Review: Netflix original combines video games with television

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Black Mirror: Bandersnatch is a Netflix Original that blurs the boundary between movie and video game, and changes the viewer into an active participant.

Based in the Black Mirror universe, a teenage programmer, Stefan, is trying to keep his sanity while programming his first game, Bandersnatch.

The first five minutes of this show is like watching a regular movie on Netflix. When Stefan comes across a choice-what to eat for breakfast- it turned into a movie/videogame hybrid.

Stefan’s goal is to release Bandersnatch and receive 5/5 stars from critics. The viewer gets to make decisions that help Stefan or hinder him. These decisions vary from what cereal Stefan eats for breakfast to choosing between burying Stefan’s father or cutting up his body.

Right off the bat this movie caught my attention when I was able to make a decision about what Stefan was going to do. It was exciting that I was able to control his fate.

Most of the time I chose to make his life more difficult because in real life I don’t have that freedom. I was curious to see how Stefan would handle the obstacles I put in his way.

Unfortunately for Stefan, the longer it takes him to finish programming the game, the better the review for the game will be, but the longer it takes him to finish his game, the more insane he becomes. The viewer has to make morally difficult decisions that leads Stefan down a path of crime and delusions in order for his game to get 5/5 stars.

I liked being able to make decisions in the movie even though it has profane scenes that include “demonic presence, violent fighting, drug use, murder, mutilation of a corpse, decapitation, and other upsetting imagery.” This movie isn’t for people that are sensitive to blood, death, or violence.

I give Bandersnatch a 7/10 stars because of the multiple possible storylines and the ability to control the protagonist’s fate. Viewers of Black Mirror have come to expect seeing the ugly truth in human nature. Bandersnatch makes this even more personal because I’m in control.