine punishment. The story is set in a world where supernatural beings called “Hellbound” appear to individuals and deliver death sentences, condemning them to hell. As society grapples with the sudden emergence of these supernatural events, a religious group called “The New Truth” rises to interpret and spread the message of the Hellbound.

The series follows a group of individuals, including a journalist, a lawyer, and a detective, as they try to uncover the truth behind the Hellbound phenomenon and unravel the secrets surrounding it. The show delves into the impact of religious fanaticism, societal divisions, and the blurred lines between good and evil.

“Hellbound” received positive reviews for its thought-provoking narrative, strong performances, and high production values. It blends elements of horror, mystery, and social commentary to create a compelling and suspenseful viewing experience.

Please note that “Hellbound” contains intense scenes and deals with mature themes. Viewer discretion is advised.

“Stranger” (Series, South Korea)

The “Stranger” series, also known as “Forest of Secrets,” is a South Korean television drama that first aired in 2017. Created by Lee Soo-yeon, the series follows the story of Hwang Shi-mok, a prosecutor with a lack of empathy due to a surgical procedure he underwent as a child. When Shi-mok investigates a murder case involving high-ranking officials, he becomes embroiled in a complex web of corruption and power struggles within the legal system.

The “Stranger” series is praised for its intricate storytelling, compelling characters, and thought-provoking exploration of institutional corruption and morality. It portrays a realistic and gritty depiction of the criminal justice system, exposing the hidden conflicts and manipulations that occur behind the scenes.

Throughout the series, Shi-mok works alongside police lieutenant Han Yeo-jin, played by actress Bae Doona, to uncover the truth and navigate the intricate relationships between various characters. Their partnership becomes instrumental in challenging the corrupt forces at play and seeking justice.

“Stranger” received critical acclaim for its engrossing plot, strong performances, and its ability to shed light on the complexities of power dynamics and moral dilemmas within the legal system. The series has garnered a dedicated fan base and has been praised for its intelligent storytelling and compelling character development.

Please note that “Stranger” deals with mature themes and contains some intense and violent scenes. Viewer discretion is advised.


“All of Us Are Dead” is a South Korean television series, also known as “Joseon Survival.” Released in 2022, it is a zombie thriller based on the webtoon “Now at Our School!” by Joo Dong-geun.

The series takes place in a high school where a mysterious infection spreads, turning the students into zombies. The remaining survivors, including a group of students and teachers, must band together to survive and find a way to escape the school.

All of Us Are Dead” combines elements of horror, suspense, and drama as it explores the struggles and relationships among the characters amidst chaos and danger. The show not only delves into the physical threats posed by the zombie outbreak but also examines the psychological and emotional impact on the survivors.

The series received positive reviews for its engaging storyline, well-developed characters, and effective blend of horror and human drama. It offers a fresh take on the zombie genre with its unique setting and focuses on the survival dynamics within a confined space.

Please note that “All of Us Are Dead” contains intense scenes, violence, and gore, as is typical for the zombie genre. Viewer discretion is advised.

Kaiji: Ultimate Survivor

While there may be similarities between “Squid Game” and “Kaiji: Ultimate Survivor,” such as the themes of debt, high-stakes games, and characters competing to pay off their debts, it is important to note that the creators of “Squid Game” have not publicly acknowledged any specific inspiration from “Kaiji: Ultimate Survivor.”

The concept of debt-driven characters participating in deadly games is not unique to either series, and similar themes can be found in various works of literature, films, and other media. It is not uncommon for different creators to explore similar concepts independently, drawing inspiration from various sources or shared cultural influences.

It’s worth appreciating the unique elements and storytelling of each series while recognizing that while similarities may exist, they can also stand on their own as distinct works with their own narratives, character developments, and artistic choices.

Ultimately, the connections and similarities between “Squid Game” and “Kaiji: Ultimate Survivor” are open to interpretation and personal perspective.

#Alive

“#Alive” is a South Korean zombie thriller film released in 2020. Directed by Cho Il-hyung, the movie revolves around a young man named Oh Joon-woo, played by Yoo Ah-in, who finds himself trapped alone in his apartment during a sudden zombie outbreak.

As the chaos unfolds outside, Joon-woo must rely on his limited resources and survival instincts to stay alive. Through his isolation and desperate attempts to communicate with the outside world, he forms a connection with a neighboring survivor named Kim Yoo-bin, portrayed by Park Shin-hye. Together, they must navigate the dangerous environment and find a way to survive against the relentless hordes of zombies.

“#Alive” explores themes of isolation, resilience, and the human will to survive in the face of overwhelming odds. It combines elements of horror, suspense, and emotional drama to create a tense and gripping narrative.

