Bird Box (2018)

bird box poster 2018 movie sandra bullock
7.0 Overall Score
Story: 6/10
Acting: 8/10
Visual: 7/10

Interesting concept, good cast

Feels underdeveloped at points

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Bird Box

Studio:  Bluegrass Films

Genre(s):  Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Horror

Release Date(s):   November 12, 2018 (AFI Fest)/December 14, 2018 (US)

MPAA Rating:  R

bird box sandra bullock blindfold kids

I thought camping was a good idea…my bad

Malorie Hayes (Sandra Bullock) was expecting a child when the world changed. Suddenly, things began to appear to people and drove them either to suicide or madness if they were seen. Living with a group of survivors, Malorie managed to live through the initial “attack”, but now forced to travel blindfolded, she must get herself and Girl (Vivien Lyra Blair) and Boy (Julian Edwards) to safety before it is too late.

Directed by Susanne Bier, Bird Box is a science-fiction horror drama. The film is an adaptation of 2014 novel by Josh Malerman and was released by Netflix on December 14, 2018 after premiering at AFI Fest in November. The film was met with mixed to positive reviews.

I love horror, and I like attempts to try something new with any genre. With The Quiet Place being released this year, Bird Box was labeled the “opposite” of The Quiet Place (despite existing before The Quiet Place). It isn’t an entirely inaccurate statement however since the movies have similar feels.

bird box girl vivien lyra blair

I don’t think these things actually hurt you without seeing you so…no big deal

The story for the movie deals with flashbacks. While the current story has Malorie trying to move the children down the river alone, the flashbacks show what happened when the invasion hit and how Malorie got into that position. It is kind of predictable in that sense (you can see relationships building almost immediately in the flashbacks), and you can guess where the story goes. The last act of the film from the rapids on gets a bit sloppy and I feel that the tension didn’t build enough before the climax…it never was really established if the “creatures” could do anything to you if you weren’t looking. Granted, crawling around would be problematic but if you knew you were ultimately ok, it wouldn’t be terrifying.

Bullock does a nice job as the lead and as a mother who cannot connect to her children. The movie has a strong supporting cast with Trevante Rhodes as Tom who helps Malorie survive and BD Wong, Jacki Weaver, and Danielle Macdonald as some of the survivors of the initial attack. I like that John Malkovich essentially takes the role of “the jerk who is right” (a la Night of the Living Dead) and Sarah Paulson plays the luckless sister who becomes the sacrificial lamb at the outbreak.

bird box jackie weaver tom hollander

See…It’s all ok!

The killer aspect of Bird Box is the aliens or entities or whatever they are. It is a movie where you keep watching to get a better idea of the creatures looks or what they inspire in people. Other than some shadows and crazy drawings you don’t really get an idea if they are anything or simply everyone’s worst fears and doubts.

Bird Box reminds me a lot of The Happening if The Happening hadn’t been as goofy as it was. The movie largely focuses on the characters stuck in the situation than the situation itself which is probably smart. The movie does have pacing issues, it’s a bit too long, and it also feels like it doesn’t develop enough in the “present day” story and possibly would have been a better mini-series. It is a good thinking movie, however, in what you would do in a similar situation…but I’d probably just look and get it overwith.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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