Whatever you do…be sure to look


Liz Wilburn, Staff Reporter

Whether you’ve watched it or not, you’ve probably heard something about the newest Netflix original, “Bird Box.” According to Netflix, “45,037,125 Netflix accounts have already watched Bird Box — best first seven days ever for a Netflix film.”

Even acclaimed writer Stephen King praised the film on Twitter.

“I was absolutely riveted by Bird Box,” King said.

Whether you loved it or hated it, you can’t deny that it has become a trend. You’ve probably seen the ‘Bird Box Challenge’ on YouTube, or the endless memes on Instagram and Twitter. The heavy criticism it has received has not stopped it from becoming an internet sensation.

“Bird Box” offers a new spin on the post-apocalyptic genre, exploring the idea of surviving the end of the world without one of the most vital senses: sight. Adapted from the book by Josh Marlerman, the movie features Sandra Bullock, Trevante Rhodes and John Malkovich.

The movie opens with the main character Malorie (Bullock) gravely describing the possibly fatal task of reaching a distant safe haven to her two children. She tells them that under no circumstance are they allowed to remove their blindfold, or else they will die.

The narrative then shifts to five years prior when Malorie is a pregnant, single woman scared of being unable to connect with her unborn child. She witnesses an apocalyptic event, caused by an unknown creature that is said to take on the shape of one’s greatest fear, loss or sorrow.

The only way to avoid certain death is to become virtually blind, taking every precaution necessary to prevent seeing what is destroying the world.

One of the highlights of the movie is the authentic acting. Malorie prioritized survival over forming a motherly bond with her children, and was therefore unable to connect with them.

Normally this might make for an unsympathetic character and lead to the viewer’s apathy, but due to the strength of Bullock’s acting, it was painfully obvious that Malorie would do whatever it took to keep her children alive, even if it meant losing her own life, and this drive captivates our attention.

Despite the impressive acting, “Bird Box” is a movie best made for casual watching, not deep thinking.

It is nearly impossible to not be distracted by the many questions that remain unanswered throughout the entirety of the movie: Where the creature came from? Why it wanted to kill humans? and Why it killed solely through the use of sight?

To not be annoyed, viewers must suspend their disbelief and simply enjoy the ride.

There’s always the possibility that the vagueness of the creature was intentional, but it just comes off as lazy.

Instead of having a creature with some background to create a more cohesive story, you have a monster that feels like it’s been slapped together at the last minute.

Another aspect of the movie that seemed to have no logic behind it was why some people, instead of dying at the sight of the monster, were turned into something resembling a satanic worshipper that does the monster’s bidding.

Although “Bird Box” offered a compelling story line and brilliant acting, we were sadly left with more questions than answers. The potential for a great psychological thriller was there, but the execution left its audience craving something more, and we’re left to cope with the fact that we may never know.