Bird Box Review

Synopsis

Five years ago mass suicide came over the entire world. People began seeing images of monsters, and in other cases their own demons. The only way of survival is to shield your eyes from the creatures.

Malorie (Sandra Bullock) has spent over five years as a survivor during the end of the world. She has built relationships, lost friends, and gained a hard exterior in this time. She is now in custody of two young children, in which she refers to as simply boy and girl.

Now the three must begin their final trek towards salvation. Malorie and the children begin a two day trip down a rocky riverfront without the ability to see. As they rapids of the river approach, Malorie must decide if one child’s life is worth more than the other’s.

What I Liked

Many have unfairly compared this premise to that of the 2018 film A Quiet Place. Although the two share many similarities, including a loss of one of the five senses during the apocalypse. The film Bird Box is an adaptation from a 2014 novel written by Josh Malerman. Like Netflix’s version of The Jungle Book, it all came down to a coincidence of timing.

With a star-studded cast, lead by the great Sandra Bullock, the strongest aspect of the film is the acting. Bullock’s character is a no-nonsense, hard to the her core woman. Her performance shines in the end of the world setting.

Other key performances include John Malkovich as the hot-head lawyer, Douglas. He plays a good foil to Malorie, as well as creating a respect between the two characters. Trevante Rhodes is another standout as the love interest Tom. A very charismatic performance from Rhodes, but one that also includes a lot of heart.

What Could Have Been Improved

The story is nothing we haven’t seen before. Sure they point out the fact that this isn’t some YA novel’s version of the end of the world. Just because this isn’t a YA novel doesn’t mean it is groundbreaking,

The film feels like an amalgamation of numerous films, including A Quiet Place, The Mist, and The Happening. Yes, I said it. Bird Box is basically a better version of The Happening.

One thing that I believe could have been further explored was the groups of people who can be outside without shielding their eyes. This was touched on a bit, and is used almost as a plot device to remove some characters from the story.

I enjoyed the performances of the three main leads, but when it comes to the other characters much was left to be desired. The performances themselves never took me out of the movie. The choices of some of the characters did. Many times characters did actions that were only there to further Malorie’s story.

Final Thoughts

Bird Box is an enjoyable apocalyptic story. It doesn’t break any new ground, but it tells the journey of a woman alone in the world very well. The performances stand out as the best part of the film. Not award worthy performances, but enough to have you grasp on to these characters.

It left much to be desired as an overall film, including picking up loose threads that they left behind. A complaint many may have is that lack of any physical monster in the film. The point of the film wasn’t to see a creepy monster. The film could have benefitted from having a character see their own personal demon before death.

Overall Score 3.25/5

The film is available now on Netflix.

Have you had a chance to see this latest Netflix original movie? If so, what did you think? Drop a comment below and let’s start a conversation.

Be sure to check out the latest episode of the Back Lot 605 Podcast were we discuss our thoughts on Aquaman. Also, be sure to follow us on social media, including Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Review by Casey Kelderman, Back Lot 605 Co-Host

About the Author
Casey Kelderman found a love for film at a very early age. One of his earliest memories of watching movies was the original Star Wars trilogy on VHS. Casey graduated from The University of Sioux Falls in 2017. At USF Casey produced weekly movie reviews and hosted a radio show. He graduated with a degree in Media Studies. Skills he learned in college have allowed him to help create Back Lot 605. He has produced and directed 4 short films. His favorite films include Halloween, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, and Die Hard.
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