“You never ever take off your blindfold, if you look you will die. Do you understand?”Review by Lily Taylor
If you’ve seen The Happening or A Quiet Place then you’ve probably already got a decent idea of what Bird Box is like. The film is part apocalypse, part dystopian future so if that feels too close to home right now given the sense of impending viral doom outside, I suggest you don’t read any further!
So the beginning of the film sets the scene for us: the global population is affected by apparent mass suicides apparently caused by looking at some kind of evil metaphysical entity. Sounds weird but stay with me. Sandra Bullock plays Malorie, a young pregnant woman who manages to make it inside a safe house with several other people who have blacked out the windows to avoid looking at the malevolent organism outside. Flash forward 5 years and a blindfolded Malorie and two equally blindfolded children are attempting to navigate down a river in search of a safe community that claims to be able to provide protection. The film flashes back and forth between Malorie’s life in the house and her journey in the row boat to explain what has happened since the appearance of the bad guy in the sky. Some of the population are infected by the entity but are not driven to suicide, they seem almost infatuated by it and instead seek out the uninfected to try and force them to look. Several times Malorie and the kids are targeted by these people and her partner Tom (Trevante Rhodes) loses his life because of them.
Contrary to a lot of angry people on the internet I did not hate this film, nor did I see it as just a rip off of several other similar movies that I’ve already touched upon. The concept itself seemed interesting and for the most part held my attention but it certainly wasn’t fantastic. Quite a lot of things go unexplained which is kind of annoying, the worst part was that you never find out what this thing is that is driving people to suicide, it just is and you don’t get any explanation of where it came from or why it exists. Another strange occurrence with no attempt at explanation is that Malorie and a second pregnant woman called Olympia (Danielle Macdonald) who is sheltering in the safe house with her both go into labour at almost the exact same moment and give birth pretty much simultaneously. Previous comparison of due dates put the pregnancies a few weeks apart so it was a little odd when it all happens at once, nobody in the movie seems to find it peculiar of course.
The storyline wasn’t bad on paper and Sandra Bullock and most of the other characters, including ‘Girl’ put in convincing performances. What started out as a strong concept however, decends into a fairly predictable narrative with what I can only describe as a painful ending. The ending is so happily ever after with Malorie meeting her obstetrician at the safe colony down the river and finally, after half a decade, deciding to name the children.
It probably sounds like I’m really slating this film, that’s not my intention, I just found it on the whole rather average. It’s the kind of film you find on Netflix and stick on for a casual night in, I wouldn’t say go out of your way to watch it… to be honest, if you fancy a horror I suggest you watch A Quiet Place instead.