Black Mirror: Bandersnatch
Written by Charlie Brooker
Directed by David Slade
Stefan Butler is a young man obsessed. It’s 1984, and he is plugging away at adapting the cult novel Bandersnatch, a choose your own adventure style book, into a PC game. He pitches the unfinished version of the game to the new kid on the block game company Tuckersoft. Butler lives at home under the worried gaze of his father while attending therapy sessions with Dr. Haynes. With Dr. Haynes, he talks about and relives the moment in his life that has caused the most trauma, the tragic death of his mother. Bandersnatch was something she left behind and, because of that emotional tie, he has become obsessed with the tome. From there, things get weird as the film is an interactive presentation, much like the book the viewer will choose the paths Stefan goes down, and that’s where the problems begin.
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How To Talk to Girls at Parties (2018)
Written Phillipa Goslett & John Cameron Mitchell
Directed by John Cameron Mitchell
Enn is a young adult at the height of punk in the United Kingdom. He published a fanzine with his two friends where he illustrates the anarchic adventures of his original character Vyris Boy. Enn and his friends frequently cruise the local venues for punk shows and stumble upon what they believe to be a group of American performers doing some experimental performance art/musical show. In actuality, these are alien collectives living in parent-teacher and child groups. Enn falls for Zan, a rebellious member of the visitors and she departs with him to learn about “the punk.” The alien beings see this as disruptive to the biological patterns they have engaged in for countless millennia and set out to undermine Zan or convince her to return home with them.
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I Think We’re Alone Now (2018)
Written by Mike Makowsky
Directed by Reed Morano
When everyone died, Del was finally relieved. He no longer had to live his life as a recluse shuffling between his home and the public library where he worked. This town on the Hudson River was now his, and he spent his days scavenging one block after another, burying the dead and collecting supplies to live out the remainder of his life. Into this seeming apocalyptic tranquility burst Grace, a young woman brings noise and chaos into Del’s ordered existence. She claims to be the last of her family, wandering the highways and living without rules because there’s no one there to enforce them any longer. Tension builds and builds between these two as Del is unwilling to compromise his life and patterns for this interloper. However, Grace holds a very dark secret that will compel Del to face a crisis of conscience.
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Written by Patrick Somerville, Caroline Williams, Nick Cuse, Mauricio Katz, Amelia Gray, Danielle Henderson, and Cary Joji Fukunaga
Directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga
Two people: Owen and Annie find themselves as part of a clinical drug trial for a new medication that is touted to eliminate the need for therapy. With a series of three pills, a patient will bring up their trauma, confront their guilt, and process it. There’s no need for any human interaction with the whole process taking place inside the patient’s mind. Owen believes he is a paranoid-schizophrenic, seeing a phantom version of his narcissistic older brother that tells him he’s part of some grand cosmic truth. Annie is unable to move past the death of her younger sister, killed in a way that Annie holds herself responsible for. As they travel into dreamscapes and live the lives of others, something happens that causes Owen and Annie’s created realities to merge. Meanwhile, the inventors of this drug and the supercomputer that makes it possible are dealing with a malfunction that could have significant ramifications.
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Written by Drake Doremus & Nathan Parker
Directed by Drake Doremus
In a futuristic utopia, humans live with emotions suppressed and all illness cured. There are no deep relationships and no sexual ones. All reproduction is done through artificial insemination determined by random lottery draws. In this world there is one affliction, Switch on Syndrome, where the afflicted is hit with a rush of emotion. Those with SOS typically end committing suicide of their own accord or at the behest of the government. Silas is an illustrator who works for a propaganda outlet and notices his co-worker Nia is showing subtle signs of SOS. Not long after, Silas begins to experience nightmares and the bubbling up of emotions. These two will embark on a struggle to escape their world and task a risk to see what lies beyond the borders.
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Written by James Ward Byrkit & Alex Manugian
Directed by James Ward Byrkit
Emily arrives at a dinner party at a friend’s house where conversation quickly turns to the historic passing of a comet over the United States that evening. Reports are coming out of people’s smartphone screens spontaneously cracking, and one party guest has a brother who is a physicist and warn that strange electromagnetic phenomena could occur. Everything goes wrong with the power shuts off, and the guests notice one house down the road as the only building with any light. Two people go to investigate, and things get stranger and stranger. A lockbox is found at the other house with numbered photos of all the party guests. As tensions rise so does paranoia, and the people gathered that evening begin to turn on each other.
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Ready Player One (2018)
Written by Zak Penn and Ernest Cline
Directed by Steven Spielberg
Wade Watts is a young man living in the Columbus stacks in the year 2045. An online virtual world called The Oasis dominates everyone’s lives providing them the ability to be whomever they wish and do whatever they want to. The deceased creator of the Oasis, James Halliday posthumously announces a contest hidden throughout this artificial reality, a search for three keys. To find the keys, you must decode the riddles Halliday has left which all seem to tie back to events in his personal life, particularly regrets. Wade befriends Kira, a fellow searcher for the keys and they take on the menace of IOI, a corporate entity devoting their resources to finding the keys. The person who solves the riddles and finds the keys will end up with ownership of the Oasis and determine its future.
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