Black Mirror became a cautionary tale for everyone, much in the same way as Rod Serling would often warn us in episodes of The Twilight Zone, but the british horror hit has always leaned hard into technology and even more into how we see ourselves, how we see each other, and how we can see and view the world that’s all around us.
The sixth and newest season of episodes in the long-running anthology series packs just as much of an existential gut punch as previous stories in the series have in the past. But Season 6 spends even more time on derealization and that sinking, looming feeling that maybe after all of this, there really might not be anything else left.
Five new stories join the series with the latest release, and while each episode is worth a watch, three in particular join this year’s best horror selections that should keep audiences stirring long after 2023 has ended.
Joan is Awful stars Annie Murphy in a nail-biting performance as someone who is forced to watch herlife and everything about it evaporate right in front of her eyes. It’s all thanks to her streaming service app, which has been collecting content from her life to use as an AI-generated streaming series for anyone who wants to watch, including her husband, employees, parents, and friends. Joan is Awful ultimately cracks open all of the preconceived notions that our society and culture hand us, pushing existential questions, including just how far any of us would go to preserve our own understanding of what being alive means.
Loch Henry is a clever story about two college students working on a film project that gives them both far more than they ever wanted. It starts out as two friends having a good time on a more lighthearted project before transforming into a true crime-style documentary after one of them learns something about the other’s past, which includes a dark secret about Loch Henry, the small town they’re both filming in, paving way for something much different and far more sinister. Loch Henry is about many things, but it features commentary on how our society uses and sees pain and trauma, and the lengths we will go or not go to resolve it.
Beyond the Sea is one of the most intense storylines that actor Aaron Paul has been involved in–and yes, we’ve seen Breaking Bad–but this alternate-history, bad romance in outer space story is absolutely out of this world. Starring two astronauts in space who are able to visit home during off hours through the use of “artificial replica” bodies (which are located on and kept back on Earth), Beyond the Sea explores love, death, and even cracks open how men can choose to see themselves in the face of tragedy and pain.
Gorgeous, horror-inducing sights and sweeping, nightmarish sequences are all waiting for you in Season 6 of Black Mirror, which can be streamed on Netflix.
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