Film Review: Bird Box (2018); Netflix.

Bird Box

All Rights Reserved to the rightful owners. Screenshot Netflix Bird Box trailer.

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐ – 3/5.

Author: Feargal Agard | Runtime: 124 min. | Director: Susanne Bier | Year: 2018.

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Awesomely creepy! Bird Box (2018) is a horror film that spikes the senses and psychologically challenges you through the scary anticipation that it creates in your mind.

Bird Box tells the story of Malorie Hayes (Sandra Bullock) who is pregnant with her baby at a time when a mysterious force is about to decimate the world’s population. At first, it starts as an ominous report on the news about mass suicides happening in another country. But it doesn’t take long before the mass suicides start taking place in the town that Malorie lives in. As the people who commit suicide cause mayhem in scaring all the people around them, Malorie soon realizes that it is time to flee and take shelter. She is taken into a house with other survivors who are hiding for whatever ominous unseen force is out there that causes people to commit suicide. They know nothing of what’s actually happening out there. All they know is that they cannot look at ‘it’. Malorie is able to survive for five years in that house, where some died, gave birth and find love. But what about hope? When they run out of food will she make it to another safe haven? Or will this mysterious force make her commit suicide as well?

Bird Box was directed by Susanne Bier and written by Eric Heisserer. The screenplay was based on Josh Malerman’s novel of the same name which was published in 2014. The film had its premiere at the American Film Institute (AFI) festival after that it had its worldwide release on Netflix. Thematically the film can be seen as a post-apocalyptic film in which we explore the protagonist’s capacity to overcome her inability to love and connect. The main character is very withdrawn from the world as she doesn’t really go outside, is unaware of the mass suicides around the world and isn’t on good terms with her mother. She basically has a negative outlook on the world and lives a quite isolated life. It is essentially the journey that she is about to take in this film that will bring her to a better connection with others and the world around her. The film stars Sandra Bullock, Trevante Rhodes (Moonlight), John Malkovich, Sarah Paulson, and Tom Hollander.

The most interesting feature of the film Bird Box is the narrative. The film explores a quite unique subject where invisible demonic entities attempt to destroy humanity and overtly achieve their goal. You never see these entities, which is the crazy part of this film. Because we are so used to having the anticipation of ever later in a horror film to finally see the evil antagonist that has been chasing our protagonist. But all we get to see are drawings drawn by a mad person who apparently isn’t affected when he looks at the entities whom he has seen in full. I believe that it is because of this that the film manages to keep the tension high and our curiosity spiked. But so does seeing characters that are able to protect themselves with something as simple as blindfolds while the entities threaten their lives from a distance that is so very up close to the main characters that they can literally feel them breathe.

I do have to say that the setting, the feel, and tone of this film are very reminiscent of A Quiet Place (2018). Especially since it is again a film where one of the five senses plays a major role in the film’s narrative. In A Quiet Place it was ‘sound’ and in Bird Box it is ‘sight’. Another feature that this film, in my opinion, seems to share with other Netflix or recent films is the non-chronological-slash-flashback trope. Which is starting to feel overused. Since a lot of these type of films all seem to start at the present day and then we go back several years in the past and later on back and forth between the present and the progressing past. It is a cool feature, but overuse throughout multiple films doesn’t serve the greatness of these stories. Nonetheless, it doesn’t take away from the experience, which is exciting, but it only makes a film somewhat more predictable.

Bird Box is a great recommendation since it is unique as a narrative, awesome because of its setup where sight is your worst enemy and where half of the time you are watching blindfolded characters. There is such a creepy vibe that encompasses the film which is what a horror film should bring up in you. This is why Bird Box is a must watch! Or on second thought, watch it with your eyes closed and get some blindfolds while you’re at it, but still enjoy!

The film has its worldwide release on Netflix on the 21st of December 2018.

Genre: Drama, Horror, Science fiction | Languages: English | Distributor: Netflix.

In regard to all pictures and trailer footage. All Rights Reserved to the rightful owners. Screenshot Netflix Bird Box trailer.

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