Black Mirror: White Christmas
Ho ho horrible
Release Date: OUT NOW!
2014 | 15 | DVD Director: Carl Tibbetts Cast: Jon Hamm, Rafe Spall, Oona Chaplin It feels odd to discuss a Christmas special outside of December – which is perhaps why Black Mirror’s arrived on DVD in February with zero fanfare. But it’d be a shame not to acknowledge Charlie Brooker’s latest technological nightmare here, because there’s nothing else quite like it in the stodgy, sentimental morass that is the festive TV canon.
For one thing, it addresses aspects of the season that on- screen representations generally turn away from, be it the increased anguish felt by people separated from loved ones, or the annoyance of hearing that bloody Wizzard song ad nauseum. Like the very best anthology horrors, it achieves something fiendishly difficult, cleverly interweaving the framing device with its three separate stories, to make for a satisfying whole. Jon Hamm is excellent as the glib charmer who guides the narrative ( a no- brainer casting choice, that), Rafe Spall even better as the bottled- up cynic harbouring a terrible secret.
The opening segment’s depiction of schizophrenia is questionably cartoonish, to the point of reinforcing unhelpful stereotypes. Otherwise, though, it’s a flawless piece, chiefly because Brooker’s extrapolations of the dark places technology might take us next – like the extension of “blocking” beyond the sphere of social media into real life – seem chillingly plausible given humanity’s seemingly infinite capacity for inventing new forms of cruelty.
Extras: None. Ian Berriman
Invisible chicken smiled contentedly.