I have never scrunched, poked, folded, pinched and moved my face in so many position before. Not even A Quiet Place had me feeling like that, and that is basically another version of this. Only real difference, other than the whole, can’t make noise/don’t look scenario, is we don’t know what this creature looks like. I think that’s what makes this so much more interesting. But the most profound thing about Bird Box, is the indirect message it is handing out about mental health.
Bird Box is called Bird Box because the birds sense when the ‘things’ are around. But whats somewhat beautiful about this Netflix original film, is the light it shines on mental health. Are they trying to say that mentally ill are more likely to ‘see the light’ or are more ‘woke’ than those who are not suffering? But why are the ‘healthy’ more likely to be suicidal? Well, my view is that it’s a 180 turn on each side. Before becoming suicidal, the ‘non-sufferers’, when exposed to the invisible creature, are forced into witnessing their greatest fears and most painful memories. In the seconds after they see these fears and pains (otherwise known as the ‘creature’), they kill themselves. My view is, the ones not suffering from mental health are just seeing depression, anxiety, etc., in the same view point as those who suffer. It is just giving them the insight they never saw before, therefore coming to the understanding of that dark feeling and wanting nothing more but to end their lives. See it however you prefer, but the message is loud and clear, and it is an important one.
Sandra Bullock plays Melorie, a pregnant woman who doesn’t really want to be a parent. She and her sister, Jessica (Sarah Paulson) are leaving the hospital after her last scan before even her town is infected by the plague which had taken over parts of Europe. Seeking refuge without her sister in a home near by from where her ride ended, Melorie meets the group which she would stay with, and that have figured out how to avoid being infected. There’s Tom (Trevante Rhodes) who seems to voluntarily become the captain of this ship, Douglas (John Malkovich) who is the crazy old man, who has a better clue than all of them, who also just watched his wife kill herself, and Cheryl (Jacki Weaver) who is a sweet lady who just wants everyone to get along – just to name a few. The movie goes back and forth to past and present so that way we get an idea of when this ‘endgame’ started, and where our main character in Melorie is now. Which is the other difference between A Quiet Place and Bird Box. How, when and where did the creatures come from? There are still so many questions about them, but we get a back story of a kind and it’ll do. One of the questions I do still have however is, where did Lucy (Rosa Salazar) and Felix (Machine Gun Kelly) go? The pair who come across as the ‘troubled youths’, flee the home, taking with them the only means of transport. Some say they went back to the grocery store. I believed they too, would become ‘enlightened’, but you make up your mind.
My husband pointed out how Melorie treats the children. It’s rough and realistic, and that’s the type of acting that wins awards because, if you really were in that situations, that’s how you’d be. But that is also Sandra Bullock for you. She is magnificent in whatever you throw at her, and she is just as excellent in this. Once again, she has made something perhaps impossible, so believable. I also love the directing decision to have the point of view from behind the blind fold. That was significant and added to the genuineness of the acting.
Read on if you don’t care for real spoilers. I won’t actually spoil anything… but the ending was a relief. It was in some way a bit of a downer considering how much stress you feel throughout, and I want so much more of that anxiety, but I’m glad it ended the way it ended. I really needed everything to be okay. I repeated to myself way to many times that if anything happens to those children, I’m going to be pissed. A Quiet Place already caused that type of trauma. I’ll allow you to see what happens there.
Bird Box is definitely my kind of thing. Suspense, anger, holding pillow tight, pulling faces type of thing. So, if that’s what you’re into, strap yourself in. Pardon the pun, but you won’t be able to look away.
Rating: 4 1/2 out of 5