Is Black Mirror Scary?

Black Mirror is one of the highest-grossing television shows of this decade, surrounded by gore, discomfort, and thrill.

Generally, the whole fanbase of Black Mirror agrees that it will leave you in a dark place with your thoughts, so it’s better if you watch it at a friendlier hour than alone at 3 AM. 

But could Black Mirror be considered a scary or horror show?

In my opinion, not really. 

Black Mirror shows you the dark side of the world. It is creepy and disturbing sometimes, but I wouldn’t fit the word horror or scary in the show’s description.

If you’re someone who can handle shows or movies of a disturbing nature good enough but are scared to watch something horror with paranormal activity, jumpscares, or ghosts, don’t worry, Black Mirror will not spook you.

It may, however, leave you staring at yourself in a Black Mirror wondering about your place in the world. Hence the name, Black Mirror.

Does Black Mirror Have Jumpscares?

Jumpscares are probably the scariest instant in a horror movie. 

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Jumpscares in a show is when you’re left at the edge of your seat, in an eerie setting, hyperventilating and shocked by an unpredictable scene, mostly welcoming a ghost or a scary aspect of the movie.

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Jumpscares are the most rememberable aspect of a movie as well, where you find yourself glancing at your back again and again in a dark hallway or looking behind you in the mirror, remembering and relating to the jumpscares you watched in a movie, trying to make sure it does not happen to you.

But when it comes to Black Mirror, there aren’t many jumpscares to be worried about.

As I mentioned before, Black Mirror may scar you for the rest of your life showing unsettling or scenes of extremely disturbing nature, but it’s almost never about ghosts or jumpscares leaving you startled.

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How Black Mirror Scares Its Viewers

The scariness in Black Mirror is more of um: *spoiler alert* finding yourself stuck in a loop routine in a day where you’re videographed by a bunch of people stalking and chasing you every day, where there is no escape, just for you to go back home at sunset and be electrocuted and tortured so you forget all memories and repeat it all again the next day.

As a punishment for a crime that you committed in your real life.

That’s the horror of Black Mirror, not really resonating with jumpscares.

Still, some Black Mirror episodes do deal with jumpscares. None of the jumpscares, in my opinion, would really cause you to get shocked or scared though. Most of them are predictable, and the jumpscare doesn’t really reveal much of a scary or shocking moment.

And since the universes of Black Mirror are extremely different than the reality we live in, you wouldn’t really find yourself scared in your bed when the lights go out remembering a jumpscare. 

All Jumpscares In Black Mirror

Here’s a breakdown of all the jumpscares in Black Mirror:

EpisodeTimestampDescription (Spoiler)
S02E02 – White Bear00:03:17A sudden flashback when picking the photo of a young girl
S03E02 – Playtest00:31:11A spider suddenly crawls up the protagonist’s body
S03E02 – Playtest00:33:25The protagonist turns around to find a creepy man standing right in front of him
S03E02 – Playtest00:36:25A giant spider approaches from around the corner
S03E02 – Playtest00:41:47A giant spider is found to be chasing the protagonist right behind him
S03E05 – Men Against Fire00:11:05The character pulls away a hanging sheet in the room to find a lot of roaches hiding behind
S03E05 – Men Against Fire00:16:59Two quick unexpected frames of hands covered in blood unrelated to the scene that shows a woman lying in a bed
S03E05 – Men Against Fire00:30:49A woman is suddenly shot
S03E05 – Men Against Fire00:34:09A woman is suddenly shot
S04E05 – Metalhead00:06:36A robotic dog is revealed out of the blue while a jumpscare sound effect plays

It Scariest Episode Of Black Mirror

The scariest episode of Black Mirror would have to be Playtest (S03E02).

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The creators of Black Mirror confess that the episode was planned to be like a horror movie.
Playtest doesn’t involve the themes of ghosts, but if you’re easily spooked by spiders, you should consider skipping this episode.

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The episode follows a character who finds himself in a hyper-realistic game, alone and stranded in a creepy-looking house, constantly chased by spiders. Giant ones, creepy ones, spider-body-human-face ones, all the kinds.

Playtest also plays around with more than a couple of jumpscares through the episode, and the soundtrack does a good job to align it to a horror episode.

Besides Playtest, other episodes that contain some jumpscares and may be considered scary by some viewers are:

  • Metalhead (S04E05)
  • Men Against Fire (S03E05)
  • Black Museum (S04E06)

Most Disturbing Episode Of Black Mirror

Black Mirror has a plethora of disturbing episodes throughout its entirety.

These episodes deal with different themes and show an extreme side of a reality that could be possible in the world we live in, making you feel extremely disturbed and scarred when you finish watching the episode.

It’s not really a popular opinion, there is no single episode that the whole fandom unanimously agrees upon to be the most disturbing, but I found Black Museum (S04E06) to be the most disturbing and creepy episode of Black Mirror.

Black Museum is the only episode of Black Mirror that follows 3 storylines. 

*Spoiler Alert*

The plot follows a protagonist woman touring a museum that is filled with artifacts relating to disturbing stories, while the tour guide tells the woman those disturbing stories.

These stories include a sadistic doctor that used extreme measures of torture and pain on strangers since it ignited arousing sensations for himself, a coma-induced wife whose consciousness was transferred to a teddy bear that can only speak two phrases, and a convict on death row, argued to be innocent, kept and captivated to public display where sadistic viewers can pull on a lever to watch the person convict to get the electric chair.

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With such disturbing stories and themes packed into a single episode, I found Black Museum to be the most disturbing episode of Black Mirror.

On the other hand, if you want more disturbing Black Mirror episodes, here is a list of the most disturbing and creepy ones:

  • S01E03 – The Entire History Of  You
  • S02E02 – White Bear
  • S02E04 – White Christmas
  • S03E03 – Shut Up And Dance
  • S04E06 – Black Museum

Least Scary Episodes Of Black Mirror

If you’re reluctant to watch the show since it may scare you, try watching the episodes that are considered to be more family-friendly.

These episodes have a lighter tone of disturbance in them. While showing an extreme reality, it does a good job of not having any triggers that may cause a viewer to panic.

Many of these also feature happy or satisfying endings so you don’t end up staying up through the night thinking about the what-ifs of the episode.

These lighter Black Mirror episodes are: 

  • Rachel, Jack, and Ashley Too (S05E03)
  • Striking Vipers (S05E01)
  • Hang The DJ (S04E04)
  • San Junipero (S03E04)
  • Nosedive (S03E01)
  • The Waldo Moment (S02E03)
  • 15 Million Merits (S01E02)

Conclusion

So is Black Mirror scary? Not so much.

There may be a couple of episodes that scare you if you have a fear of spiders or torture, but Black Mirror would fit the description of being unsettling, disturbing, and creepy more than scary.

If you’re looking for horror, go for the list of scariest episodes of black mirror.

If you just want to dip your toes in, try the least scary episodes.

But if you really want to immerse in the essence of Black Mirror, go for the most disturbing episodes of Black Mirror.

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