Review, BIRD BOX (2018) on Netflix

A film review of Sandra Bullock in Bird Box (2018)

I don't know about you, but despite some sites raving about the Netflix original film, my first impression of Bird Box was rather bland and dismal.

"In the wake of an unknown global terror, a mother must find the strength to flee with her children down a treacherous river in search of safety. Due to unseen deadly forces, the perilous journey must be made blindly."

Bird Box stars Sandra Bullock, Trevante Rhodes, John Malkovich, Sarah Paulson, BD Wong and others, in a film directed by Emmy award winning Susanne Bier (The Night Manager, In A Better World, After the Wedding, Brothers, Love is All You Need.).

The film comes at the viewer showing a combination of present time and flashback scenes, showing us first Malorie (Bullock) and two children (named Boy and Girl) preparing to take a river trip while wearing blindfolds. The blindfolds are necessary because of what is presumed to be an alien invasion or some kind of monster that's flitting about the Earth, driving anyone who sees it insane and suicidal. It's never made clear which or what it is.

One of the first flashbacks shows us Malorie and her sister being sisters but on a nonchalant note, her sister tells Malorie to turn on the TV. They see that millions of people are dying in Russia, but they glibly turn the TV off and not pay mind to the human slaughtering going on, on the other side of the world.

They go about the business, and the rest of America seems totally unfazed about events in Russia too, until it starts happening here in the U.S., when people see something then start to go berserk and kill themselves in odd and random ways.

We then go back to the present and watch another part of her river journey, then flip back to events after the initial berserker suicide, when Malorie's sister kills herself and she meets a survivor group of folks who hole up in a house with Malkovich, Wong and others, with Malkovich playing a rural version of himself, with a shotgun, Wong playing a smart, sensitive guy willing to risk is own life for the sake of others.


When we're first introduced to Bullock, it takes some getting used to, to watch her play the hard-ass mother protecting her kids, boy and girl, (yes, that's their names) from whatever the threat is. To later watch her interact with her initial survivor group was again a new kind of interaction from her.

We then watch her group, and later herself, mange to survive in this new infested world, stumbling around in the world, blindfolded.

When I first started watching the movie, the cavalier attitude from our primary character about millions dying turned me off, and the invasion was a bit weird, never seeing the actual alien or entity. In fact, for me, the compelling reason to watch the entire movie was to see if the entity would ever be revealed or not. If that was not there, I might have not finished the film.

We watch, through the flashbacks and present moments ever so slowly catching up to each other, develop into the end of the third act, a resolution I did not see coming and yet, make perfect sense.

Through it all, the biggest distraction to me was that they survive in an almost unbelievable fashion, as they stumble through the world blindfolded, making amazing journeys by foot, car or boat, completely blind to the world around them. I'd suggest trying to even walk a straight line blindfolded down your hallway, as you inevitably veer just enough off course to rub into a wall in your own hallway, never mind navigating through the world itself where you don't know where anything really is, filled by moving targets.

My initial take on the film was that it was a fairly dull story, where the characters felt like mere tools to forward the plot of mysterious aliens that drive you crazy if you look at them. Or something like that. But my first viewing was interrupted halfway through the film, so I had a chance to start it from the beginning again. If I completely ignored the complete lack of humanity in the characters in the first few minutes where no one cared about millions dying, the film was interesting to follow. This could be one of those films that if you watch it twice you get more out of it than the first time through.

BIRD BOX was an almost entertaining experience of a film that requires you to suspend ALL belief of sensible survival skills. Yet on IMDb, it has a 6.8/10 score right now, so I'm a bit off the mark in agreeing with IMDb users this time around.

And for god's sake people, stop taking the 'Bird Box blindfold challenge' and putting yourselves at risk. Don't be dumb asses.

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