Movie Review: Bird Box

Bird Box, Netflix's Sandra Bullock Thriller, Explained | Vogue

credit: Bird Box

Yes, Bird Box has been on Netflix for a while, and yes, a lot of people have had their say about it, but after finally watching the movie, it’s fair to say that it’s not trash, but it’s not exactly a treasure either since there are a few moments in the movie when the audience can rightfully say WTF simply because things don’t make a lot of sense. But after watching this movie all the way through, it’s still easy to admit that the premise, while similar to many movies when it comes to the eradication of humanity, does things on its own terms and manages to create a sense of terror that’s fun to play with and contemplate since showing less and yet keeping the idea that people are being affected is kind of interesting. Not seeing the monsters in the movie, apart from a few illustrations that may or may not be accurate, is intriguing since it implies that there is something there and that people can see it, but to do so is doomed no matter how one decides to describe it. 

Watch: Bird Box VFX work by Industrial Light & Magic in new clip | SYFY WIRE

credit: Bird Box

The idea of a creature that can drive a person to despair or madness upon seeing it is more than a little terrifying. 

When one really thinks about it, humans define the world around them based on what their senses tell them, and sight is one of the main senses that can be ultimately revealing or can be used against us in a variety of ways. When Malorie is accepted into the home that is used to house the small band of survivors that are spared from the ensuing chaos that takes place at the beginning of the movie, it’s already been seen that looking upon whatever it is that’s causing the mass suicides and strange murders is a bad idea. When her sister looks at the thing and commits suicide after crashing her car, it’s even more obvious that a glance is enough to seal your fate. 

Even cameras don’t offer any filter between humans and the things that are hunting them. 

Covering the windows and other openings that might offer a line of sight to the outside world is a smart move that can be appreciated, but thinking that the camera lens offers no filter between the unseen threat is horrifying since it means that so long as one tries to see the outside world, the effect will remain in place. Even a trip to the grocery store is perilous since, despite not being able to see the creature and relying on GPS, it’s evident that the creature will seek to find a way in. Plus, the sounds of the tires hitting various objects, which could be humans lying on the ground or something else, would be enough to break some folks. And then the trip to the market brings another realization that’s even worse: some people don’t commit suicide when looking upon the monster, but they’re definitely affected all the same. Many people have asked why some people were able to look upon the creatures and not commit suicide, and there are answers that others have given, but it’s not exactly uplifting in the least. 

 

Bird Box' Spinoff Movie: Everything We Know So Far

credit: Bird Box

The look of the creatures amplifies different things with different people. 

Sorrow and depression are two powerful triggers that can be used against human beings, and this is the brunt of what some people face that bypasses their need to survive as they commit suicide in this movie. Playing upon a human being’s sadness in one way or another can create a seriously demoralizing effect that can strip the will from some folks. But one theory is that those who looked upon the creatures and were not driven to self-harm were already insane, either overtly or secretly, and were therefore shown a mirror of their own insanity. These people then took after those who were unaffected, forcing them to see the creatures as they called them beautiful. While I would argue about the validity of this, especially the idea that one doesn’t know they’re insane, it does make a lot of sense that those who don’t know how to control their own inner chaos would be affected in this manner. 

In the end, it does feel like a way for Malorie to reconnect with humanity.

It’s quickly established that Malorie feels cut off from the rest of humanity for one reason or another. Even the discussion of her pregnancy yields the idea that she’s not ready to be a mother and has no idea what to name her child. The disconnect between her own child and the young girl she raises is apparent since she names the children Boy and Girl. But as time goes on, she comes to realize their importance, why they might be her link to the world that she felt alienated from and that rejoining the human race isn’t just important, it’s vital to survival. 

It’s not a trash movie. Let’s get that straight. 

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