From half the bad or not-so-great reviews I’ve seen, I expected Bird Box to be far worse than what I just watched, and perhaps that’s the reason I enjoyed it. I usually go into movies not expecting much anyway, which is why I thoroughly enjoyed Aquaman…plus, y’know, Jason Momoa…because years ago I followed the hype of a movie from its Sundance debut and by the time it was over, my brother and I sat in the theatre staring at the screen, and all I can recall thinking was, “That’s It?” So. Utterly. Disappointing. I decided that was never going to happen again.
Then, in college, I took a class called “Contemporary U.S. Literature and Film,” where I studied books and movies like Fight Club, Chocolat, and Memento (side note: the Girl, Interrupted book is entirely different from the movie, and the movie is ten times better, in my opinion). In this class, we studied the books, we studied the movies, and we learned about adaptation, and every movie is an adaptation from its original story.
But I digress…
One of the scariest aspects about end of the world or post-apocalyptic scenarios like this one, which was pretty fucking original, if you ask me, is the children. I don’t have kids, so I wouldn’t have to worry about them in this type of situation, but having them in this situation is absolutely frightening. I mean that two ways. Literally giving birth in a world where you either can’t make a sound (A Quiet Place), or you can’t look at the monsters around you while you attempt to merely survive is truly horrifying. Invisible monsters? Nope. That’ll be a fuckyouverymuch from me.
I didn’t find the time jumping (they’re called flashbacks, people) hard to follow at all, and I was only a little more than half-watching this movie, but if you walk away from it for even a moment, you’re going to miss something. We’re given *just* enough information at the beginning to understand the main character, Malorie (played by Sandra Bullock), and even more interspersed throughout as to why she acts the way she does. Same goes for Tom (played by Trevante Rhodes), a good-hearted, brave and strong male lead who just made me smile. Tom brings out Malorie’s human side, and the acting on both parts is fantastic. John Malkovich is always fun to watch, regardless of the role he’s portraying, which is Douglas here, a divorce attorney, if memory serves, whom you’ll love to hate.
All in all, I only had a few minor issues with the movie, none of which are important enough to mention here. You’d have to sit and watch a movie with me for those while I yell at the screen (and now my clients understand the edits I send them). I’m kidding. I only really do that when I’m alone so I don’t ruin things for others, though I do sometimes whisper.
Bird Box had me concerned about jump scares (read: I may have covered my face with my hands a few times) and got my heart thumping a little faster and hitched my breath a few times. If you like suspense, watch it, because it doesn’t get much more suspenseful than walking around blind so you can’t see the invisible monsters!
Excuse me while I go feed the birds in my back yard.
PS: Otis lives (TWD reference for those who don’t watch).