Ominous, chilling, scary: These are the best words to describe “Bird Box,” a new Netflix thriller adapted from Josh Malerman’s 2014 novel.
There have been many post-apocalyptic thrillers made throughout the years; viewers seem to be obsessed with watching, thinking and analyzing when or how the world will come to an end. “Bird Box” gives an interesting take on the end of humanity, while also giving an emotional and riveting insight on motherhood, survival and group consciousness.
The movie starts with Malorie (Sandra Bullock) giving intense orders to two young children she calls Boy (Julian Edwards) and Girl (Vivien Lyra Blair). Their mission is to get to the nearby river, get on a small boat and head to safety. But here’s the kicker: They will be blindfolded the entire time.
The movie follows Malorie and her children as they journey across the river in hope of finding safety. Through a series of flashbacks, we learn quickly that they are running from unseen “creatures” that, if looked at, will show you your deepest fears, greatest losses and then force you to commit suicide.
Malorie first encounters the effects of the “creatures” when she is waiting for her sister, Jessica (Sarah Paulson), to pull the car around after her OB-GYN appointment. She watches in horror as the people around her start to kill themselves. The streets fill with chaos and danger making it hard to drive to safety. After watching the “creatures” take over her sister, surviving a car crash and being trampled, Malorie takes refuge in the home of Greg (BD Wong), where other frightened survivors are hiding out as well.
The other survivors include: Tom (Trevante Rhodes), an Iraqi war vet; Charlie (Lil Rel Howery), a grocery-store employee with dreams of being a writer; Doug (John Malkovich), an irritable and always on-guard neighbor; as well as Sheryl (Jacki Weaver), Lucy (Rosa Salazar), and Felix (Machine Gun Kelly).
After watching the local news and listening to Charlie, who says he’s been studying and writing a book on this exact apocalypse, they discover that whatever this disaster is, it’s happening all over the world, and they must find a way to survive.
Viewers also watch Malorie, who already has a disconnect with her emotions, try and figure out how to be maternal with all that’s going on. As you watch you begin to wonder if motherhood for Malorie means raising her child with love, having cuddle time, and filling her child with hope – or does she raise a soldier, raising her child to survive and always remain on guard.
Each character brings a unique personality to the group, but it’s Tom, played by Trevante Rhodes, who brings the heart and charm of the film. He shows how strength can mean giving your entire self, loving and living as much as you can, even in the time of immense danger.