Bird Box

In Bird Box, directed by Susanne Bier, a thriller story unfolds based on the novel by Josh Malerman. The post-apocalyptic world is haunted by beings whom cause psychotic behavior in anyone who looks at them. A woman, Malorie (Sandra Bullock-Speed, Gravity, Miss Congeniality) tries to protect two small children while travelling to what she hopes is a safe...read more

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Reviewed by Tara Hackbarth
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In Bird Box, directed by Susanne Bier, a thriller story unfolds based on the novel by Josh Malerman. The post-apocalyptic world is haunted by beings whom cause psychotic behavior in anyone who looks at them. A woman, Malorie (Sandra Bullock-Speed, Gravity, Miss Congeniality) tries to protect two small children while travelling to what she hopes is a safe colony.  

The name Bird Box, comes from a box of birds that Mallorie carries with her on her journey. The children are named Boy and Girl-a detail to become clear later on in the film- and must take the box on their journey while blindfolded for their own protection. The story takes place in two timelines, one where Malorie is first fleeing the crisis and people all around her are killing themselves; often at great risk to others. The other, is five years later, where she is rowing down a rushing river with the two children in tow.

Similar to the popular thriller of 2018, A Quiet Place, Bier tries for a sensory trick in order to create drama and excitement for the viewer. By taking away every character’s sight, the actors feel more flustered and fear-ridden, thus transferring this onto the audience. However, this might’ve been more effective if the film could’ve existed in total darkness in the way A Quiet Place existed in total silence. Bird Box seems more interested in its characters reactions to the horrors in their world rather than what’s causing the horrors themselves.

The film does contain quite the star-studded cast of supporting characters though. With names such as John Malkovich (The Man in the Iron Mask, Dangerous Liaisons, Being John Malkovich), Trevante Rhodes (12 Strong, The Predator, Moonlight), Sarah Paulson (American Horror Story, Carol, 12 Years A Slave), Tom Hollander (Pride & Prejudice, Gosford Park), and more. Bullock is certainly not alone when she committed to this Netflix project with great hope for its popularity once debuted.

All in all, Bird Box isn’t perhaps the very best film Netflix has ever put out, but it does offer some genuine scares and it’s worth a watch for the cast alone. Although the end of the world narrative isn’t a fresh one, the added detail of never really knowing what horrendous monster is causing all the chaos and keeping the characters from using sight throughout the film adds an anxious energy that will keep you on your toes.

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