Bird Box is a post-apocalyptic thriller film, directed by Susanne Bier from a screenplay written by Eric Heisserer and based on the 2014 novel of the same name by Josh Malerman. The film follows a woman and two children who must travel through a forest and down a river blindfolded to avoid supernatural entities that cause people who look at them to commit suicide. I thought Bird Box was over rated via Netflix and local TV ads, but I still found it entertaining.
Bird Box opens in a post-apocalyptic world as Malorie Hayes (Sandra Bullock) advises her two young children, Boy/Tom (Julian Edwards) and Girl/Olympia (Vivien Lyra Blair) that they will be going downstream on a river in a boat. She strictly instructs them to not remove their blindfolds, or else they will die.
Five years earlier, a pregnant Malorie is visited by her older sister, Jessica (Sarah Paulson). A news report is being shown on television about unexplained mass suicides originating in Russia and quickly spreading across Europe. After hearing the devastating news report, Malorie visits Dr. Lapham (Parminder Nagra) at the hospital for her routine pregnancy checkup. Jessica accompanies her sister for support however, when leaving the hospital, Malorie sees a woman bashing her head into a glass panel followed by others panicking as chaos quickly erupts throughout the town. Malorie and Jessica attempt to drive away from the violence, but Jessica witnesses the phenomenon affecting the masses, loses control of herself and the car she is driving, which overturns. Injured, Malorie watched Jessica purposely walk in front of an oncoming truck that kills her instantly.
Bewildered and hurt, Malorie attempts to flee on foot through the mass chaos. Suddenly, Malorie encounters a woman, Lydia (Rebecca Pidgeon), who invites her to seek shelter in her home even though her husband, Douglas (John Malkovich) doesn’t want to let anyone in, friends included. However, right before his wife reaches Malorie, she goes into a trance, begins talking to her dead mother, and casually climbs into a burning car, which subsequently explodes. Malorie is rescued and brought into Lydia and Douglas’ house by Tom (Trevante Rhodes), a fleeing passerby. Another survivor, Charlie (Lil Rel Howery), who is seeking refuge in the house, theorizes that a celestial entity has invaded Earth, taking the form of its victim’s worst fears and driving them insane before causing them to commit suicide. At the insistence of Tom they cover all windows in the house and use blindfolds whenever they must venture outside. As the supply of food decreases and with the arrival of a new pregnant survivor, Olympia (Danielle Macdonald), decisions have to be made quickly. Ultimately, Greg (BD Wong), who is also seeking refuge in the house, volunteers to tie himself to a chair while monitoring the house surveillance cameras, hoping to find the issue of the entity, but kills himself by rocking his chair violently and slamming his head into a hearthstone after seeing it.
Although Bird Box is deemed a thriller, it’s also a mystery. What’s going on, who or what is causing this chaos and mass suicide to take place? Is this an alien invasion or is it something in the food or water? Where is Bird Box going with this movie and is there any hope? Only some of these questions are answered, however the journey is quite interesting with much more twists and subplots to be revealed. Survival demands the use of common skills that are most difficult to withstand. There is much sadness in Bird Box but it’s worth watching. The acting is brilliant and the cinematography is exceptional. Bird Box is streaming on Netflix — Check It Out, if you have Netflix already, what do you have to lose?