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Last updateTue, 18 Sep 2018 1pm

09 Jan 2019

Home Video Review: Netflix's 'Black Mirror: Bandersnatch' Is Gimmicky—but It Is Fun and Effective

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Fionn Whitehead in Black Mirror: Bandersnatch. Fionn Whitehead in Black Mirror: Bandersnatch.

Netflix is on fire, with the arrival of the extremely popular (if not that great) Bird Box, and Bandersnatch, this strange little curio from the makers of the anthology series Black Mirror.

Some kids of the 1980s might remember an arcade game called Dragon’s Lair, where you made choices for the game’s protagonist, and different scenarios played out. Bandersnatch is similar, but the different plot threads are wildly varying, with most of them being quite well written and entertaining.

Fionn Whitehead (Dunkirk) plays Stefan, a video-game creator who pitches an idea for a game, Bandersnatch. He winds up working for a company (or maybe he doesn’t, depending on your choices) making the game, and what happens while he’s working is up to you. Choices appear on the bottom of the screen, and you get to pick the scenarios.

There are about five hours of material in all, and the movie has its share of nastiness and gore, so you might not want to play with the kids. It’s not mind-blowing stuff, but it is surprisingly effective given its gimmick. I thought it was fun.

Black Mirror: Bandersnatch is now streaming on Netflix.

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