Bird Box was largely hyped in the media with memes swarming our feeds and timelines. The trailer, which was extremely riveting (arguably more riviting than the movie) literally made me open a Netflix account just to watch the movie. You can watch the trailer here:
When we realised an entity drove the human race to commit suicide we expected a horror, but what we actually got was a thriller. Okay, let’s review.
ATTENTION! SPOILER ALERTS AHEAD
Firstly, the movie is called Bird Box because birds are able to sense when the entity is close and starts to panic. Malorie (Sandra Bullock) puts 3 birds into a box when she and her two kids row down the river to warn her when the entity is close.
Let us just do a quick run through to give some context: Throughout the movie we follow two narratives: one where Malorie and two children, named Girl and Boy, are blindfolded in a boat rowing down a river. Another, 5 years before where we see how the ‘world ends’ and the events that follow.Bird Box follows Malorie who starts out being pregnant with an unwanted baby. She is a reclusive and anti-social artist who paints in her apartment for most of the day. Her sister, Jessica (Sarah Paulson) is an overwhelmingly positive person who cannot wait for her sister’s child to be born.
Jessica accompanies Malorie to a prenatal appointment and as they leave the hospital an invisible entity possesses people in the streets to commit suicide. We see explosions, car crashes and crazed people finding any possible way to kill themselves. As Jessica is driving the car, the entity possesses her and she crashes the car with pregnant Malorie next to her. They both survive the crash but Jessica crawls out the car and steps in front of a racing dump truck and she joins Michael Jackson and Whitney Houston in heaven (Side bar: we were extremely disappointed because Sarah P deserved more than a mere 5 minutes).
Malorie finds safety in the house of a gay man and is joined by a pessimistic lawyer played by John Malkovich. Others also find refuge in the house: another pregnant woman, an elderly woman, a cashier, a police trainee, Machine Gun Kelly (not as himself, but that would’ve been cool) and Tom, a war veteran played by Trevante Rhodes. Everyone is able to open their eyes in the house but once you step outside you’ll need to cover your eyes from the entity. As the movie progresses everyone in the house dies expect Malorie, Tom and the two children.
We fast forward 5 years and Malorie, Tom and the children are surviving together but it has become unsafe because there are people who have become possessed by this entity but they do not seek death. These people wants everyone else to open their eyes to see the ‘beautiful’ entity.
Tom and Malorie finds out about a safe haven, but the fastest and safest way to it is to row to it down the river. They plan to go there with the children but Tom dies defending Malorie and the children before they are able to leave for the haven. Malorie and the children row blind-folded down the river but they eventually reach the compound and find refuge = HAPPY ENDING.
- Sandra Bullock gave a flawless performance. Sandy gave us raw, instinctive emotion and perfectly embodied a desperate, surviving mother.
Bird Box teaches us that surviving isn’t living. Malorie’s only goal for most of the movie is to survive and to keep her children alive. She is so focused on survival the she names the boy-child ‘Boy’ and the girl-child ‘Girl’. This could be seen as society focusing so hard on getting that coin that they miss out on life.
3. Tom and Malorie are a couple. Tom is the only other person to survive in the house and he is Malorie’s rock and foundation in the movie. He is sensitive and clear-headed, while being strong. You want them to be together ’till death do them part’ and they sort of are. We know its a cliche, but sometimes cliches aren’t always bad.
- There was enough violence to satisfy our appetites. Now Bird Box doesn’t compare to the gory-filled Walking Dead, but we are shown enough blood for it to be a good movie. Let us explain: post-apocalyptic movies are generally about the survival of the fittest and are expected to be have violent scenes. A post-apocalyptic movie without gore is basically a drama, and we aren’t here for that.
- The biggest negative is that there could’ve been waaaaaaaaay more suspense. Throughout the movie characters are outside with blindfolds on and they can only hear and feel the entity around them. The camera gives us their perspective from behind the blindfold as well as a shot of them in their surroundings. If we only were shown their perspective we wouldn’t have been able to anticipate what’s going to happen next and it would’ve given us a more personal experience.
The entity is invisible. Yes, we are lead to believe its a demon or a spirit possessing the world, but it would’ve made the movie 10 times scarier if we were able to see a shadow or a figure instead of nothing. (Yes – they give you the darkness over the car and the wind through the forest: but was it enough? Asking for a friend.)
- We were left with A LOT of unanswered questions. Where did the entity come from? How come Jessica saw the entity and Malorie didn’t even though they were both looking in the same direction? Does every human eventually die? Why can only birds sense the entity? How did Malorie not get pregnant again if she was with Tom for 5 years? Why did they not open their eyes when the birds were not panicking because it was obviously safe?
To conclude, Bird Box had a strong concept and was one of its kind. The star-studded cast brought that concept to life and fulfilled our unknown thriller dreams. Let us know what you thought of the movie in the comments below!