As much as I wanted to wanted to watch this movie, I was also extremely weary going in. In the past, Netflix has kind of been a hit and miss when it comes to their original movies. Sure this movie showed some huge stars, but we all know that a movie can have a cast of multi-million dollar stars and still be a piece of shit. Deciding to take a chance on this movie, I went in with low expectations. Keep reading to see what I thought about this movie.
Taking place in the near future, Bird Box is about Mallory, played by Sandra Bullock. The beginning of the movie shows Mallory barking orders at two children Boy, played by Julian Edwards, and Girl, played by Vivien Lyra Blair, before putting on their blindfolds and heading out on a 22 mile trek down river in hopes of finding sanctuary. Cut to five years earlier when Mallory and her sister, played by Sarah Paulson, are on their way to the hospital to get an ultrasound on the then pregnant Mallory. There’s talk of an outbreak spreading across other nations of mass suicides, but of course it’ll be figured out before anything like that comes to the US. Cut to ten minutes later when disaster strikes and Mallory finds herself fighting for her life. Finding safe haven in a random house with a bunch of strangers, Mallory will have to learn how to survive without using her sight because the moment someone see’s what’s outside is the moment they kill themselves by any means possible
A rip-off of A Quite Place? The debate between whether or not this movie is similar and therefore a rip-off of A Quite Place, which you can read my review of that movie here, is on. Is this movie a rip-off of a successful movie or does it stand on its own? While at times this movie does seem like a different version of A Quite Place, because in this movie they can’t see and scream really loudly in order to find someone, it is different. Concepts of the “unknown” are present in both movies, even though you know in A Quite Place about the aliens, you never really see them all too much, but each movie stands on its own. I can see where the comparisons come in, but I think that both movies have enough differences that they stand on their own. Let me know down in the comments section if you think that Bird Box is a rip-off of A Quite Place.
Overall I have to say that I thoroughly enjoyed this movie. It captivated me from beginning to end and was intriguing. The characters in this movie suffered from the normal horror movie tropes, but the concept was an interesting one. The image of people killing themselves after encountering the “unknown” were disturbing while the people who felt saved and clear after encountering the “unknown” was interesting. While never truly explained what is plaguing the world in this movie, the fear of the unknown is enough to keep this movie interesting, and gives the characters motive to use their other senses in order to survive. This movie could have done without some things, that I’ll get to in a moment, but overall I would call this movie a success. The only thing that would have made this movie better was to perhaps go into the mind of someone who seen one of these things to see what was so horrifying that they felt the need to kill themselves.
When Did Horror Movies Become So Emotional? Both Bird Box and A Quite Place have highly emotional endings that had this horror movie fan shed a few tears. When the hell did this happen and why did it happen? Horror movies are just that, they’re supposed to scare you, maybe make you think of a “what if” at best, but make you cry? No thank you. Save that shit for drama’s. I can see the emotion aspect of being used to gain more female viewers, but that’s just a slap in the face to existing horror movies fans. If you aren’t a horror movie fan, the promise of some overly emotional ending isn’t going to turn you into a fan or make the movie any more popular.
While I would say that this was a great ensemble movie, it wasn’t. Sandra Bullock is the star of this movie and it basically revolves around her. The other characters in the movie seem only there to advance her story and nothing more. People like Sarah Paulson and B.D. Wong play small roles as does John Malkovich. I find this movie to probably be Sandra Bullock’s most honest role as her rom-com performances seem forced while this role seems to be more fitting. That being said, this is probably my favorite Sandra Bullock movie because it seems to be the most fitting role for her.
Overall I give this movie a 3.5 out of 5.
Don’t get the wrong idea from my rating of this movie. I thoroughly enjoyed it, but I felt horror baited as I was promised a horror movie and at best got an emotional thriller. I watched people disturbingly kill themselves one minute as they seen whatever they saw and the next minute watch a woman fall in love. One minute Sandra Bullock was fighting off a “woken” man with a machete and the next minute having an emotional break through. Other than that I genuinely enjoyed the movie and the thrill and horror of the unknown striking at any moment. If you’re a horror fan looking for blood and gore, I would say look somewhere else because you aren’t going to find it here. If you’re a fan of emotional thrillers and don’t mind seeing some disturbing images I would say that this is a movie for you and is definitely worth a watch.