Here’s what you need to know about Red Mirror, Black Mirror’s new horror direction

Demon 79 is the first episode to get the Red Mirror branding

I don’t know if you noticed, but something has shifted in season six of Black Mirror, the latest to release on Netflix. Once a series focussed on telling stories exclusively focussed on near future sci-fi and / or the dangers of technology, season six of Black Mirror focusses on this less and seems more interested in just telling dark stories – especially in the cases of Mazey Day and Demon 79, the final two, which have no technology at all. Those paying attention at the start of Demon 79 would have seen the words “A Red Mirror film” flash up in the title sequence. Black Mirror creator Charlie Brooker has explained what Red Mirror actually is, and what it means for the future of the show.

‘A Red Mirror film’

Charlie Brooker has said that the Red Mirror branding is because of the episode’s move away from a technology focus. “Demon 79 opens with a ‘Red Mirror presents’ title sequence, marking it out as ‘different-from-yet-adjacent-to’ Black Mirror. This is because, typically, Black Mirror has focused on tech dystopias or media satire, whereas this story has a stronger supernatural element, harking back to 1970s horror. The episode is almost unclassifiable.

“It was really really useful as a sort of refresh – a reset. When Black Mirror started, it was 2011 and at the time, there weren’t many shows that looked like it or there weren’t many shows where someone looked at a smartphone frankly, let alone obsessed over one and sat there staring at it until it ruined them. It felt like there’s quite a few shows with dystopian sci-fi technical themes.

“So, partly what I was doing, I was setting myself a task of ‘What if I think of some storylines that aren’t to do with technology and are to do with horror or set in the past?’ It was partly doing that and then through doing that, we got an episode – Demon 79, which is set in 1979 and is almost like a companion piece to Black Mirror.”

He also said we could potentially expect to see more of these Red Mirror episodes in the future, depending on how they go down with fans. Personally, I don’t get why he didn’t just make a spin off series called Red Mirror where he does a horror anthology separate to Black Mirror? Why do we need it in the same place? Like how Ryan Murphy made American Crime Story separate to American Horror Story. It just all gets a bit confusing.

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