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Korean thriller Squid Game is a massive overnight hit, potentially Netflix’s biggest show of all time! Squid Game comes in the wake of a number of movies and TV shows that use potent, gripping metaphors to dissect capitalism. Popular examples include the upstairs/downstairs dynamics of Bong Joon-Ho’s Snowpiercer and Parasite, the work-as-slavery plot in Boots Riley’s Sorry to Bother You, and the death game blockbuster The Hunger Games. But like most big-budget media properties that try to critique the systems they exist in, Squid Game ends with a fundamental ambivalence — one that flinches from its own critique at the last minute with a “fantasy” ending that undercuts its own key message.
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