Movies of the Future


Jenna German, Staff Writer

Imagine having the ability to control the decisions of a movie character and choose how a film ends. With interactive films, this is becoming a reality. The concept of having an active role in the choices film characters make is not entirely new, however.  The idea of being able to interact with your screen started off with video games. Some of these games include RipperHeavy Rain, and even a television show-based game, The Walking Dead.

Netflix began introducing interactive films in 2017 with the children’s show Puss in Boots. With such a positive reaction from children, developers expanded on their intended audience with the film Bandersnatch, with has gained extreme popularity since its late-2018 release.

Bandersnatch portrays a young programmer who begins to question his free will while designing a novel-based pick-your-own-adventure game. Much like the video game that the programmer creates, the Netflix film itself allows the viewer to make decisions as simple as what cereal the main character will eat to ones as serious as whether or not a character should jump off the side of a building.

Movies like Bandersnatch are in high demand with everyone asking, “Where can I play another one?”  The films give people a sense of control over how characters behave, what they like or dislike, and how they turn out. Alexa Murdock, author of “Interactive Films are the Future of Entertainment,” stated that, “We enjoy making extreme decisions when they do not affect us.” The freedom of choosing life decisions without repercussions excites viewers and allows them to take on the role of another person. In other words, they get to do things they wouldn’t normally have the chance to do – and with zero consequences.

These films provide different variations of events and endings. The choices made can either shorten or lengthen the movie itself. In the film Bandersnatch, the movie can provide as little as 60 minutest to up to 120 minutes of entertainment, according to Peter Rubin, author of “Black Mirror Came Together.”

Some hope to see new interactive films that accommodate their interests. Junior Keyon Smith, who plays for Brentwood High School’s Varsity Basketball team, would like to see athletic aspects incorporated into the films. A Brentwood High School history and economics teacher, Mr. Salanitri, hoped to see films that had a mystery theme where he can “… be a detective and solve crimes using clues.”

Netflix has expressed interest in creating more interactive films. In Peter Rubin’s article, a Netflix correspondent stated,  “We’re just beginning to scratch the surface of the kinds of stories that can be told in this way.”