“Bird Box” was by all accounts a big hit for Netflix, so I suppose contrarian takes on its popularity were bound to come along. Count me as a big fan, though I grok that it was flawed.
The movie is about a woman named “Malorie,” (Sandra Bullock, so good and so Bullock-y here) her two children and her boyfriend “Tom” who are trying to survive in an apocalyptic world where largely-unseen monsters cause mass suicide by projecting images so profoundly sad or disturbing it causes anyone who sees them to instantly kill themselves. A few people escape this fate to become “disciples” of a sort, resisting suicide and imploring people to gaze upon the monsters. Everyone who wants to live must navigate the world outside their homes with blindfolds on.
“Bird Box” is a film that leaves a lot of questions unanswered:
- What are the monsters? What do they look like, exactly?
- Why do some people seem terrified by them and some people seem to react as if they’re seeing comforting images of dead relatives? Which is it? Is it both?
- Why do some people survive seeing the monsters and why do they become evil?
- Why can’t the monsters enter buildings? (This is not a question that vexes me; I’m fine with this being “a rule.”)
- Are the monsters corporeal?
- And so on.
Some to great effect, some less so.
I’m always going to wish I had seen at least more than a glimpse of the monsters (a monster disciple has perhaps sketched pictures of them in one scene), then again I appreciate that not seeing them is part of what makes the movie so terrifying.