Black Mirror: Bandersnatch is an interactive thriller/horror film, and like the main television series Black Mirror, it plays with technology in interesting ways. As viewers watch along at home, they are given various choices on how the story should proceed.
You’ll make decisions both big and small, impacting the overall narrative and ultimately forming the final outcome. It’s a surprisingly effective use of the “choose your own adventure” formula, and one of Netflix’s more impressive achievements.
How to Stream or Download Black Mirror: Bandersnatch
Black Mirror: Bandersnatch can be streamed on Netflix and to use Netflix you either use a browser or download their app on your mobile device. The movie as such cannot be downloaded (contrary to many other Netflix films, for example, Bird Box).
The Film Review
The story of Black Mirror: Bandersnatch centers on Stefan Butler (Fionn Whitehead), a young computer game programmer living in 1984. As Stefan attempts to adapt the fictional choose-your-own-adventure book Bandersnatch into a video game, he begins to question his own reality. While his father and therapist try to keep him grounded, Stefan’s mysterious coworker urges him to question everything.
The coolest part of the whole movie is the interactive aspect. As a viewer, you play an active role in dictating Stefan’s fate by making choices for him. What starts out as a fun and quirky interactive element quickly becomes an integral part to the story, as the viewer makes increasingly hefty choices. Early on, you’re granted the choice between two breakfast cereals. Later, you decide the fate of several characters.
Like other Black Mirror content, Bandersnatch forces you to think in new ways with its approach to storytelling. The overall tone is decidedly dark, but the interactive twist provides a cool benchmark for audience participation. Watching Bandersnatch with a group is much different than watching it alone, and the multiple endings give you a reason to return. There are numerous endings to achieve, as well as a super-secret ending that will leave you scratching your head.
The cast of Bandersnatch is pretty small, but most performances are exceptionally well delivered. Fionn Whitehead does a great job as main protagonist Stefan, giving an emotional and convincing performance as a man losing touch with the world. Will Poulter excels as Colin Ritman, the enigmatic and experienced co-worker who occasionally mentors Stefan. Craig Parkinson and Alice Lowe give solid performances as Stefan’s father and therapist respectively, providing a basis of reality.
All told, there are very few weak spots in both the script and performances.
Overall, Black Mirror: Bandersnatch gives viewers a new and refreshing way to interact with their television. It also delivers a layered and varied story, with relatable characters and compelling performances.
It’s engaging, entertaining, and a perfect fit for viewers looking for a unique experience.
Although other movies have attempted a choose-your-own-adventure style before, no others have achieved the level of quality that Bandersnatch has. Sure, some films like Clue give the audience multiple endings, but few pieces of entertainment are as affected by viewer choice as Bandersnatch is.
If you’re looking for a thriller with a highly unique twist and some morbidly dark moments, you should definitely check out Black Mirror: Bandersnatch.
- Interactive decisions actually change the outcome of the story
- The plot is layered and compelling, leaving the audience with a lot to think about
- Characters are brought to life by earnest performances
- Most of the endings are quite depressing, as is common with Black Mirror
- Some viewers might find the plot convoluted or hard to follow