In dystopian works such as this, there's a fine line between narrative economy and a scarcity of ideas, and "Metalhead" treads that line for its entire duration. Each season of "Black Mirror" calls for its own action-oriented episode, true, but "Metalhead" has so much action and so little else that all I could really admire was the chrome visual palette as David Slade's apparent homage to "Tetsuo: The Iron Man."
Sometimes the less you know, the better. So far, this is the stand-out episode of this season! Not just because it was shot in black and white, with great cinematography and a creepy tech device as the antagonist... but mostly because of Maxine Peake's restless struggle for survival and the sheer boldness of keeping the mystery mostly intact until the end. (Wo)Man vs Machina: the series' premise at its purest.
Metalhead probably wouldn't work if Slade weren't involved, obviously well adept at visceral, stylised horror by now. The B&W is perhaps even too gorgeous for this story, and so thankful nothing was elaborated on beyond the minor reveal - good horror can make you fear things you didn't know existed. Cheeky to use Penderecki to score evil after Lynch in 2017.
Definitely one of the best episodes of Black Mirror (all seasons considered). David Slade (Hard Candy, 30 Days of Night) directs a bleak, brutal, relentless, visceral dystopian tale reminiscent of Christian Duguay's Screamers (1995) and Richard Stanley's Hardware (1990) and a dash of Boston Dynamics aka Google's killer robots. Thankfully, Slade avoids didactic explanations: viewers must fill in the blanks.
Excellent episode with beautiful and stark photography and a perfect soundtrack by Penderecki. Slade directs the hell out of these 40 minutes and he stages everything in a great way. Peake is also good in the lead and conveys so much with a minimal amount of dialogue. The only downside is that I would have liked to see more. But hey! Sometimes less is more.
One of the most striking episodes of Black Mirror, in a visceral way. The visuals are gritty, the tension is nerve-wracking and you find yourself rooting for characters you don't even know. It's a nice exercise in style and mood, but, in the end, it leaves a feeling of emptiness due to the lack of context, and longing for brainier episodes (which are clearly lacking in this season).