Black Mirror: Bandersnatch
A unique interactive movie. In 1984, a young programmer begins to question reality as he works to adapt a fantasy novel into a video game.
Truly groundbreaking in form, this Charlie Brooker creation from the Black Mirror universe was the first notable interactive movie to launch on a streaming platform. There had been some short-form experiments previously, but this takes on the length and depth of a complete feature film, though with several alternate pathways and endings that the audience can experience, depending on what decisions they make as viewers along the way.
Choices that determine whether the central character – an independent video game developer – sells his game, escapes a meeting, assaults someone, etc, determine what scenes and related decisions are made from that point forward. If this sounds like the old “Choose Your Own Adventure” books that many of us read with glee as children, there’s a reason for that. The movie initially pitched itself as having an association with that general concept; a decision that landed the producers in court after being challenged by the Choose Your Own Adventure publishers on intellectual property grounds.
That aside, the Bandersnatch film is an unmissable experience, even if just as an indication of where interactive streaming fare may take viewers in the future.