Post-apocalyptic movie ‘Bird Box’ was recently released on Netflix and Americans can’t seem to get enough of it.
In the first week alone, the suspense movie racked in over 45 million Netflix views, plus countless popular (and comical) memes depicting scenes from the movie which seem to have taken over the internet.
A glimpse of the trailer suggests that the film, directed by Susanne Bier, appears to be story about lead character, Malorie, played by Sandra Bullock, and her children. But within seconds of starting the movie, it becomes apparent that the storyline goes much deeper, and the thrilling scenes already have you hooked and begging for more.
There has been no shortage of apocalyptic movies released in Hollywood, and while this film stands out, it also doesn’t explore a new room per say. It is a traditional dish presented with an entirely new garnishing. But its indisputable popularity speaks for itself.
Malorie’s story throughout the movie revolves around her struggle to survive the end of humanity as absolute chaos devastates the world around her. To make matters more challenging, she is determined to get her two young children to safety– all while blindfolded. What becomes the all all-encompassing antagonist (but is never fully shown or explained) is a nameless, shapeless monster which suddenly dominates the earth, killing all who come within its gnarly reach. Uniquely though, this demonic presence doesn’t do the actual killing itself, instead, it coerces people into committing suicide, seemingly through affecting their psyche and summoning them to death with their own worst fears.
Towards the beginning stages of the film, the movie reveals Malorie’s unenthusiastic attitude toward her unborn child, and her general struggle to connect with people. She’s an artist by profession, and simply the act of getting her out of the house is a task for her sister Jessica, played by Sarah Paulson.
When the demonic presence strikes, Malorie tragically watches as her beloved sister Jessica falls victim to it. It is here where we learn that the secret to survival lies in being blindfolded, so as hide one’s eyes from the demonic illusions spewed by the presence, which are ultimately fatal to anyone who’s eyes are not covered. For protection from the deadly presence, Malorie finds herself locked in a random house among other survivors [played by Travante Rhodes, John Malkovich, Jacki Weaver, Howery, Danielle Mcdonald, Tom Hollander, and others] for safety, as the presence cannot enter a closed building. Eventually, people in the house die off as some dramas unfold. The only ultimate survivors are Malorie, her two children, and Tom (played by Travante Rhondes), who becomes Malorie’s love interest.
At some point during their harrowing escape from the house towards an unknown safety-point which they are working toward blindly, Tom sacrifices himself to the demonic force in order to save the lives of Malorie and her children. A twist in the storyline is revealed when Tom dies, which introduces human-like entities who are immune to the demons, but seek to kill others with the same demonic summoning.
Malorie has reason to believe that there is a safe-haven past a tough river route, so she makes it her life’s purpose to get there despite all hardship. Amidst a stressful and uncomfortable blindfolded journey through a jungle and down-river to safety, Malorie gradually learns to connect with and love her children.
Her journey from an unaffectionate woman to a loving mother holds a timeline of five years and it is mostly attributed to this tough journey through which she fights to survive. The film doesn’t offer much innovative stimuli, but powerful acting and an unpredictably suspenseful storyline will keep you engrossed till the end.
The name ‘Bird Box’ comes from a small box of two colorful birds which the children and their mother carry with them during their journey. At the presence of demons, the birds alert Malorie and her children by chirping incessantly, saving them from grave danger at least a handful of times.
The film offers a deeper perspective, which suggests that the apocalyptic-rate killings of people was less of a result of exterior factors and actually the outcome of their own inner pains and fears. The people who commit suicide are psychologically manipulated to face their worst fears causing them to induce their own deaths.
The final scenes of Bird Box offer a satisfactory dose of resolution, if not an unpredictable, and questionably unrealistic solution to the apocalyptic chaos that rocked the silver-screen just moments before.