Jungle
Bird Box

What if Hollywood did A Quiet Place but instead of not being able to make any noises the characters couldn’t see? That’s what Bird Box is in a nutshell, although it’s nowhere near as well done as the silent horror film. Based on the 2014 novel by the same name, the film follows a group of survivors trying navigate a post-apocalyptic world in which you can’t look outside or else you’ll become infected by some sort of creature and will want to kill yourself. On paper it sounds interesting, but the film’s execution is anything but scary.

 

Bird Box is constantly switching between two periods; one is right after the initial outbreak where a pregnant Malorie (Sandra Bullock) and some other strangers she just met are simply trying to survive and the other is five years later where Malorie is attempting to reach what she believes a safe haven down the river with her two children. Almost immediately the film runs into problems with this structure because right off the bat you know that everyone else is going to die. There’s no reason to care about any of the other characters as they’re killed off one by one.

 

It’s disappointing because it’s an amazing cast, too. In addition to Sandra Bullock you also have Trevante Rhodes, Jacki Weaver, Rosa Salazar, Lil Rel Howery, BD Wong, and John Malkovich. There are a handful of well acted scenes, but the film’s biggest problem is that it struggles to build any tension and isn’t scary in the slightest.

 

A Quiet Place worked because it created a unique environment without sound that could still create visually cinematic scenes. Bird Box does none of this by eliminating the characters ability to see. Instead, we get to watch characters wonder around outside with their arms flailing as they bump into random objects and fall down. The best the film does at building tension is when they make a supply run to the grocery store using only the GPS and proximity alerts on their car. As ridiculous and implausible as it may be, it was a decent scene.

 

We don’t ever see the creatures that are causing this strange phenomenon, either. They’re always either just off camera or in the bushes, but you know they’re there because the wind starts to pick up. Maybe they’re invisible, I’m not sure. The movie never goes into much detail about what they are of why it’s happening. I’m not saying we need to have all the answers, but a little backstory would have definitely been more helpful.

 

Bird Box is a bare-bones horror film that will leave you more bored than scared. The film has some solid ideas but they’re never brought to their full potential, resulting in a lackluster story and only dreams of what it could have been. You’re better off reading the book.

Matt Rodriguez
Review by Matt Rodriguez
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