The film received positive reviews for its realistic portrayal of survival and the psychological toll it takes on the main character. It offers a unique perspective on the zombie genre, focusing on the human element rather than just the action and gore typically associated with such films.

Please note that “#Alive” contains intense scenes, violence, and gore, as is typical for the zombie genre. Viewer discretion is advised.

Dr. Brain

Dr. Brain” is a South Korean psychological thriller series that premiered on Apple TV+ in 2021. The show is based on a popular webcomic of the same name by Kim Joon-gyun. It stars Lee Sun-kyun in the lead role.

“Dr. Brain” follows the story of a neuroscientist named Dr. Ji Oh-joon, played by Lee Sun-kyun, who is working on groundbreaking research to understand the human brain. However, tragedy strikes when his family falls victim to an unexpected accident. In an attempt to uncover the truth and save his family, Dr. Ji delves into the depths of his own mind and embarks on a dangerous journey of exploration and self-discovery.

The series combines elements of science fiction, mystery, and psychological thriller as Dr. Ji navigates a mind-bending world filled with hidden memories, illusions, and secrets. As he unravels the mysteries of his own consciousness, he must confront his own fears and confront the forces that threaten to control his mind.

“Dr. Brain” has received positive reviews for its intriguing storyline, atmospheric visuals, and strong performances. It delves into the complexities of the human mind and raises thought-provoking questions about identity, memory, and the nature of reality.

Please note that “Dr. Brain” deals with mature themes and contains intense and disturbing scenes. Viewer discretion is advised.

Strangers From Hell

“Strangers From Hell” is a South Korean psychological thriller series based on a popular webtoon called “Hell Is Other People” by Kim Yong-ki. The series first aired in 2019 and consists of ten episodes.

The story revolves around a young man named Yoon Jong-woo, played by Im Si-wan, who moves to Seoul to pursue his dreams. He rents a cheap apartment in a rundown building, only to find himself surrounded by eccentric and disturbing neighbors. As Jong-woo becomes entangled in the lives of these residents, he gradually uncovers dark secrets and realizes that his new living situation is far from ordinary.

“Strangers From Hell” delves into themes of paranoia, isolation, and the dark side of human nature. It creates an atmosphere of unease and psychological tension as Jong-woo becomes increasingly suspicious of his neighbors’ intentions. The series explores the depths of human depravity and the horrors that can exist behind closed doors.

The show received critical acclaim for its atmospheric storytelling, gripping performances, and its ability to create a sense of claustrophobia and fear. It is known for its intense and chilling moments that keep viewers on the edge of their seats.

Please note that “Strangers From Hell” contains mature themes, violence, and disturbing scenes. Viewer discretion is advised.

Penthouse: War in Life

“Penthouse: War in Life” is a South Korean drama series that premiered in 2020 and is currently ongoing. It is written by Kim Soon-ok and directed by Joo Dong-min. The show has gained significant popularity and has been praised for its gripping storyline and intense performances.

“Penthouse: War in Life” takes place in Hera Palace, an exclusive luxury apartment complex where the residents are entangled in a fierce competition for wealth, power, and social status. The series focuses on the lives of three women: Shim Soo-ryun, played by Lee Ji-ah, a determined and ambitious socialite; Cheon Seo-jin, portrayed by Kim So-yeon, a successful and ruthless classical music soprano; and Oh Yoon-hee, played by Eugene, a woman from a humble background who aspires to enter the elite world of Hera Palace.

As the story unfolds, the characters become involved in a web of secrets, scandals, and revenge plots. The series explores themes of greed, betrayal, and the lengths people are willing to go to protect their social standing. It combines elements of melodrama, suspense, and mystery to deliver an engaging and addictive narrative.

“Penthouse: War in Life” has garnered a strong following for its compelling plot twists, intricate character development, and shocking revelations. It has been praised for its stellar cast performances and its ability to keep viewers on the edge of their seats with its intense and dramatic storytelling.

Sky Castle

Sky Castle” is a South Korean drama series that aired on JTBC in 2018-2019. It gained immense popularity for its portrayal of the competitive world of wealthy families and the extreme lengths they go to ensure their children’s success.

The series revolves around the lives of several elite families residing in the luxurious Sky Castle neighborhood. These families are driven by their relentless pursuit of prestige, social status, and the desire to secure admission for their children into Seoul National University (SNU), which is considered a symbol of success and achievement in South Korea.

“Sky Castle” delves into the high-pressure and cutthroat environment of the education system, where parents meticulously control every aspect of their children’s lives to guarantee their academic excellence. The show explores themes of parental expectations, academic competition, mental health, and the sacrifices children are forced to make to meet their parents’ lofty goals.

