Bandersnatch: Netflix’s first interactive film


Bandersnatch marks Netflix’s first ever interactive style episode/movie, including five possible alternative endings. The film was released December 28th, after taking over seven weeks to film all 250 segments of footage.

The release of Black Mirror’s new interactive-style movie on December 28 left
most Netflix viewers either confused, impressed or a mix of the two. The episode, which was the length of a normal movie, follows the life of a teenager in 1980s London as he struggles to create a choose-your-own-adventure style video game.

This video game is programmed to have the player in control and get to make choices for the character, which leads to alternate endings and different scenarios. The movie follows the same style: viewers frequently are asked to make decisions for the character, choices which vary in levels of intensity and importance.

Many viewers found the numerous ending options confusing and many found the episode hard to follow. Producer Russell McLean agreed, and even he isn’t sure of how many endings are available.

“I’m not even sure how you’d count. There are eight variants of one part of the story depending on which piece of music you’ve chosen,” McLean told Wired.

The character’s music choice was one of the first options in the episode; they are given a choice between Tangerine Dream and Tomita, which then  plays in the background of the episode.

The episode includes two and a half hours of footage, combined into 250 segments. Due to the intricate plot line paired with filming every choice one can make, the entirety of the episode took seven weeks to film. As impressive as the design is, some people say that the episode had too many choices, didn’t make any sense or was boring.

“I honestly didn’t love Bandersnatch. I got really confused halfway through because I kept having to restart or I just died. I eventually stopped halfway through, it took too long,” junior Ethan Oyeniyi said.

Watching the film fully through takes about 75 minutes (Not including restarts). If a viewer makes the wrong choice, or gets killed during the episode, they are restarted and given a montage of everything that happened in the episode to lead up to that point in which they got killed. Many people who watched the episode claim they watched it again, with a flowchart that can be found online, to guide them on what decisions to make that will lead to the end of the game.

“I really enjoyed Bandersnatch. I think it’s a really interesting concept that I’ve never seen before, and it’s a good idea to let the audience choose their story basically, and reach an ending that they feel they had a part in. I hope after that more shows start to include this, or movies,” sophomore Caylah Kang said.

Get ready Netflix viewers, because Bandersnatch might be just the beginning in the interactive choose-your-own-adventure movie genre.