Everyone had posted about this film on Netflix quite rapidly on my Facebook timeline. So I thought I’d see what the fuss was about. Here’s my review on Bird Box 2018.
Based on a novel by Josh Malerman, Bird box is a unique post- apocalyptic thriller. I enjoy a good thriller, despite having my eyes closed for the majority of the ones I’ve watched- Bird box has very few of those ‘jumpy’ moments which often leave me clinging to my seat. Instead it left me feeling intrigued and curious and perhaps, a little confused and frustrated. The concept of the film is one I’ve never seen before, not a remake, not an adaption; though the list of films I’ve seen isn’t as extensive as many. It is something different that draws you in, despite its long run time of around 2 hours.
The film itself was what I consider a ‘good watch’ in regards to it’s storyline, content and characters. The idea that there was something ‘invisible’ that caused people to want to commit suicide if they were in direct, visual contact with it, is an interesting concept. Many horrors and thrillers rely on the audiences sense of imagination to make things seem scarier than they are. Often people find the build up for jump scares worse than the expected jump scares themselves. I know, with myself personally, I always find those build up moments far worse than the final outcome.
Bird box is no different in that respect. It relies fully on the audiences imagination to fill in the blanks. Many have critiqued it for this. Once the final credits roll, you still have no answers, no explanation and you’re still just as much in the dark as you were at the very start when you find out the capabilities of these.. entities.
I know that I like having answers at the end of the film, and this was one of the few films I had been frustrated with for doing precisely none of that. I still have no idea what those ‘entities’ are. What causes them, what they truly do. (we can piece together a few pieces from what we have been given though.)
From what I understand, once these things are seen, the person sees something unspeakable, horrifying. Or the person feels intense feelings that provoke a suicidal reaction. Whatever they see or feel causes them to kill themselves. In the film, those who have a degree of insanity are said to be immune to these feelings. Perhaps because they have seen the terrors that these entities unlock. They in fact, encourage those who have not ‘seen’ to see.
Birds are effected by whatever these things are. Causing them to spook and freak out. They essentially act as an alarm, a warning system before the thing gets to you. The main character finds some small birds, and puts them in a box- which she carries with her for her final adventure; hence the title, Bird box.
The story follows a woman and two children, and their adventure down a river to escape these entities to what they have been told is a safe place. She blindfolds herself and the children, preventing the effects of what happens when these entities are seen.
The ending of the film was a little less predictable than the things that were suggestively going to happen. At the start of the film you see the main character, Malorie talking to two children, setting out strict rules for them. This indicated the storyline later, as the film then goes back 5 years. At the end of the film Malorie and the two children end up at a compound which is actually a school for the blind. Because these people are blind, they have been unaffected by the entities that haunt the rest of the world.
The general concept for the film interests me. It’s been shot at with many fan theories. Some suggest that a comment made by an early character speaks about ‘end game.’ Something that stretches further than the human mind, something that is angry at mankind. Some theory’s suggest it could potentially unlock something within the human mind so they witness these things when seen.
I’m hoping they do bring out a second film so more can either be explained or the story can be adapted. The film was far more about the adventure and survival of this ordeal, oppose to what was actually happening and why. Overall, I would recommend watching this film. It is interesting, but prepare yourself in the knowledge that you won’t understand what the entities are any more than you do at the start of the film.
I’d give it an 8/10