Bandersnatch: A New Kind of Rabbit Hole

Ashtyn Britt
abritt@lc.edu

 

Does anybody else remember the choose your own adventure books from childhood? I was especially fond of the ones from the Goosebumps series, wondering with every page turn what would happen next. I was always trying to predict the ending which is difficult when there are multiple endings that could be concluded! It was like a new kind of adventure, and it made reading a blast. However, in this new electronic age, we’ve now officially reached a new type of entertainment that has blown people away. Choose your own ending movies, better known as interactive films.

Black Mirror, a Netflix series well known for its multiple dystopian technological cautionary tales, has come out with the first ever interactive film called Black Mirror’s Bandersnatch. The film opens following a young man named Stefan in 1984 pitching his interactive video-game, Bandersnatch, to a big video-game making corporation. The viewer then chooses Stefan’s fate for him, as he tries to complete his video-game in time for Christmas.     It seems innocent enough at first. However, as the story continues on, Stefan and the viewer both begin to go down the rabbit hole of insanity, and every choice seems to always be the wrong one, as shocking secrets are revealed through the story and keep looping back to each other. If that’s not enough to pique your interest, Stefan also becomes more self-aware as the game goes on, slowly discovering that he is, in fact, being controlled by us, the viewer.

With many different paths, inside jokes, self-references, and six endings to unlock, this interactive film is guaranteed to send anyone who watches on a wild trip never knowing which way to turn and finding themselves going down the same hole of insanity as Stefan! Black Mirror’s Bandersnatch is available to watch currently on Netflix, and I highly recommend you go and see if your choices can bring about a happy ending.

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