By Amanda Gabriel

Senior Writer

The experience of watching movies in your home might be about to change completely.

The new Netflix film “Bandersnatch,” written by the “Black Mirror” series creator Charlie Brooker, is a suspense film that lets the audience interact with its story and decide the hero’s fate.

Released Dec. 28 of last year, the main character, Stefan Butler, becomes part of a Choose-Your-Own-Adventure narrative, a concept that was until now seemingly only the domain of books and video games.

Netflix has partnered with the directors and writers of the film to create a completely unique on-screen experience.

Although similar concepts have been created and executed in this past year, “Bandersnatch” has enjoyed the most visibility.

Fans of “Black Mirror” know to expect the unexpected from the series. Though the decisions viewers must make as Stefan begin with things like picking the kind of cereal he eats for breakfast, matters soon escalate.

Viewers may end up leading Stefan down a path filled with any number of disturbing outcomes through various detours, narrative tangents, and dark alleyways.

But there’s a small catch: You, the viewer, must choose an answer within a 10-second time limit, or the choice is made for you.

While there are options to allow you to go back or potentially correct for indecisiveness, viewers are still ultimately following one of many possible endings and may be left pondering the “goal” of the project.

With this interactive experience, “Bandersnatch” seems to be conveying to viewers that the paths they choose, the kinds of decisions they make, are more important than where they end up.

In other words, the cliché “it’s about the journey and not the destination” is delivered in full effect.

There are countless combinations of decisions throughout the entire film, but only a few possible endings that usually involve some form of trauma or misfortune.

The point of the storyline seems to be the storyline, itself; if it was about the ending, then the creators wouldn’t have gone through all the effort to make this an interactive experience.

You can continue to go back into this film and find or create new layers, adding to this important storyline, but still end up with the same outcome.

It’s important to keep in mind that life is a bit similar in that way: We all want to get somewhere, but the choices we make to get there are what make us different and unique.

The Elm

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