Review: Bird Box

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Review: Bird Box

The Netflix original

The Netflix original "Bird Box" took the world by storm after being released in late December. While becoming very popular and spurring a variety of internet challenges, Film Critic Christos Belibasakis believes the movie wasn't all it was made out to be.

Credit: Courtesy of Variety.com

The Netflix original "Bird Box" took the world by storm after being released in late December. While becoming very popular and spurring a variety of internet challenges, Film Critic Christos Belibasakis believes the movie wasn't all it was made out to be.

Credit: Courtesy of Variety.com

Credit: Courtesy of Variety.com

The Netflix original "Bird Box" took the world by storm after being released in late December. While becoming very popular and spurring a variety of internet challenges, Film Critic Christos Belibasakis believes the movie wasn't all it was made out to be.

Christos Belibasakis

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Bird Box, the terrifying thriller that has spurred an internet challenge which subsequently caused a teen to crash her car driving blindfolded, took the world by storm when it was released on Dec. 21, 2018 as a Netflix Original. The film is based on a novel written by Josh Malerman of the same name. However, two-hours of filler, melodrama and lack of character development creates a film that leaves us with questions without answers. Don’t believe the hype.

Bird Box is set in a post-apocalyptic America in which the main character, Malorie (Sandra Bullock), is pregnant and living with her sister, Jess. The two notice stories of mysterious mass suicides taking place in Europe and nervously doubt that the epidemic will reach the United States. On the way back from a doctor’s visit, panic and chaos erupt in their city as people start committing suicide in the street. Jess crashes her car, and, as Malorie watches in horror, Jess steps in front of an oncoming truck. Malorie runs into a panicking mob, where she is saved by a man who takes her into a large house, packed with a group of other strangers seeking refuge.

The movie switches to a scene five years later, in which Malorie is with two children, who she has dubbed “Boy” and “Girl.” She tells the children that they will begin a journey on a boat, and she tells them that if they remove the blindfolds that they are wearing, they will die. It becomes apparent that there is something that people see which is causing the mass suicides, and the rest of the film focuses on the group’s blindfolded journey of survival.

Bird Box did not add anything revolutionary to the horror or post-apocalyptic genre. While there were some suspenseful moments, the film lacked any actual “horror,” leaving audiences feeling like there was an unfilled void.

Perhaps an even weaker element of the film was its plot, which doesn’t answer the questions that it creates. The questions of what the entity that is causing mass suicide actually is as well as that of its origin are never answered, and there is no reason given for the start of the apocalypse. In addition, while half of us can’t walk through a forest without tripping on a branch, the movie also wants to believe that Malorie can navigate a boat through a river and walk through a forest with two kids while blindfolded.

The film also lacks in its character development. Within the group that Malorie originally stays with, all of the characters die quickly except for her love interest, Tom, who also acts as the alpha male of the group. It is hard to really understand each character, which makes it nearly impossible for the audience to create an emotional connection with them.

Bird Box is able to earn back some degree of redemption because of its strong cinematography and sound design. The film also has a strong cast, featuring a exemplary performance by Sandra Bullock. There was also an entertaining scene where Malorie and the other survivors had to drive to the supermarket with the windows and windshield painted black.

Netflix’s original Bird Box struggles to form a horror movie by failing to include an explanation for the post-apocalyptic world that it takes place in. The film left the audience with many unanswered questions, and one of the most frustrating aspects of the movie was the fact that there were so many loose ends that weren’t tied up at the conclusion. For people interested in watching Bird Box, it might be best to watch it with a blindfold.

Rating: 3/10

Opinion articles written by staff members represent their personal views. The opinions expressed do not necessarily represent WSPN as a publication.

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