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The Seattle Collegian

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March 24, 2019

Review: ‘Bird Box’ brings unseen horror


In recent years, Netflix has produced an impressive number of original films and television shows, thereby establishing themselves as a force to be reckoned with in the world of media entertainment and increasing member loyalty . The media giant’s ability to produce really good TV shows and films such as Daredevil, Making a Murderer, and Stranger Things have made Netflix millions in revenue.

Bird Box (2018) is one of these originals, and it’s well worth the hype currently surrounding it.

While watching Bird Box, I couldn’t help but notice elements from other films like The Happening (2008) by M. Night Shyamalan and this year’s brilliant A Quiet Place. Bird Box is one of those films that sneaks up on you; it’s scary and unpredictable, which makes it above average. The film stars the always great Sandra Bullock in her first horror movie film role as Malorie, a mother who is forced to deal with a terrifying haunted world. In the film we first meet Bullock’s character Malorie taking two children down a river blindfolded, but the story then flashes back to 5 years earlier.

The premise of the horror is that humans must blindfold themselves and hide due to something that makes people kill themselves when they lay eyes on it. The first character to die in the film is Bullock’s sister, who is played by Sarah Paulson of American Horror Story (2011-present). Paulson is no stranger to horror and gives a good performance despite having very little screen time. Fleeing to her house, Malorie and several other survivors try to make sense of the situation and survive this apocalyptic event.

Tom, one of the survivors, is played by Trevante Rhodes of the Oscar-winning film Moonlight (2016). Rhodes gives a really good performance; while other actors like John Malkovich, Rose Salazar and Lil Rel Howery provide a somewhat decent supporting character arc, they’re nowhere as good as Rhodes and Bullock. This is less to do with their acting and more to do with the fact that the characters are written as pretty one dimensional; they’re just there to fall victim to the unknown threat.

birdboxBird Box is full of chilling moments, like when Bullock and the two children must run from monsters in the woods while totally blindfolded, or even the aforementioned scene of visionless white water rafting. While Bird Box isn’t wholly original, it does play on our everyday fears, especially fear of the unknown, with great success. The cause of the epidemic in the film is not explained; director Susanne Bier lets viewers use their imagination to come up with something suitably horrifying. I wouldn’t mind seeing a sequel, since many of the questions raised by the film go unanswered, leaving me to come up with my own answers. I encourage those of you who haven’t seen Bird Box to check out the film and draw your own conclusions.

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