In Bird Box, based on the novel by Josh Malerman, something is spreading around the globe. This something is so horrible, if people see it they are immediately compelled to kill themselves.
What then are the people of Earth to do? Don’t look. Of course that leads to a problematic existence.
Bird Box unfolds in two separate timelines. One narrative follows a group of strangers trapped together, struggling for answers and survival following the initial outbreak of whatever is plaguing humanity.
The alternate timeline is five years after the onset of the unknown malevolence. Malorie (Sandra Bullock) has managed to survive, but dwindling resources and the safety of her children propel her to seek refuge. The journey must be made by water and while blindfolded as the threat remains.
How Scary Is It?
I don’t particularly like “horror” films, but a non-gory suspense thriller can be a fun ride. Bird Box isn’t particularly frightening without the “jump scares” and creepy creepers of other films, but it is filled with tension and children in danger. So if those things are your triggers, Bird Box may not be for you. Yes there is blood as multiple characters kill themselves but the carnage isn’t explicitly grotesque. One particularly tense scene involving scissors was the only time I found myself yelling “no, no, no” at the screen and needed to look away.
Sandra Bullock is as always fantastic. Bullock plays Malorie, who is facing both an unplanned pregnancy and the apocalypse. When it rains it pours, right? Sarah Paulson, John Malkovich and Travante Rhodes give strong supporting performances but Bullock carries the film. Julian Edwards and Vivian Lyra Blair are the young children in the movie. They could not have cast two cuter, wide-eyed, little angels to pull on your heartstrings.
Bird Box is tense, well acted and interesting if not completely original (see The Happening reference above). There are some intriguing details and twists that I won’t reveal here but I assure you the end is satisfying.