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So as a reminder, I dislike at least half of the Black Mirror episodes Iíve ever seen. They mostly revolve around someone pointlessly suffering at the hands of some technologically imperilled future; something I donít find particularly fulfilling watching. Bandersnatch is a Black Mirror interactive horror film that continues in the same streak, not quite as clever or insightful as it seems to think, and not really worthy in its story telling either
To start with, there isnít anything novel about the premise, which you can guess the gimmick/twist to within the first two minutes. If youíve played The Stanley Parable or Stories Untold already, you already know the deal when it comes to any self-aware story offering you a supposed free choice. Same goes for any Tell Tale game. This isn't even Netflix's first interactive film; there was some forgettable K-Drama that toyed with the idea. This is old hat now, and Brooker as a gamer probably knew this perfectly well, but hoped Bandersnatch's audience would either be too ignorant or too impressed to not notice. At least Stanley Parable treat it as a joke, not a serious horror story, which Bandersnatch tries to be.
Iím avoiding spoilers for those of you that are still going to try it, thus limiting a great deal of what I can actually talk about, but I still recommend you don't bother. On a technical level it is competent, with good acting, slick editing and creative camera work, but Bandersnatch doesnít offer much of a distraction in the story department. It depends too much on you getting absorbed by the interactive gimmick and its own shallow commentary on it, hoping it'll get you through all the multiple story endings and not still become tedious.
Perhaps I should have called it quits the moment the episode makes a reference to the very worst Black Mirror episode, White Bear, wherein a poor woman is forced to go through the same horror scenario over and over again, desperately looking for a way out. As with then, it turns out the solution is to pick something better to watch.
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