“Bird Box” keeps audiences in the dark

“Bird Box” keeps audiences in the dark

“Bird Box” keeps audiences in the dark
January 21
19:22 2019

It seems in 2019, Netflix will finally lose its tug-of-war battle with Warner Brothers and Disney who are planning on making their own, respected streaming services. This is the reason Netflix has been pushing out original content as well as dishing out $100 million to keep “Friends”.

I don’t know what Netflix executives are playing, but it seems to be some sort of dart board of original content and they’re just throwing the darts to see what sticks. The year of 2018 has been a year of the good (“End of The F**king World”), the bad (“Sierra Burgess is a Loser”) and the ugly (“Insatiable”).

In an attempt to end the year and begin the new strong, much hype surrounded the Sandra Bullock-starring Netflix original, “Bird Box.” Days after its premiere, local Twitter teemed with Bird Box memes that only made sense if you had seen the first 15 minutes of the movie.

Some spoilers below:

“Bird Box” is a high school English teacher’s dream, chock-full of metaphors and the color blue. We meet Sandra Bullock’s character, Malorie, and her inability to connect as well as her fear of disconnect with the child she is pregnant with. Basically, Malorie has daddy and mommy issues, and we can blame them for her shut-off to the world. Though Malorie is closed-off, a desire to connect still resides within her.

Very quickly, the world falls apart. Malorie, John Malkovich, Machine Gun Kelly as well as others find themselves conveniently holed up in a rich man’s house.

What I find contradicting is the movie’s ability to explain some things by making it too obvious and then making other details as vague as possible. I enjoy when writers don’t feel the need to explain every detail and when the villain or monster is left ambiguous, but if there isn’t a balance between showing and telling, you make the audience feel stupid.

Within minutes of being secured within the house, our kooky character Charlie explains his understanding of things and begins a long explanation of worldly demons whose objective is to end humanity, a subject he was writing a whole novel about. Convenient?

Bird Box is of the drama-horror genre, similar to its comparison, early 2018’s “A Quiet Place.” Personally, “The Happening” was the first to pop in my head with the concept of people killing themselves upon sight of the entity, but Bird Box was based on a book that came out before both “A Quiet Place” and “The Happening.” I find all concepts intriguing in their own way.

Toward the middle of the movie, a sketchy character is introduced to the house. It is later revealed the man’s mental illness is what allowed him to see the monsters without immediately killing himself.

I’m not saying I’m offended, but this seems to insinuate mentally ill people are already crazy and therefore, somewhat immune to the monsters. It doesn’t help that this is not explained further, nor do we ever get to know what mental illness the man had. Had the concept been explored further, it could have been interesting, but instead the mentally ill man was just made out to be a villain.

Normally, apocalypse movies creep me out just to know how easy our society would crumble under the wrong circumstances, but I never felt myself fearful of the monsters in “Bird Box.” The monsters were left unexplained and their effect came off too bizarre for me to understand.

Whether shapeshifters or some form of illusion, the monsters seem to either take form of loved ones lost or the worst fears of a person. I’m unsure what I might see to make me want to kill myself, but I guess it’s supposed to be left to the imagination.

I enjoyed Malorie’s character development and the metaphors of freedom and hope and the characters being trapped in their own “bird box,” but the film left me wanting something more. I was left with an overall sense of, “Yeah, it was alright.” I wouldn’t buy Netflix just for this movie, but if you can mooch off your friend’s account and have nothing to do, this would be a good movie to put on.

Featured Image: Sandra Bullock performing in the Netflix original “Bird Box.” Courtesy Netflix. 

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Christina Palomo

Christina Palomo

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