Does Bird Box’s Suspense Make Up for the Weak Logic?
Bird Box is easily the most talked about Netflix Original since, well, anything. With a powerhouse actress like Sandra Bullock and a talented supporting cast, does this horror film live up to all the hype? The answer is more than a simple yes or no. Here’s what we have to say. SPOILER ALERT!
Bird Box is the story of Mallory, played by Sandra Bullock, and features the talents of notable personalities such as Sarah Paulson, John Malkovich, Lil Rel, and strangely, Machine Gun Kelly. As always, Bullock is incredible in her role, playing a pregnant woman who is going through obvious depression and subsequently has trouble connecting to everyone around her.
Sarah Paulson plays Mallory’s sister and even though she has a short-lived role, she portrays the overbearing sibling we all have, or know. The rest of the cast is okay, with Lil Rel being the comedic relief and Machine Gun Kelly being… there.
Bird Box has an intriguing premise with a mysterious antagonist(s?). The world is suddenly struck with a mind-boggling epidemic that makes its victims kill themselves… for some reason. The only way to avoid certain death is to cover your eyes, or blindfold yourself. Hence, the memes.
The movie time-jumps back and forth from the initial outbreak and five years in the future- similar to most post-apocalyptic movies in recent years. As I mentioned before, Sandra Bullock is pregnant during the time this mysterious occurrence is beginning to affect the world, which brings up some narrative problems, but they aren’t that bad.
Having a movie take place in two different time frames is something we’ve seen before, but it doesn’t work very well with Bird Box. I mean, you get the general idea of what’s going on, but jumping between the two points is sort of pointless because you’ll immediately see that Mallory ends up by herself accompanied by two children… as soon as the movie starts.
The parts that take place in the path show Mallory living in a safe house with a group of survivors, all of which contain our supporting cast. These scenes only exists to show you what the “sickness” does to people and nothing else. What do I mean by that? Well, setting up our main character with some lovable side characters is pointless if you immediately reveal that she will end up alone anyway, aside from the kids.
If there’s any good that comes from the flashbacks, it’s that you get a feel of how the world reacts to what’s happening and how they come to “fight” the invisible force. That’s about it, because we’re given little to no information as to what the evil force, sickness, or whatever it is, really is.
You will feel incredibly frustrated at this group which includes an old woman, another pregnant woman, a veteran, a grumpy old man, two degenerates, and Lil Rel. They all make insanely stupid decisions and even though John Malkovich plays the asshole old man, you’ll soon realize that he was the only one with a logical sense of the danger they’re in.
The movie explains that people who open their eyes outside are suddenly taken into a trance where they see “beautiful”, “sad” or “awful” things that cause them to kill themselves.
This is an incredibly interesting idea, but I couldn’t help but feel like I’ve seen this movie before. That’s because I have. It was called The Happening, starring Mark Wahlberg.
If you didn’t see the movie, The Happening’s plot is almost exactly the same. Suddenly the world is struck by an epidemic that causes its victims to go into a trance and kill themselves. The cause is a bit different, but the movie is basically the same. A group of people navigating their way to safety while trying not to fall victim. I won’t ruin how the movie ends, but I will say that it is much different than Bird Box and that despite popular opinion, it was actually a good movie. To see how much it is like Bird Box, watch the trailer.
Anyway, Bird Box’s story does well with the “current day” timeline in which we see Mallory head toward a supposed safe house with the two children. It’s clear that Mallory is still having trouble connecting with people, even if one of them is her own child. She is aggressive, brave and protective of the children and it’s exciting to see her and the children make their way down the river to their destination hoping that the kids can grasp the danger that surrounds them.
I will also say that the two children, Boy and Girl (yes, those are their names), are amazing in their roles, especially Girl. It’s amazing to see a child of her age have such an ability to portray a scared child who accepts the world that she is born into and her reactions to Mallory’s aggressive nature.
Netflix’s Bird Box is an intriguing horror film that does its job at holding you in suspense while telling an interesting story. The problem is that it obviously brings ideas from other films like The Happening and more recently, A Quiet Place.
Bird Box was based off a book of the same name so the movie could only do so much in originality, but it could’ve been better. I was extremely dissatisfied with the ending, as we got no explanation as to what was really going on in the film and why it was happening. Some would say this adds to the mystery of the antagonist, but even casual moviegoers crave even a slight explanation. In fact, the only motivation I had to finish the movie was to find out what was actually going on!
All in all, it was an exciting movie that will hold your interest all the way until the end. It’s not very original but it is definitely worth watching, even if it’s just for the incredible acting.