Bird Box (2018)
Reader Rating (Rate Here): [Total: 4 Average: 3/5]
Directed By: Susanne Bier
Cast: Sandra Bullock, Trevante Rhodes, John Malkovich, Danielle Macdonald, Lil Rel Howery
When I finished Bird Box, Morgan Freeman’s voice from Shawshank Redemption echoed inside my head: some birds are never meant to be caged. Bird Box is a post-apocalyptic horror movie based on the novel of the same name by Josh Malerman. Bird Box is about parenting and about the difference between living and surviving.
Present day, Malorie (Sandra Bullock) and her kids are taking an arduous journey. The destination is a safe house and the shortest way is through the river. Malorie and the kids are blind folded because looking at these creatures directly makes people crazy and drives them up to suicide. The movie flashes back 5 years where the world is plunged into chaos due to unexplained mass suicides. In the ensuing melee, Malorie (heavily pregnant), Tom (Trevante Rhodes), Olympia (Danielle Macdonald), Lucy (Rosa Salazar), Cheryl (Jacki Weaver), Charlie (Lil Rel Howery), Greg (BD Wong) and Felix (Machine Gun Kelly) end up in Douglas’s (John Malkovich) home. Olympia, like Malorie is pregnant.
One by one everyone dies leaving Tom, Malorie and two newborn babies. They construct a family which scourges on the abandoned houses and protects the kids from the creatures and the crazies who follow them. Bird Box alternates between the flashback (leading up to the first scene) and the current journey. What happens to Tom and whether the kids and Malorie reach the safe haven form the rest of the plot.
Bird Box can be mistaken with A Quiet Place because of the similar theme. Both talk about survival and parenting but where earlier it was a straightforward monster horror, Bird box deals with inner demons. Bird box never cares to explain the origins of the creatures or their end game. Its a real confusion, as the movie never explains the extent of their powers. Hence tension, a critical element in a horror thriller is missing because the audience is never able to understand the monsters. I also couldn’t understand the crazies, how some people aren’t affected by the creature.
Bird Box is about Malorie and her horrors. Her idea of survival is pragmatism, relying on nothing but her own instincts. 5 years of the post-apocalypse has changed her- she has learnt to live a hard way by losing dear ones and scavenging. She believes in being less attached to people or things and that’s why she didn’t even name her kids, calling them Boy and Girl. Sandra Bullock has aced this role lending soul to this character. Another character I like is of John Malkovich as the acerbic old man. He hates so many people and doesn’t have empathy for any. But finally for all the hatred, he gets vindicated.
Bird Box is a good attempt but falls short when mixing its thrill with its message. The cinematography is outstanding and lot of attempt has been made to explain things with the images. But again when you can’t understand the foe you definitely can’t understand the emotions. At the end of it everyone has their own interpretations of the movie. Watch it once and share your rating above.
Watch the Trailer: