As Netflix’s list of original content grows, the new film “Bird Box” was one of the most highly anticipated releases in the history of the streaming service. This was confirmed by the nearly 45 million subscribers that watched the movie in its opening week.
However, “Bird Box” didn’t live up to the lofty expectations set before it.
The movie focuses on a scenario in which some force, presumably evil entities, are causing people around the world to commit suicide. The reason being that looking at these creatures will make you see something that causes you to take your own life.
The main character Malorie (Sandra Bullock) is an artist and soon to be single mother in denial about the coming birth of her child. On the way back from a Malorie’s doctors appointment, her sister Jessica (Sarah Paulson) witness the beginnings of mass suicides in their area and after some horrific death scenes, Malorie is grabbed and pulled inside a nearby house by Tom, played by Trevante Rhodes of Moonlight fame.
The majority of the movie occurs in two different locations set five years apart — the start of the mass suicides with Malorie inside the house and Malorie traveling with two children on a river blindfolded. As the story progresses, more death scenes are witnessed and new knowledge is found that impacts the group inside the house.
The two plotlines eventually converge, but the viewer never receives answers, such as where the creatures came from or even why they’re causing people to commit suicide. The ending as well was a happenstance ending, one that felt like it happened because it just did and for no real reason.
Prior to its release the movie had been compared to “A Quiet Place” that came out earlier in 2018, seeing as it had a similar premise of a world filled with monsters that reacted to a particular sensory element. Though now with people actually viewing “Bird Box,” the comparison seems unbalanced and viewers are much more in favor of “A Quiet Place.”
The same comparison had occurred with similar movies such as “Don’t Breathe” and “Hush” which both came out in 2016, and both covered a situation in which a person was blind and had to use their hearing throughout the movie.
“Bird Box” was a near two hour film that felt confusing and very slow when watching through it the first time, even slower the times after. The time jump to five years later felt sudden even if it did try and meet in the middle to connect the beginning and end. A few of the story elements seemed interesting, but were only used as extras to rush the connection and plot along which didn’t feel cohesive with what the story was.
Additionally, with the immediate shock factor of suicide in the beginning using the most violent death scenes they shot, the effect of seeing it further into the film didn’t make as much of an impact, lowering the sense of danger the viewers felt for the characters.
If you are expecting a film that was like “A Quiet Place,” this film did not deliver and was rather disappointing as a horror/thriller. I would say that you could skip over this if you had any high expectations for it. Though if you don’t have any expectations, it isn’t that bad.
Tiffani Watteyne is a freelance reporter for the Daily Lobo. She can be contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @tiffanirosew.