I loved Bird Box.
It’s a fantastic story told from the point of view of a woman who isn’t perfect and has a lot of social/bonding problems – I can relate, lady. She, along with two children, is trying to get to safety down a river after very strange paranormal incidents cause people to commit suicide.
This review is going to be as spoiler free as I make it. Most of my thoughts are not going to be about the story’s details, but about the quality and foundations of the movie: life, the universe, and everything kind of stuff.
For all those reading this in the future: Bird Box is a Netflix Original movie produced by Susan Beir and Sandra Bullock, staring Sandra herself. John Malkavich makes an appearance too. A few of the other actors looked familiar to me, but I don’t know their names off the top of my head. Just know that this isn’t some B-movie piece of crap Netflix put out to fluff their repertoire. It has real acting chops and storytelling.
This is not a straight-up horror flick. Yes, it has psychological horror in it, to be sure. I would call it science/speculative fiction more than horror, however, as it focuses on the human interaction way more than horrific elements of the experience the people are going through on-screen. Science fiction has always been a great vehicle for social commentary. Bird Box is definitely, at heart, a movie about societal-level problems. How do humans bond with one another? What if I’m not a good enough mother? How do you decide if someone is worth saving in a crisis? Do you keep hope alive in times of strife, or give up and live fatalistically, uncaring about anything, even yourself? Is surviving the same as living?
Anyone who sees this movie expecting a purely horror-focused experience will be utterly disappointed. The story runs deep. I suspect many people may mistake psychological depth for “touchy-feely crap” and dismiss it as hokey or cheap. Don’t get me wrong. There’s definitely some of that touchy-feely stuff in there, but it’s not really the point of what’s going on. One big spoiler: you never get to see the monster or find out what’s “really going on.” That’s not what the movie is about. The elements of the movie are just a vehicle to get the viewer to question the meaning of:
Take it easy and remember to smile!