With the release of Netflix’s Squid Game and the anticipation for the second season of Alice in Borderland, viewers are appreciating the death games concept in media more and more. After all, this subgenre makes thrillers more interesting by adding cunning mechanics to its characters’ fight for survival, rather than relying on the typical chasing and slashing we commonly see in films and shows under the genre.
If you’re starting to enjoy such titles as well, then we’ve got the list for you! Gripping, thrilling, and wittingly woven, these fifteen movies and series employ the death games concept in creative ways that they’ll get you binging in no time!
Squid Game gathers 456 people who are desperate for money, and invites them to play a series of games where the winner can take home 45.6 billion won! But what’s the catch? These challenges that are inspired by traditional children’s games are merciless when it comes to killing off players.
Friends Arisu, Karube, and Chota are loitering around Tokyo when suddenly, everybody disappeared. The three would soon learn that they’ve become players of the Borderland, where they must participate in a series of death games with each win guaranteeing them a few more days of survival.
To select his successor, the God of Time and Space chooses twelve individuals who must battle each other with the help of their future diaries. When the teenager Yukiteru becomes part of the game, his survival seemed slim. That is until a girl named Yuno arrives to protect him, but can Yuki really trust her?
Phi Brain: The Puzzle of God
Here’s a less violent anime that also has death games on its core. Phi Brain: The Puzzle of God follows the puzzle-loving student Kaito and his friends who have been assigned as the solvers of the life-threatening ‘Philosopher’s Puzzles’ created by the mysterious POG (Puzzle of God) organization.
In this anime series, a bear gathers a bunch of teenagers of diverse personalities to play a game where they must kill each other until only one remains. But unlike a straightforward battle royale, this death game requires the player to kill without being caught, for trials will be held and if a player is proven to be guilty, he or she will be executed.
One day, Shun Takahata’s boring life completely changes when his teacher’s head turns into a Daruma doll. This living doll would then play a game where it will make the students’ heads explode whenever they move. But this is just the beginning because Shun must play more deadly games to survive.
The ‘SAW’ Franchise
Perhaps the most popular title on this list when it comes to death games, the SAW franchise’s death games are merciless, brutal, and pure nightmare fuel! Even if the players can survive Jigsaw’s challenges, they’re mostly left with severe injuries that would either kill them later or scar them for life.
Escape rooms can be a fun activity for friends, but what if the rooms with random themes and tricky puzzles can lead to the players’ deaths? This is the concept of Escape Room– a group of people enters a mysterious building where they must solve and escape rooms to win $10,000. Little did they know, each room is also filled with death traps.
Battle Royale & Battle Royale II: Requiem
Based on Koushun Takami’s novel of the same name, Battle Royale is set in a dystopian Japan where every year, one high school class is randomly selected to become part of the Battle Royale program where all of the students are sent to a remote island, given random weapons, and must fight to the death until only one of them survives.
This popular survival movie franchise is set in the fictional Capital of Panem where the annual Hunger Games are held and televised. Each of the districts is forced to select two young Tributes, a male and a female, who will participate in the games where they must kill each other until only one player remains. When her younger sister gets picked as the player, Katniss Everdeen steps up to play the game in her place even if it meant death.
Random people open their eyes and find themselves in a dark room where they surround a little glass dome. As the mysterious device starts zapping them to death one by one, these people would soon realize that they are trapped with a deadly apparatus and that every two minutes, they must vote on who will get to die next.
The Belko Experiment
Written by James Gunn of Thor: Ragnarok and The Suicide Squad fame, this film centers on a twisted experiment where 80 office workers of a corporate giant are forced to participate in. Locked inside their building, the employees receive an instruction: kill three of your co-workers or we will kill six others. This begins a series of tasks that would leave more and more dead bodies lying on their office floor.
To please her in-laws, newly-wedded bride Grace participates in a strange and brutal tradition of her husband’s wealthy family. Grace must survive her wedding night while the family members of her husband’s affluent dynasty hunt her down with the intent to kill.
The Hunt is a satirical film that garnered controversy when former US President Donald Trump tweeted about it. The film follows twelve strangers who wake up in a clearing and become the target of unseen enemies. Soon, they begin to suspect that it might be linked to the “Manorgate” conspiracy theory, which claims that elitists hunt humans for sport.
This 1997 film is not as brutal as the other titles on this list but director David Fincher delivers a gripping story nonetheless. On his birthday, the wealthy banker Nicholas receives an odd gift from his estranged brother– the opportunity to participate in a mysterious game. Seemingly harmless at first, the game’s consequences become more apparent, and Nicholas starts to fear for his life.
Did we miss a title on our list? Share with us your favorite death games in shows and films by giving them a review and rating on my.clickthecity.com! Stay in the loop and connect with us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.