On Dec. 28, 2018, Netflix released the highly anticipated movie “Bird Box” to its streaming platform. The movie, which has a rather high billed cast for a Netflix movie, stars Sandra Bullock, Sarah Paulson, Machine Gun Kelly and Trevante Rhodes (of “Moonlight” fame) among its cast.
The protagonist, Malorie, played by Bullock, finds herself in the middle of an apocalyptic situation while she’s six months pregnant with her first child.
This apocalypse begins internationally with a rash of sudden suicides. Her sister, Jessica, played by Paulson, is worried but Malorie doesn’t seem to share the same sentiment as it’s not even in the states yet.
However, as Malorie leaves her doctor’s appointment, she sees a woman smashing her head into the glass window in an attempt to kill herself. As Jessica and Malorie speed away from the women, chaos breaks loose.
Cars careen off the road as whatever is affecting people begins to take hold. Jessica herself sees the creature that is affecting everyone and crashes the car, taking her own life.
Malorie luckily survives and makes it to a stranger’s house after the elderly man’s, who we see through a window, wife runs out only to fall victim to the creatures. Inside the house, we’re introduced to the characters that round out the main cast.
With everyone safely inside, the characters begin to devise a plan. At first, they’re lead by Greg, played by BD Wong. He devises a plan when it’s clear they’re going to need more food. However, it fails and he ends up dying.
The loose cannon here is the elderly man, Douglas, played by John Malkovich. He disagrees with most choices, refuses to let in other survivors, which we later learn may have been a smart choice, and usually walks around slightly drunk with a gun in his hand.
Tom, played by Trevante Rhodes, is the peacemaker of the group. He tries to keep everyone from falling apart and killing each other as well as devises a plan to get food.
The group, consisting of Malorie, Charlie, Lucy, Douglas and Tom black out the windows of the car and attempt to drive to the supermarket where Charlie worked using strictly GPS and sheer luck.
Eventually, through a series of horrific deaths, we’re left with just Malorie, her son and Olympia, one of the other survivors and her daughter. The three make their way to a known safehouse by crossing a dangerous river. Malorie brings along her box of birds, which help detect when the creatures are near.
The creatures in the movie are never really explained. All we know is that mentally ill and blind people aren’t affected like the rest of the world. Those who are mentally ill and look at the creature are affected but seem to become worshipers of the creature, trying to turn others or make them look at it as well.
Blind people are entirely unaffected as they can’t see and therefore are immune to its powers. The question remains then, why are birds so sensitive? What is it about the creature that makes birds the best warning signal for humans?
In the video on Greg’s computer, before the creatures manifest, butterflies seem to appear. Perhaps this is a metaphor for ‘beauty before the ugly’ or something like that.
It’s said throughout the movie that the creatures play on your worst fear, but one person calls out to their mother, so perhaps it also shows you your dead loved ones and uses them to draw you in.
There are conspiracy theories abound with this movie, that’s for sure. “Bird Box” is a perfect stand alone movie, but I see the threads for a sequel to be possible.
The ending alone, with Malorie and the kids in the school for the blind safehouse, gives us an option for a ‘years later’ sort of deal where the creature has been identified, blind people rule the world and there’s a fight to take back society.