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Bird Box

 

“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:

  1. What are the monsters? What do they look like, exactly?
  2. 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?
  3. Why do some people survive seeing the monsters and why do they become evil?
  4. Why can’t the monsters enter buildings? (This is not a question that vexes me; I’m fine with this being “a rule.”)
  5. Are the monsters corporeal?
  6. 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.

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