This week we have a very interesting choice for Friday Night Frights! I was originally going to feature “Bird Box”, but something else has been released that caught my eye. The beloved series “Black Mirror” has released a standalone thriller titled, “Bandersnatch”. Not only is it exciting to have something from Black Mirror, but there is also another twist (as we are so accustomed to from this show) in that the viewer is able to choose how the story unfolds…or so it would seem. I don’t know about you, but I was a huge fan of those “Goosebumps” novels where you could choose your own adventure (and admittedly would keep my finger on the previous page so I could go back if I made a shitty choice, but who didn’t).
Now I’ll be upfront about this, the story starts off pretty interesting and strong, but weakens as it progresses. It seems like the overall concept overshadows the amazing story telling that we are used to from Black Mirror. The story revolves around a young man who is developing a game of the same concept; chose your own adventure. As it unfolds and you make the choices (often having to go back and choose alternate options), you see his supposed decent into madness. There is a heavy theme both in the story and in the choices you make, that no matter what you choose, it doesn’t matter because there are multiple timelines or parallel realities if you will, with implied various outcomes. However, it’s possible that it’s actually an illusion of free will. I will say that having this theme tie into the videogame, the movie, and your choices is a nice touch, but as the movie goes along, it can start to feel a little monotonous and long winded. I also wasn’t crazy about the ending I saw, but I do plan to watching again with my girlfriend making all of the choices and seeing if it does in fact have various endings. I even documented all of my choices throughout the film to compare and contrast.
In the end while I wasn’t totally blown away by the overall story, or at least the one I saw play out, it was entertaining enough that everyone should give it a try at least once. I feel like if you’re fan of Mary Jane, and no not the red head from Spidey, maybe partaking in a little before viewing this could make it even more insane as there are some seriously “trippy” moments. If you haven’t seen anything from Black Mirror, just know that I’m judging who you are as a person – and you should just give this movie and the entire series a watch.