Director: Susanne Bier
Bird Box was one of the first movies that spawned a whole new genre of horror movies. In this movie, the characters all lose the ability to see the outside world. This interesting change is what caused other movies with a similar idea to be made. Like, A Quiet Place, where people aren’t able to talk loudly.
Bird Box was a fun movie to watch. With good pacing and wonderful cuts between the present day and a flashback, Bird Box gave plenty of entertainment for a 2-hour movie. Besides the plot, there was also some interesting characters and interactions.
When I first watched Bird Box, I was quite intrigued by the premise. When it initially released,I thought it was a great movie. In preparation of the second movie, I’ve decided to rewatch the first movie and give my thoughts. With that in mind, let’s get started. If, for some reason, you haven’t watched Bird Box in the past 5 years, this is your spoiler warning. You have been warned.
So, to start things off, I’m going to cover the main gimmick of the movie. In Bird Box, when the characters are in the outside world and look at this mysterious creature, one of two things happen. For the majority of people, they become overcome with emotions that lead them to commit suicide in, quite honestly, brutal methods.
Those who survive this part become part of the cult-like group. They worship the creature or monster that drives humanity insane in order to expose this beauty to others. Not only do these people gain immunity to the creature’s twisted power, they also start forcing other’s eyes open.
Now, when it comes to the horror elements of the movie, I appreciate that the monster has a unique way of killing people. It’s not quite on the level of magic or sorcery, and it’s not some guy in a mask killing people. It sits somewhere in the middle, which makes everything a bit more interesting.
Now, besides the monster itself, the plot was quite interesting as well. Bird Box employs the parallel storyline approach. Here, you have the present day events and the five years ago flashback happening at the same time. I think the best part of this kind of storytelling is that you can tell what happens in the flashback just from the present events.
So spoilers now. In the present day, we see Malorie, Boy, and Girl and that’s it. So clearly, we know right from the start of the movie that Malorie ends up alone. Then we flashback 5 years, and boom, plenty of characters. From this perspective, you already know that something is happening to the characters since they aren’t there in the present. Watching both storylines move forwards at the same time gave great breaks between the tense moments. When the flashback eventually catches up to the present, I liked how everything got tied back together. It made the whole thing immersive and easy to watch.
Now, the plot in and of itself is quite simple. I’ve mentioned this plenty in other reviews, but a simple plot is the perfect way to develop other areas of the movie. In this case, I have to say the characters are the best part. With the threat of death constantly behind every character, I liked how unique everyone was. From Tom being a great leader, to Douglas with his thick skin, every character had a place in the plot, and they all felt realistic.
I especially liked Douglas’ and Charlie’s characters because they felt very real. In the case of Douglas, someone who acts the way he does usually survives the longest in these end-of-world situations. But through his tough exterior, we do see some softness, which gave him some nice balance.
On the flipside of things, I liked Charlie for the brief moment we saw him. He was the other natural reaction in this situation, pure fear. Seeing these two characters interact with each other felt like something you would see in real life. You also have the situation of people deserting and betraying each other too. Those situations also hit pretty hard, and it was entertaining watching how all the characters dealt with that situation.
The final thing I want to mention about characters is that I loved watching Malorie’s development throughout the movie. Her journey of going from a callous and cautious person, who cursed her pregnancy, to finding love and acceptance of herself was great to watch. My favourite moment has to be when Malorie reunites with her old doctor. During their previous meeting, Malorie was heavily against being a mother, and at the end, when she affirms she’s Boy and Girl’s mother, it was quite satisfying.
Overall, Bird Box was a fun watch. If you’re looking for a jump scare type horror movie, this isn’t it. Instead, you get to watch a great cast of characters survive against this suffocating presence. You’ll mainly watch this movie for the mystery behind the monster and the character interactions.