Towards the end of 2018, the Netflix original film; Bird Box, captivated audiences everywhere. Countless memes involving the blindfolds were spawned and no part of the internet was safe from them. However, despite being overexposed to these memes, I didn’t watch the overnight sensation until well into the new year. So does this Netflix original live up to the hype?
Before watching this film, I would often hear things such as “Oh, it’s just a copy & paste of The Happening.” Luckily, I’d never seen that film so I went into Bird Box with neutral expectations. So without spoiling the plot too much, Bird Box centers around the apocalypse being brought on by creatures hell-bent on turning the entire world homicidal/suicidal. Overall, I found the concept to be intriguing. The film makes the right decision of only giving the audience enough information about the creatures, but never revealing too much info.
In terms of how the actual structure of the story unfolds, I found Bird Box to be a mixed bag. The film starts out strong by setting up our main protagonist along with the atmosphere. You immediately care about the characters and the film does an excellent job of using the past and present to develop the plot. However, there comes a certain point in the plot when I felt that the film was beginning to drag. The initial shock and high of the situation wore off and I was just waiting for the conclusion.
For the most part, all of the characters were interesting and fairly fleshed out. Of course, some got more screen time than others, but the performances were great for the most part. The only issue was that a few characters made idiotic decisions for the sake of progressing the plot. Not only that, but I felt that the resolution of certain characters was extremely underwhelming. It felt as if the scriptwriters couldn’t think of any other better way for the characters to exit the narrative.
Surprisingly enough, this film was shot extremely well. The scenes showing the start of the apocalypse were standouts. The brilliance of the film is that we never see the creatures but the cinematography still manages to instill dread within the viewer. There are literally scenes where leaves are being blown by the wind to show the creatures in pursuit of someone and I was still freaked out by the film. Acts of violence within the film feel weighted and real. Meaning that despite there technically being a huge death count, every time a person meets their demise, the film manages to make the viewer whence in a minimalistic way.
Another complaint that I’ve heard about the film is that people were disappointed to never truly see the creatures. However, I found this aspect of the film to be genius because your imagination is far more terrifying than anything a writer can come up with. This reasoning may sound like a cop-out and an excuse for the producers to save money but I feel wholehearted that this was the right decision. The vagueness of the creatures’ origins combined with how visceral and real of a threat they poise just works. So did Bird Box live up to the hype? I would say that it definitely was an entertaining watch for sure. Not anything oscar worthy but I can see why the film garnered so much hype last year. With how well the film performed and was received, don’t be surprised if Netflix releases a Bird Box 2 within another year. Overall I give Bird Box a 3/5!