Film Review: ‘Bird Box’ is as horrific as it is captivating

Poster
Poster

Starring: Sandra Bullock, Trevante Rhodes, John Malkovich, Vivien Lyra Blair, Julien Edwards, Danielle Macdonald, Tom Hollander, Sarah Paulson

Based on: ‘Bird Box’

by Josh Malerman

Release date: December 21

The Internet has been buzzing with posts, memes and spoilers of Netflix’s original film ‘Bird Box’ since its release a few days before Christmas. As a Sandra Bullock fan since ‘Speed’

— which marks 25 years since its release this year — I wasn’t too keen on seeing the American sweetheart in a dark role. As always, Bullock manages to pull out the rug from under us, as she proves her versatility as one of the most talented actors in Hollywood.

The film opens with a stern mother who informs her two young children that they are about to embark on a dangerous boat ride. She shakes them violently while shouting to them that if they don’t listen to her, they will die! The movie transitions to five years previously, where a pregnant Malorie seems to have trouble connecting to her unborn baby. Malorie and her sister Jess are caught in the middle of the whole town going berserk from the new epidemic. As it turns out, some sort of creature makes people hear their worst fears when they see it, thereafter forcing them to kill themselves. Malorie’s sister Jess is affected and gets herself killed. Mallorie runs into the first open house, where she seeks shelter with other refugees.

Malorie and another pregnant woman in the house give birth at the same time. Malorie survives while the other mother dies, forcing Malorie to raise the children herself. However, Malorie becomes even more emotionally detached from her children, as her only goal for them is survival. She even names them Boy and Girl. Meanwhile, Malorie and the children’s treacherous boat ride downstream is the only thing that stands between them and survival.

The film’s winning trait is its ability to draw parallels to real-life experiences even in its post-apocalyptic genre. It raises a lot of unanswered questions. The mystery and suspense are so horrifically engaging, so much so that as good (or bad) as it gets, we don’t want to miss a thing.

Star rating: 4 stars