Movie Review: Bird Box

If you’re a big fan of Netflix originals and post-apocalyptic-thriller films and haven’t seen “Bird Box” yet, you need to watch this movie. If you like movies with a well-formulated plot and character motives that are solidly introduced, then maybe “Bird Box” isn’t for you.

In my opinion, “Bird Box” doesn’t quite live up to the hype brought about by the viral videos and memes based off this film. But that doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy watching it. Admittedly, I’m a huge Sandra Bullock fan and she does a fantastic job in this movie, as do the other cast members (John Malkovich, Trevante Rhodes, Sarah Paulson, Tom Hollander, and Machine Gun Kelly). The acting was pretty good; the suspenseful build-ups were good; the overall plot…not so much.

The main premise of “Bird Box” is this: in a world rampaged by a mysterious creature who causes humans to spontaneously take their own lives, Malorie et al. try their best to survive and keep themselves safe from the creature. The catch? You have to see the creature to be affected by it (ie. cause your own death). That’s why sight vs. blindness is such an important aspect of the film. Kind of like a visual version of “A Quiet Place”, where sound brings the monster to you.

My largest complaint about “Bird Box” is that we are given no hints as to where this monster came from, what its intention is, or what makes it so terrible that folks would literally kill themselves on sight. The whole role of the creature is to destroy all human life in its path by means of spontaneous self-inflicted death and incite an Armageddon-like world. Personally, I feel like the story could have used some more background, but if the whole goal of the film was to create an end-of-the-world setting shrouded in mystery and danger, then the mysterious monster “Bird Box” did its job.

I’ll admit, I’m not a huge fan of horror movies. My biggest grievance with horror films is their lack of a decent plotline and their very one-dimensional, often foolish characters. Why would you venture into the basement of the creepy abandoned house when you know there’s something evil (and probably either demonic or chainsaw-wielding) down there waiting there for you? Everyone in the audience knows it; why don’t you?

As you can see, horror movies are very frustrating to watch. Personally, I’ll only devote my time to a scary movie if I know it’s supposed to be a good one. While “Bird Box” didn’t receive my A+ for its plot, it did receive a consolatory gold star for its characters and their gritty survival tactics. The movie didn’t really explain why we got to the apocalyptic state that the entire movie is based upon, but it does a pretty decent job of showing how our protagonists try to survive in spite of it. Sandra’s character Malorie is a pretty tough woman and exemplifies a person who could take care of herself and her kids through a worldwide crisis. This theme of self-sustainability and continual bravery in the face of constant danger is really what drew me to “Bird Box” and why I would recommend it if you’re someone who looks past all the plot flaws in an over-hyped Netflix original.

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Audrey Miller is a writer for The Lorian.

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