Bird Box places us in a world which is going to hell in a handcart for absoltutely seemingly no reason whatsoever, and it has led to everyone being in crisis mode, similar to A Quiet Place (although the novel for Bird Box came first)… but which is a film that’s more engaging.
As such, you have to stay alert and you have to keep quiet. You cannot take off your blindfold in any circumstances – “If you look, you will die!”
But what caused the situation? Well, a few minutes in, the action goes back to five years earlier because there’s a spread of incidents of tens of thousands of people committing suicide. Whilst in the hospital, since she’s heavily pregnant, Malorie (Sandra Bullock) spots a woman, who was making a call on her phone just a few minutes earlier and who looked perfectly normal, now is headbanging a toughened glass window until it breaks… then later, we see a woman stepping into a burning car before it explodes.
So, what they thought was only happening in other countries has now just reached them, and it’s sweeping like a plague.
You could argue that some suspension of disbelief is required, since Melodie is not too far from giving birth, and will be a single mother, even though Ms Bullock is 54 years old. Outside of that aspect, by day, she is an artist and we first meet her, at the five years earlier point, while she’s with her sister, Jessica (Sarah Paulson).
There’s some great dialogue in this, such as when Jessica suggests Malorie stay at her place right now – despite not having any of her own clothes there, which illicits a response that slams Jessica’s wardrobe choices, “I’m not really a ‘chaps and boots’ kinda girl”, and then follows:
- Jessica: “Are you really worried about what you’re gonna wear, right now?”
Malorie: “I find it comforting to focus about the wrong things(!)”
As she becomes part of a group which are holed up in a hopefully-safe house, this is a classic post-apocalyptic trope of “almost everyone will die one by one, but you don’t know in which order”. You also don’t know who will survive, apart from, at least, Malorie, since as it begins – and every now and again, it cuts back to the present day, where we see her along with two children – who she refers to as ‘boy’ and ‘girl’, rather than their names – and they’re taking a boat ride down the river. Can they find salvation?
The in-house cast could be seen as a bit too crowd-pleasing, as all colours, ages and genders are represented (apart from any gay characters, if you’re concerned in that respect), and there’s a token hottie, Lucy (Rosa Salazar), as well as John Malkovich playing John Malkovich, who thinks the cause is a biowarfare issue.
That said, given that she’s staying in such a big house, belonging to one of them, you’d think they’d house more people since there are thousands of people running about, yet there’s only around ten people maximum in there.
Bird Box drip-feeds the story as the movie progresses, neatly tying in the present day on the river with Malorie’s encounters with everyone in the house, starting five years earlier, and while there’s lots of weird stuff going on, I do love an “end of the world”- style scenario.
And one bit which I’ll hide behind a spoiler:
Bird Box is released tomorrow on Netflix.
Running time: 124 minutes
Released: December 21st 2018
Director: Susanne Bier
Producers: Dylan Clark, Chris Morgan, Barbara Muschietti, Scott Stuber, Clayton Townsend
Screenplay: Eric Heisserer
Novel: Josh Malerman
Music: Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross
Malorie: Sandra Bullock
Tom: Trrevante Rhodes
Douglas: John Malkovich
Jessica: Sarah Paulson
Cheryl: Jacki Weaver
Lucy: Rosa Salazar
Olympia: Danielle Macdonald
Charlie: Lil Rel Howery
Gary: Tom Hollander
Felix: Machine Gun Kelly
Greg: BD Wong
Rick: Pruitt Taylor Vince
Girl: Vivien Lyra Blair
Boy: Julian Edwards
Dr. Lapham: Parminder Nagra
Lydia: Rebecca Pidgeon
Samantha: Amy Gumenick
Jason: Taylor Handley
River Man: Happy Anderson
Previously on DVDfever:
Bird Box is a new film that was giving me a zombie vibe for reasons you’ll see when you watch the trailer.
When a mysterious force decimates the world’s population, only one thing is certain: if you see it, you take your life.
Facing the unknown, Malorie (Sandra Bullock) finds love, hope and a new beginning only for it to unravel. Now she must flee with her two children down a treacherous river to the one place left that may offer sanctuary. But to survive, they’ll have to undertake the perilous two-day journey blindfolded.
Academy Award winner Sandra Bullock leads an all-star cast that includes Trevante Rhodes, Sarah Paulson, and John Malkovich, a compelling new thriller from Academy Award winner Susanne Bier (The Night Manager).
Bird Box is released on Netflix on December 21st and I’m really looking forward to this.
Writers: Eric Heisserer, Josh Malerman
Also stars: Rosa Salazar, David Dastmalchian, BD Wong, Parminder Nagra, Machine Gun Kelly, Tom Hollander, Jacki Weaver, Lil Rel Howery, Taylor Handley
Check out the new trailer below:
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.