WARNING *** POSSIBLE SPOILERS ***
If you don’t know by now, Bird Box is a movie that premiered on Netflix last weekend starring Sandra Bullock, Sarah Paulson, Trevante Rhodes, John Malkovich, Danielle MacDonald, Lil Rel Howery, and many others.
Bird Box is a sci-fi/horror film that open with the main character Malorie, played by Bullock, sternly telling her two children to keep their blindfolds on and to listen to her every word carefully due to a long, harsh and dangerous journey that lay ahead of them. Rewind, to five years in the past, and we see Malorie dealing with some life issues which has caused her to be sort of a shut-in. She paints pictures, seemingly conveying her mood which caused by conflicts stemming from a strained relationship with her mother and a man who left her pregnant and abandoned. She gets a visit from her sister Jessica, played by Sarah Polson, who tries to coax her into leaving her self-made exile. As this conversation continues, a developing special news report is on TV about mass suicides occurring in Russia and eastern Europe. This briefly changes the topic of conversation
Jessica accompanies Malorie to her doctors appointment for a routine pregnancy checkup Before the appointment, Malorie notices a woman near some large windows happily having a phone conversation.
After the doctor’s appointment, Malorie and Jessica return to the lobby. As the two women are near the exit, they soon notice that the same woman from earlier who was on her phone is now banging her head against the windowpane causing herself injury. This unnerves Malorie and Jessica when they suddenly remember the news reports from Russia. Jessica gets the car and they both notice that all hell has broken lose outside, and both decide to head for the relative safety of Jessica’s home..
Jessica drives them both towards safety, navigating car crashes, explosions, and people running in different directions. They witness a whole scene that is chaotic and confusing, and are both taken back by what they are seeing transpiring around them. Jessica suddenly sees something that both frightens her and makes her extremely sad, she crashes the car. Malorie feels powerless as she is unable to stop Jessica from stepping in front of a truck and killing herself. After being rescued by Tom, played by Rhodes, Malorie eventually ends up in a house with Douglas, played by Malkovich, and a few others.
We don’t see the enemy, but we do see the reaction of the people effected by them and the aftermath of when these “entities” are around.
I’m hearing a lot of people comparing this movie to “A Quiet Place,” and I can kind of see why. But in reality Bird Box was derived from a 2014 novel of the same name, which is long before the production of A Quiet Place. I actually enjoyed both movies.
It’s also being compared to The Happening and there are similarities in the premise, but Bird Box executes its story better. And it has unseen suicide causing entities and not angry trees.
The other movie it’s being compared to is The Mist. Other than random people trapped inside a building as chaos occurs outside, the similarities end right there for me.
From aspect of production, this movie was well-made, beautifully shot, and has strong performances from the obviously talented cast. I do have to admit that I was concerned before seeing the film that it would disappoint me like another post-apocalyptic film that premiered on Netflix during this past summer, “How It Ends,”, and a disappointing non-ending that left me confused and angry.
But this movie has a lot going for it other than production quality and performances, I honestly thought that the story was really good. I know, a lot of people are complaining that you don’t see an actual creature and that there’s no big reveal at the end of the movie. I beg to differ I think you do get a glimpse of the creatures through Gary, a character played by Tom Hollander who enters the film just around the third act. He lays out his artist renditions in an eerie sinister fashion, and I do believe that this is his interpretation of what these creatures actually look like. Side Note: We do learn early on that these entities don’t affect the criminally insane the same as they would a sane person. They seem to be immune to the suicidal effects of seeing these entities.
I liked that Malorie eventually learns at the end that there is a big difference between just surviving and living. That is what Tom, played by Rhodes, was trying to explain to her when she got angry at him for being nice to the kids and telling them stories. She felt that they needed to be tough on the kids so they can survive, nut Tom felt that without hope then what was the point.
Is this a perfect film? No… There were a few scenes that I didn’t particularly care for, but I saw the point of some of them later in the film. I actually didn’t like the trip to the market, although I do understand the blacking out of the car windows and using the navigation proximity alert, but there was just too much devastation, bodies and debris on the road to navigate blind.
My final thoughts, don’t listen to the critics, Netflix haters and the negative naysayers. See the film and judge it for yourself.
Rod is a blogger, writer, filmmaker, photographer, daydreamer who likes to cook. Rod produces and directs the web series, CUPIC: Diary of an Investigator. He is also the editor, producer and administrator of TNC Network.