After Squid Game and Hellbound took the world by storm, more and more people are turning to Netflix’s international offerings for something new to watch. The streaming service has a number of international movies and TV shows that you should definitely add to your watchlist, and we’ve compiled 10 killer suggestions for you.
This list contains mainly South Korean TV shows which have similar themes to Squid Game and Hellbound, however there’s still a ton of other Netflix productions from all around the world that are worth your time and attention. Whether you’re in the mood for a horror series full of gore like Sweet Home, or an action-packed mystery like My Name, we’ve got you covered.
A series that’s often hard to watch, Extracurricular follows a group of troubled teens who commit crimes to earn money. The series starts as ringleader Oh Ji-soo, a model student, doesn’t have the funds to get into university and so engages in illegal activity to earn some cash and things eventually catch up with him. This dark and morbid show has enough blood and guts to scratch your Squid Game itch – and will inevitably cause the same level of anxiety you had when watching the glass bridge game.
An interesting twist on the post-apocalyptic genre, Sweet Home answers the age-old question of what would happen if all your neighbours turned into blood-thirsty monsters. Cha Hyun-soo, a newcomer to the decrepit Green Home apartment complex, doesn’t have a great outlook on life after losing his family in a tragic accident. To make things worse, a virus has seemingly broken out in the block and is causing all of the people to mutate...
It’s up to the remaining residents to work together – or plot against each other – in order to survive and hopefully escape the apartment block, which has been mysteriously locked from the outside. Sweet Home shares the supernatural aspects of Hellbound, making this perfect for anyone who has just finished that series.
Alice in Borderland
Alice in Borderland can rival Squid Game with its sadistic survival games. This Japanese series takes place on the bustling streets of Shibuya, Tokyo, and follows three friends – Arisu, Karube, and Chota – who manage to escape police custody after causing some disruption. After hiding for a few minutes, the three friends return outside and are met with empty streets and a mysterious broadcast which tells them to join ‘The Game’ which they do. However, it’s not until the trio take part in the first challenge that they realise that their prize for winning is making it out alive.
Another South Korean horror offering, Kingdom is set in a fictional medieval-inspired village during Korea’s Joseon dynasty and features Sense 8’s Bae Doo-na among other talented cast members. Following the King’s death from a mysterious illness, the Crown Prince seeks answers for his father’s sudden passing. In his efforts to uncover the truth, Prince Lee Chang instead discovers an unnatural plague that resurrects the dead and brings them back as zombies who go on to terrorise the kingdom. There’s also a movie tie-in called Kingdom: Ashin of the North available to watch!
Strangers From Hell
Enough actual monsters – Strangers From Hell is a psychological thriller that deals with monsters disguised as people. Similar to Sweet Home, this series starts with a young guy moving into a rundown apartment. Yoon Jong-woo soon notices strange occurrences happening throughout Eden Studios’ walls, including his neighbours’ unsettling behaviours.
This drama stars a number of established actors, with probably the most recognised in the West being Lee Jung-eun who previously played housekeeper Moon-gwang in the Oscar winning Parasite.
The surprisingly dark psychological thriller The Call centers on Kim Seo-yeon, who loses her cellphone on the way to visit her mother in the rural countryside. She finds an old phone, but upon reconnecting the device, she keeps receiving calls from a young woman who lived in the very same house 20 years prior. Not a present-day phone call, mind, but she’s calling from 20 years ago...
This sparks a friendship between the pair and causes Seo-yeon to ask the woman to make changes in the past to influence her life in the present – sometimes with disastrous consequences. This is the perfect film for those who love a good butterfly effect narrative and multiple surprising plot twists.
If you’re looking for an action-packed series with a side order of violence, Vincenzo’s the show for you. After being adopted as a child and moving to Italy, Park Joo-hyung, AKA Vincenzo Cassano, is a lawyer and member of the Mafia who returns to his birthplace of South Korea. It doesn’t take him long to make some new enemies. Combining his legal knowledge and skills picked up from being a consigliere, Vincenzo decides to go up against a large and shady corporation that has illegally obtained ownership of a very valuable building.
Don’t worry, this show is full of board meetings, courtrooms, and paperwork – this lawyer isn’t exactly one for following the rules. Rest assured, Vincenzo has its fair share of gunfights, car chases, and explosions, as well as a romantic subplot.
If you enjoyed Netflix’s Kate, My Name is a perfect companion. My Name sees high school student Yoon Ji-woo forced to deal with the consequences of her father’s gangster lifestyle. On Ji-woo’s birthday, her father is killed, leading her to seek revenge. Turning to a crime boss for guidance, Ji-woo takes on a new identity and enrols in the police force to find the person responsible for her father’s murder. My Name doesn’t shy away from brutal fight scenes or a grizzly murder, so go into this series expecting to see the worst. If you managed Squid Game though, you should have no problem witnessing Ji-woo throw a few punches.
#Alive tells the story of tech-obsessed gamer Oh Joon-woo who gets caught up in the middle of a zombie apocalypse. He lives alone in a high rise apartment, and isn’t in too much of a rush to leave. However, once supplies start running low and Joon-woo begins worrying about his family, he decides to team up with his neighbour Kim Yoo-bin to try and escape. #Alive also stars Park Shin-hye from The Call, as well as Yoo Ah-in who appeared in Hellbound. One for fans of another great zombie flick, Train to Busan.
Crash Landing On You
Crash Landing on You is the least violent suggestion here. In this romance/action series, we are transported to North Korea after South Korean business woman Yoon Se-ri gets stranded across the border due to a paragliding accident. North Korea is a strict country, and when an outsider literally crash lands, things do not go down well.
Thankfully for Se-ri though, Captain of the North Korean army Ri Jeong-hyeok is the one who finds her and agrees to help smuggle her out. In the meantime though, Se-ri must integrate into North Korean life – which proves different following her lavish life in the south – and avoid being caught by the authorities.
We have only scratched the surface of Netflix’s international offerings, if you’re looking for more suggestions, make sure you check out the best Netflix shows out now.