In a time when many films lack originality, Netflix original Bird Box brings a new and interesting premise but lacks in some plot and character elements.
Bird Box, directed by Susanne Bier, was adapted from Josh Malerman’s 2014 novel, turning into an instant Netflix hit.
Sandra Bullock stars as Malorie Hayes, a ruthless mother desperately trying to protect her children during a long voyage to safety. While there isn’t a clear antagonist, the film shows similarities to other post-apocalyptic stories, where tension and conflict are manifested in creatures like zombies or aliens. However, Bird Box separates itself from the others through its unique creatures and interesting premise, which is something it should have focused on.
The film takes place in a world overrun by hostile creatures. If someone gazes at one of them, they immediately commit suicide. While the audience gets to see the madness unfold around the world for the first time, the bulk of the story is spent following Hayes on her family’s journey to safety. However, the movie dips in interest whenever it cuts back to the present.
Redeeming factors are a few of the interesting characters and the mostly strong cast. Bullock’s character convincingly gives off a desperate mother vibe.
One nice surprise was Danielle Mcdonald’s character, Olympia, who greatly added to the plot and theme.
However, the two characters never failed to give off crummy dialogue and poor jokes. While they had strong performances, the consistent cringe was forefronted by some out of place political jokes.
The true intrigue of Bird Box is it’s creatures. Unfortunately, one downside was how little it touched on them. Not once do we get a glimpse of the monsters. The film only hints at their nature through corny dialogue towards the beginning. Rather, the audience is left guessing at both their appearance and reason for existence with only a shred of attempted explanation which may have left more questions to be asked.
Bird Box isn’t for the faint of heart. It’s R rating and suicide-related premise alone should discourage parents of younger children. There is a fair amount of gore and some gun violence but most of this occurs toward the beginning apocalypse scene.
If you’re looking for a horror movie though, Bird Box won’t deliver. The movie is clearly more of a sci-fi/thriller. Jumpscares, creepy environments, and frightening imagery are at a minimal. If gore and a suicide-related plot don’t sound disturbing, then there isn’t much more to warrant it being a horror movie.
Overall, Bird Box is a decent movie and an unnecessary meme. The ups outweigh the downs thanks to a strong cast and interesting setting but the film should’ve focused on what made it so unique.