Viewers have been going back and forth on social media about Bird Box, from director Susanne Bier, so I thought I’d put in my two cents.
On her way home for her first sonogram, Malorie (Sandra Bullock), and Jessica (Sarah Paulson) are suddenly caught in chaos as the city goes into a panic when a mysterious force attacks, sending those who see it into a suicidal rage. When their car flips Malorie is picked up by a group of people and brought into a home that is serving as a shelter for several survivors.
For a time the group is safe. But they have learned that several patients have escaped a nearby mental facility but they haven’t been covering their eyes. They want to expose others to the entities.
When the group of survivors take in a desperate man things go from bad to worse. As Malorie and another woman (Danielle Macdonald) go into the labor the stranger set his plan in motion to expose the group. When the other mother loses her mind Malorie is left with her baby girl. Luckily, Trevante Rhodes’ Tom rescues Malorie and the newborns.
We never actually see the entities, only their shadows, but that is actually a good thing. It was clever of Bier to leave their appearance as a mystery.
At first, I assumed the movie would be a rip-off of A Quiet Place but, I was surprised to discover that it wasn’t. But sure there are many things the two have in common, monsters, senses, a family.
The film was written by Eric Heisserer, based on the novel by Josh Malerman. It has a great story, one of survival, fear, love and loses. The film revolves around fear, but it’s not a monster or man Malorie truly fears, it’s getting attached to her children. That’s the most disturbing part of Bird Box. For god’s sakes, the kids are like six and answer to “girl” and “boy”. Who the hell doesn’t name their kids at birth? I guess a lot of the story was to make us feel bad for Malorie, but it’s hard to do. She’s a bit of a bitch.
The movie isn’t filled with big special effects. Most are subtle, except in the last quarter of the movie. In my opinion, it was the perfect amount.
Director Bier did an amazing job of building tension and suspense. The tension was built up but never was completely released until the final moments. It kept me on the edge of my seat the whole time.
As for Sandra Bullock’s performance, it’s her best in years. You could feel what her character was experiencing, her fear, her panic, her desire to want to protect her children.
Trevante Rhodes did a fantastic job as Tom, the man who not only protected Malorie but also loved her. His character, who was in the military before the monsters, is tough yet gentle and the representation of everything good that’s left in the world.
John Malkovich, who is always great, played to role of an angry, paranoid, jerk. While you won’t like his character, he does serve as the much voice of reason. Everyone needs someone like this when monsters, zombies, ect…attack.
I found Bird Box entertaining. It was tension-filled and kept me guessing (not the easiest thing for a movie to do). While the film wasn’t flawless, it was well written, the cinematography was incredible, and the acting was on point. I’m going to give Bird Box a 4 1/2 of 5. Watch it now on Netflix.