Squid Game has quickly become one of the most talked about television shows in the world, with many viewers now rushing to catch up with the show before they encounter any spoilers.

Set in South Korea, the dark thriller sees a group of desperate strangers gathered together in a mysterious place to compete in a series of deadly challenges inspired by children’s games.

If that brief synopsis doesn’t make it clear, let us state without any confusion that Squid Game is not for kids, so don’t let its brightly coloured costumes and surreal environments make you think otherwise.

But after Squid Game unexpectedly became Netflix’s biggest series ever – with fans scouring the internet for Squid Game costumes and recipes for Squid Game cookies – it was inevitable that some teenage viewers would be intrigued to give the show a try. But is suitable for people in that age group?

Those who have been keeping up with the various Squid Game theories will know that it deals with a number of adult themes, from gambling and violence to drug use and sex.

Read on for everything you need to know about Squid Game’s age rating and just how scary and gory the thriller is.

Squid Game age rating


Don’t be deceived by the large smiling doll that often adorns the Squid Game poster on Netflix’s interface – Squid Game is certainly not suitable for anyone still young enough to be playing hopscotch, marbles or any of the other games featured in the show.

The BBFC have awarded Squid Game a 15 rating in the UK for “sexual violence references, injury detail, crude humour, sex, suicide, sexual images, violence”.

Unlike the 12a rating which allows younger viewers provided they are with a parent or other guardian, the 15 rating states that the material is “suitable only for 15 years and over” with no concession for accompanying adults.

This is hardly surprising considering the high number of deaths that occur during the series, usually during twisted takes on playground games that feature high levels of violence and even torture.

The series has drawn many comparisons to similar fight-to-the-death films such as The Hunger Games, however Squid Game is far more violent and adult-focused than the popular Jennifer Lawrence films.

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There are also several uses of profanity, alcohol and cigarettes as well as a sex scene – so that 15 rating is well deserved, despite the moral lessons that occasionally rear their head amongst the bloodshed.

To protect your child from mature content on Netflix, see our guide to Netflix parental controls.

Is Squid Game gory?

If you’re a bit squeamish and tend to shy away from violent TV shows, then perhaps Squid Game isn’t for you.

The hit Netflix show is rated 15 in the UK and contains a fair amount of blood since the tournament’s contestants are immediately killed once they lose one of the children’s games they are forced to take part in.

However, most of the deaths tend to be by gunshot, avoiding any view of human innards or sickening injuries and the camera doesn’t linger on any of them for any great length of time.

While the series isn’t as gory as films like Saw and The Suicide Squad, or dramas like The Walking Dead and American Horror Story, it certainly has its gruesome moments – particularly in the final episode.

Is Squid Game scary?

For those less concerned with violence and more terrified of the classic jump scare, you’ll be pleased to know that Squid Game isn’t frightening in that sense.

More of a psychological drama than an all-out horror show, Squid Game maintains a steady sense of dread throughout, allowing viewers to become emotionally invested in its characters before killing them off throughout the nine-part series.

While a number of the deaths in Squid Game are sudden and can take you by surprise (especially in the first episode’s Red Light, Green Light game), the scariness behind the series is mainly in its dystopian Battle Royale-esque concept and the social commentary around class and wealth that is woven throughout.

Squid Game is currently streaming on Netflix. Looking for something else to watch? Check out our guide to the best TV series on Netflix and best movies on Netflix, or visit our TV Guide