Director: Susanne Bier
Release Date: December 13, 2018
Bird Box is a stressful end-of-the-world survival story of a mother (Sandra Bullock) and her two 5-year- old kids looking for refuge… blindfolded. It is a mash-up of The Happening, A Quiet Place and The Road: The world is under attack by an unknown being that causes most people to go insane and kill themselves if they look at it.
The movie takes off about 20 minutes after there’s an outbreak in the town of our main character, Mallorie. During the chaos she is rushed to a house for shelter with about seven other people. The group now must decide what steps to take to ensure their collective survival. They have to figure out how to get food and water and how to take care of not one, but two, pregnant women. As time goes by, more obstacles arise and differences of opinion cause tension, making for an interesting game of survivor.
Bird Box is a Netflix movie in every sense. It’s an easy watch, has some familiar stars and an always popular plot of survival that has you thinking “what would I do in this situation?”. As far as psychological thrillers go, this one isn’t going to make you think too much. We learn the rules of this world early. The movie doesn’t follow a completely linear storyline. It flashes forward to Marlorie’s life with just her and the two kids seeking refuge on a river and back to when she was pregnant and the outbreak had just hit. This gives the audience just enough to think about without being overwhelmed with information to piece together.
The narrative is very predictable. If you’ve seen any of theaforementioned films, you’re one or two steps ahead the whole time. I don’t like being that guy who says, “Oh I knew that was gonna happen,” but with Bird Box I honestly did.
The film succeeds with the human element. We see how different types of people approach this fight-or-flight situation. Some characters, such as the one played by John Malkovich, are incredibly selfish. He comes off as the classic sarcastic asshole but he is also the most rational of them all. Others are too willing to help and, in end of the world situations, that can end up hurting the greater good of the group. This causes inner turmoil and we see the type of selfish thinking that emerges when people are faced with the possibility of dying.
The theme of motherhood or parenting is prominent. We see a mother who is forced into a situation where she must raise two kids in thisenvironment. She teaches them how to survive in a world where they can’t use their eyes. The bond between Malorie and her two kids grows stronger during theirjourney for refuge.
Bird Box isn’t going to be up for any nominations or light the world on fire as a game-changing genre film, but overall it’s a good watch. Netflix can put this one in the win column as a solid movie that holds up against others in the genre.