I tend to steer clear of the films that make the most noise, the films that everyone claims are “the best I’ve ever seen.” More often than not, I am sorely disappointed. Disappointed that the films most certainly do not live up to the hype, and, more strongly, disappointed in the gross exaggeration of the people making those types of declarations. Alas, I am only human, and I can only drown out the masses for so long. I had to see what all the fuss was about, once again. This time, it is with Susanne Bier’s Bird Box.
As a sudden rash of mass suicides spreads across Russia and Europe and, very quickly, the rest of the world, pandemonium spreads just as rapidly. The very pregnant Malorie (Sandra Bullock) is amongst the few that manage to make it safely into closed quarters, away from whatever it is that is terrorizing the rest of the population. Now the small group must survive “the presence…” and each other.
I’m sure there will be a lot of argument about exactly what type of film Bird Box actually is. You’ll get the people who wouldn’t dare call this anything more extreme than the word “thriller” and some that wouldn’t even use that name to describe this heavy drama flick. Whatever you want to call it, there is no two ways about it, Susanne Bier has made a horror film.
How can a film about seeing something so sinister that it causes you to almost immediately end your own life be anything but a horror film? Suicide is very tragic and very heavy; it is not an easy task to take one’s life. Yet, there is something out there — whether it be a creature, a deity of some kind, or simply a being straight from an ancient mythology — that as soon as you see it, your worst fears and anxieties, your greatest losses inundate your entire being and you kill yourself. That is the most horrifying thing there can ever be, if you ask me.
Despite its dark content, Bird Box is a gorgeous movie. The establishing shots and bird’s-eye views are stunning. Even the blindfold POV scenes are handled beautifully, making you really feel like you are part of the story being told before you.
I could not take my eyes off of my television screen for a split second during the film’s 2 hour and 4 minute runtime. Not only did I not want to miss any chance I may have had a getting a glimpse of the indescribable evil, but it was just that breathtaking.
Bird Box features an extremely talented cast. Led by Sandra Bullock as our main protagonist, Malorie, every single performer is remarkable. Star power like Bullock is generally enough to take a genre film to the next level, but this one did not stop there. Veteran actors and newer faces alike are all featured, as John Malkovich (Shadow of the Vampire), Sarah Paulson (TV’s “American Horror Story”), Trevante Rhodes (The Predator), Lil Rel (Get Out), and hip hop artist Machine Gun Kelly all create memorable characters for viewers to love and to hate.
Some of you out there will not like the outcome of the film. I, however, thought it very fitting. I am extremely glad I followed the hype this time around, as Bird Box was well worth my time.
I have not read Josh Malerman’s novel of the same name, so I cannot speak on how accurately or innacurately it follows his creation. I can say, however, that Bird Box takes the best parts of films like The Crazies, It Comes at Night, and A Quiet Place, and still manages to create a film experience that feels new and creative.
The movie is currently streaming on Netflix, so take a couple of hours and give it the shot it deserves. You won’t be disappointed that you had.
I give this film a Repulsive Rating of 4.5 pricks in a pod out of 5!