Survival films are one of a kind. They reflect on humanity, the dangers against humanity and the mere goal of surviving an incident that may just be the end of our worlds. Netflix took up this genre and twisted it into its original sense of a mind blowing concept. As a result, we got Bird Box, one of the most brilliant ways to end 2018.
The film is about the journey of a woman named Malorie (Sandra Bullock), who has to make with two children who are very specifically named Boy (Julian Edwards) and Girl (Vivien Lyra Blair) across a river towards what seems like uncertain safety. The plot begins with Malorie giving out instructions to the children about being extremely careful while on the ‘trip’. To never take their blindfolds off and to listen to her every time she asks them to do something. As thrilling as the journey begins, we are taken back 5 years in Malorie’s life. She’s at her house, painting when her sister Jessica (Sarah Paulson) switches the news on. A suicidal epidemic has taken over Europe and Russia, it seems like an apocalypse is close but the sisters think nothing of it. Malorie is pregnant and makes her way to the clinic to get her regular check up with Dr. Lapham (Parminder Nagra). When she leaves the clinic, she witnesses a woman with stars and tears in her eyes, killing herself. The epidemic had reached USA and Malorie rushes to warn Jessica.
After unfortunate events of the whole country collapsing into people committing suicide, a few survivors find their luck in one of the houses. This included Malorie, Greg (BD Wong), Douglas (John Malkovich), Tom (Trevante Rhodes), Charlie (Lil Rel Howery), Cheryl (Jacki Weaver), Lucy (Rosa Salazar), Felix (Machine Gun Kelly) and the late entrance of Olympia (Danielle Macdonald) who is also pregnant, about the same time as Malorie.
The thrill begins as the survivors find a way to keep enough food for themselves and learn that survival is only valid if they don’t look at the creatures that are causing the mass suicides, thus the blindfolds. During this, they realise, people with mental issues have managed to survive the roads with open eyes while also forcing others to kill themselves. They act as messengers for the ‘creatures’ and trick the common people into their own deaths.
After the entrance of Gary (Tom Hollander) in the house, things get out of hand. Malorie and Olympia give birth to a boy and girl respectively and everything loses its way into the void of these mysterious creatures. Five years later, Tom and Malorie have managed to raise the Boy and the Girl but it comes with its own consequences. The name Bird Box gets explanation when birds sense the presence of these creatures, signalling the humans of the dangers around them.
Will Malorie survive the river journey? Is the safety there honest to what it seems or is it a trap by the creatures? Are there any other survivors in the world?
The film has an underlying tone of horror and thrill. It gives you goosebumps and hopes for the future of these travellers. A few outstanding concepts in the film were:
- Music: With every thrilling scene or establishment of eminent danger, the music gets you to a point where you practically bite your nails in anticipation of what’s to happen. When music has a physical effect, you know it’s too good to be true. But that’s what Bird Box does to you. It creates an atmosphere of utter horror of what the creatures are and if they really are “beautiful” as every suicidal character in the film claims to be.
- Performances: Sandra Bullock is a legendary actress with films like Gravity and Oceans 8, you know she can’t go wrong with a little thrill and a survival film. She makes sure to end 2018 for us on the right note of a brilliant performance. Along with actors like Trevante Rhodes and even the children who are amazing on the screen. If a film makes you scared for your own life and doubt the workings of your surroundings, you know the actors have delivered well.
- Production: The film rights were acquired 5 years back before they released a book about it. Later Netflix bought these rights and did justice to it like no other production could have. The freedom that Netflix gives to films regarding language or subjects to choose, just helps this movie reach its absolute limits of brilliance.
Bird Box is a dark, twisted and complex film that takes you on a journey of thrill and horror while also giving you hope for the sake of humanity’s future.
The film deserves 4 chirps quite literally from the birds in the box that Malorie carried all the way to safety.