Playtest - directed by 10 Cloverfield Lane's Dan Trachtenberg – sees an American tourist volunteer for a state-of-the-art video game experience. One which reaches into his head and brings his deepest fears to life…
Unique for Black Mirror, this one is a straight-up horror – full of jump scares and psychological frights, it’s even partially set in a haunted house. With such a capable director on board, it naturally soars in this area, but Brooker's script is also excellent at keeping the viewer on the edge of their seats. It's not perfect, though, as the episode gets so caught up with peeling back the different layers of reality and pulling the rug from under the audience that it eventually sacrifices drama for shocks.
Even so, Playtest remains a deeply unsettling warning about the risks of giving over our senses to the virtual world.