“I LOVE A Quiet Place” I remarked as Bird Box started up on Netflix over the Christmas Period, “So I am sure I will love this as well” I stated adamantly to my wife. This… I soon found out, was my first mistake when going into Bird Box.
Bird Box is in no way a bad movie, in fact, it’s probably a really good movie. It’s just unfortunate that A Quiet Place did it better and left such a lasting impression in my mind – Bird Box is part of the Netflix initiative for “Quality Content” and the big push in recent times in getting much bigger actors into its offerings outside of cinema. Whilst it does succeed in many of its aspirations it left me wanting for something a little more fleshed out and character building than what was delivered.
The general plot of Bird Box is that something has appeared in the world that, if seen, causes people to see their worst fears & experience such sadness they commit suicide. This event causes a mass suicide the likes of which the world has never seen with 98% of the population being wiped out another 1% going mad and trying to force people to see this thing, with the remaining 1% of those going into hiding and walking blindfolded to avoid seeing the monster.
The plot then unfolds into two timelines – Directly after the initial event and 5 years down the line. The former of which sees a very pregnant Sandra Bullock surviving with a ragtag group of people as they try to survive the world as it has now become with the latter seeing her trying to get herself and 2 children, known simply as “Boy” & “Girl”, to a sanctuary which is seen as safe from the monsters. The story then attempts to fill in the gaps of the 5 years.
The issue I have with this is that the overarching plot just feels a bit rushed. The story had potential for what could be a excellently executed slow build up that leads into an explosive finale with a cliffhanger… What we get is that the story does have a nice slow build but then rushes through all the chaos after the even. From here Bird Box condenses a 5 year survival into about 15 minutes of film, with us needing to believe 2 of the leftover characters are madly in love but with no context to back this up.
The main cast of Bird Box is what really stands out here with Sandra Bullock and John Malkovich delivering the same excellent performances they have always been known for, whilst the still relatively unknown Trevante Rhodes delivers a performance that easily keeps up with his co-stars. John Malkovich, as always, is stellar in his portrayal of being an absolute dickhead who I couldn’t help but love.
Horror cliches abound in “The Blind Place”… I mean Bird Box… But it is compelling enough to hold my attention for 2 hours, and whilst it ultimately feels rushed, it is still a great film for a lazy Sunday afternoon with the wife.
Whilst it is almost impossible to not compare Bird Box to John Krasinski’s masterpiece that came before, Bird Box is a fun horror romp that delivers an excellent blend of horror and suspense – Perfect for a lazy Sunday evening.