This story has big ol’ SPOILERS for Netflix‘s Black Mirror: Bandersnatch. If you don’t want to get spoiled for some of the decisions you have to make in the program, just skip on down to the video at the bottom.
Over the holiday break, we were gifted with the latest offering from the Black Mirror team, Bandersnatch. A choose-your-own-adventure movie-game hybrid experience where viewers had to make decisions that ranged from “what should I eat for breakfast?” to “should I kill my dad?“, and every choice made inflicted a serious butterfly effect that is reminiscent of the Goosebumps books that everyone used to pour over in the playground as kids in the 90s.
Bandersnatch is a revolutionary way of giving the viewer more responsibility and control over the direction of a film, and it’s the first time the streaming platform has done it with a drama movie designed for an adult audience.
There’s apparently no specific runtime for the movie itself, but it’s suggested that 90s minutes will get you through most of the film and at least to one ending. I spent about two hours on my first viewing, and then another couple of hours navigating a second watch – ever intent on trying to get a high rating for main character Stefan Butler‘s video game (also named ‘Bandersnatch‘) without enacting too much horror. But, as it’s Black Mirror, it’s inevitable that you’re going to have to make some pretty dark decisions.
It’s reported that Bandersnatch has around five hours/312 minutes of footage in its system, which allows for repeated scenes with minor changes in them (like when Stefan goes back the first time and re-meets Colin Rittman, who asks if they’ve met before), which is frankly bewildering.
But how the fuck did Charlie Brooker, and the Black Mirror team actually pull this one off?
Netflix has released a new behind-the-scenes video which explains how they got from idea to completion, including the Bandersnatch is actually not the first time the streaming service has dabbled in interactive entertainment.
Check out the video below, and choose your path wisely.