‘Squid Game’: Why Do the Caskets Have Bows? Art Director Explains
The K-drama Squid Game has become an incredibly popular Netflix series. In the show, dozens of desperate people agree to play children’s games in the hopes of taking home an enormous cash prize. However, there are deadly consequences to losing the games. The death toll enters the hundreds after only the first game. Viewers may have noticed that the masked staff members roll away the bodies in caskets with bows tied around them. Art director Chae Kyung-sun explains why this unique feature was chosen.
Who died in ‘Squid Game’?
Initially 456 players join the deadly games to compete for the prize money. The first game, Red Light, Green Light, results in the death of 255 players. After that, the remaining 201 players vote to leave the game. However, all but 14 people return to try to win the prize money.
Players continue to die in Squid Game until the one winner remains. Considering the 14 people who didn’t return for the games, that means the player death count was 441 people in total.
Why do the caskets in the K-drama have bows?
After the first games, Squid Game reveals how the bodies of the dead contestants are disposed of. They are placed in black caskets tied with pink bows and burned in a massive incinerator. Writer and director Hwang Dong-Hyuk stated in an interview with Netflix that the reference for the incinerators was taken from Auschwitz.
Chae went on to explain the ominous pink bows wrapped around the caskets in Squid Game. “I think I focused on the mind of the person who came up with the games,” she said. “I imagined he’d think he gave the contestants a chance as if he’s a god. This is my gift to you. Even your bodies being disposed in the incinerator is a show of mercy. So I thought, what if I put a ribbon on it?”
Hwang also points out that the black coffins wrapped with pink bows match the black and pink uniforms of those running the games. One fan from Korea pointed out on Reddit that the bright bows also match the child-like themes of the game.
“If you watch Korean game shows they make everything look cute and happy. I believe it was meant to fit with the innocent and cute childhood theme of the entire game. The sets and uniforms are all based on Korean schools and childhood. The contrast of that with the graphic violence makes it all the more disturbing and horrific.”
‘Squid Game’ is Netflix’s biggest series at launch
Squid Game premiered on Netflix worldwide on Sept. 17. Variety states that the K-drama was viewed more in its initial month of release than any other series. Squid Game beat out Bridgerton for this title.
The popular period television show reached 82 million households in the first 28 days of release. In contrast, 111 million people viewed Squid Game in just 25 days.