HOLLYWOOD—I cannot recall the last time I heard so much buzz about a movie that I couldn’t wait to see it to find myself disappointed by the end result. While that statement might have you suspecting that the movie of the hour, “Bird Box” is lackluster, you would indeed be wrong. I will make the argument the film loses points for originality because I feel like bits and pieces of it feel like something I’ve seen before.
So let’s jump into the premise, which follows Malorie Hayes (Sandra Bullock) on a mission to protect her two children from a supernatural force that if you see it you die. Yes, I know what you’re thinking, this movie sounds very similar to the 2018 flick “A Quiet Place.” I adored “A Quiet Place” and that premise was Uber original; I mean creatures that haunt you if you make a sound, talk about scary. “Bird Box” somewhat takes that notion and turns it on its head: if you see it you won’t forget it. Yeah, it’s very true because death will come for you.
Sight, the one sense I would argue all Americans rely on, you don’t realize how big of an importance it plays in your life until you no longer have it. This movie forces you to grapple with that possibility and how one would navigate without having that vital sense in their back pocket. It a riveting premise, but somewhat silly at the same time and only possible in a post-apocalyptic world. Is that the world the audience is presented with this Netflix original? Not quite, but it works in a great way because the tension “Bird Box” delivers is palpitating.
There are scenes that are absolute bonkers that reminded me a bit of the dreadful “The Happening.” Rest assured, “Bird Box” is not that jumbled mess, but upon seeing these ‘things,’ people are driven to harm themselves. Bullock delivers as a mother desperate to protect her son and daughter, who are amply named ‘Boy’ and ‘Girl’ throughout the movie. I thought that was hilarious, but this film has some unique characters and a fun cast which includes Trevante Rhodes, Jacki Weaver, Rosa Salazar, Lil Rey Howery, BD Wong, John Malkovich and Sarah Paulson. The script is smart and clever; you never quite know who might meet their maker, when and exactly how it will happen. It’s a guessing game of sorts, and there are a few twists and surprises along the way that just heighten the suspense as you wonder how it will all end and who will be left standing when the credits start to roll.
“Bird Box” is one of the second best thrillers I’ve seen in 2018. It does an exceptional job of grabbing hold of the audience at the very beginning and not letting go until the final moments. It hooks you with an interesting premise and takes you on a journey that while nerve-wrecking is so exciting at the same time you’ll find yourself screaming at the TV screen.