The series received critical acclaim for its thought-provoking storyline, strong performances, and social commentary on the dark side of Korea’s education system and the pressures faced by students. It sheds light on the psychological toll these pressures can have on young individuals and the consequences of prioritizing success over genuine happiness.

“Sky Castle” serves as a compelling social critique while also offering elements of suspense, drama, and dark humor. It highlights the stark disparities in society and the lengths parents may go to secure their children’s future, ultimately posing questions about the true meaning of success and happiness.

Tomorrow

Tomorrow” is an intriguing and unique fantasy drama available on Netflix. The story revolves around Choi Joon-woong, who finds himself in a coma and is presented with a life-altering choice: join a team of grim reapers and carry out important missions or face death. Joon-woong decides to join the team, becoming employed by a mysterious company with different departments, each with its own distinct objectives.

As a member of the crisis management team, Joon-woong’s primary mission is to prevent people from committing suicide. “Tomorrow” stands out from other TV series as it fearlessly tackles serious issues such as eating disorders, self-harm, and more. The show skillfully blends heart-pounding moments with heartwarming scenes, creating a dynamic viewing experience.

Through its exploration of sensitive topics, “Tomorrow” aims to raise awareness and foster meaningful conversations about mental health and societal challenges. The series provides thought-provoking insights while delivering compelling narratives that keep audiences engaged.

The Glory

In the gripping series “The Glory,” Moon Dong-eun, portrayed by the talented Song Hye-kyo, endures a traumatic childhood marked by bullying and physical abuse that leads her to drop out of school. Bearing the scars of her torment, both physically and emotionally, she meticulously crafts a plan for revenge against those who have wronged her.

As Moon Dong-eun grows older, she perseveres, attains her degree, and secures a job as a teacher. “The Glory” unfolds as a compelling revenge drama intertwined with elements of a psychological thriller. With a deeply satisfying conclusion, Moon Dong-eun learns to embrace love without fear and emerges victorious in her personal battle.

The series delves into themes of resilience, justice, and the complexities of human emotions. It explores the transformative journey of a survivor seeking redemption while grappling with the effects of past trauma. Through its captivating narrative, “The Glory” offers a profound exploration of personal growth and triumph over adversity.

Kill Boksoon

In the captivating film “By Day, By Night,” Jeon Do-yeon portrays the multifaceted character Gil Boksoon. By day, she is a devoted single mother, caring for her teenage daughter. However, when night falls, she unveils her secret identity as a highly regarded assassin.

The collaboration between director Byun Sung-hyun and Jeon Do-yeon was a long-anticipated endeavor. Byun, inspired by Jeon’s exceptional talent, sought to offer her a fresh and exciting opportunity, diverging from her previous notable works in romantic films and dramas.

Byun’s aspiration was to present Jeon with an action-oriented movie, providing her with a chance to showcase her versatility and leave a lasting mark on her illustrious filmography. By exploring this new genre and pushing the boundaries of Jeon’s abilities, Byun aimed to create a significant addition to her repertoire.

“By Day, By Night” unravels the complex nature of Gil Boksoon, expertly brought to life by Jeon Do-yeon’s compelling performance. It delves into the contrasting identities and hidden depths of a character living a double life, creating a thrilling and unforgettable cinematic experience.

Money Heist: Korea

“Money Heist” is an internationally acclaimed series that originated in Spain in 2017. It has garnered immense popularity and critical acclaim worldwide, including winning the Best Drama Series award at the 46th International Emmy Awards in 2018.

The series revolves around a group of individuals with distinct personalities and skills, led by a mastermind known as “The Professor.” Together, they plan and execute meticulously crafted heists on major institutions, such as the Royal Mint of Spain and the Bank of Spain. As they carry out their high-stakes operations, they also engage in an intricate and suspenseful hostage situation.

The series is known for its compelling characters, strategic planning, and unexpected twists that keep viewers engaged throughout. The combination of the characters’ diverse abilities and the ever-evolving nature of the heists creates an intense and thrilling atmosphere.

These suggestions offer a mix of intense games, moral dilemmas, and survival scenarios. While they may not be identical to Squid Game, they share themes of high stakes, consequences, and the exploration of human nature under extreme circumstances. Enjoy exploring these titles!

Rashmi
Rashmi
Rashmi is the Editor of PhonesWiki. She launched PhonesWiki back in 2018, turning it into a top spot for phone news and updates by 2019. Now, it's your go-to for leaks and solutions to phone problems. Her first phone was a Nokia 6610, but now she relies on an iPhone 14 Pro as daily driver. Rashmi's a tech enthusiast through and through, always tinkering with gadgets and gizmos. When she's not writing, you'll find Rashmi hanging out with her beloved pet, enjoying some quality playtime. Have a tip or just want to say hello? Contact her at info@phoneswiki.com

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