After the release of Netflix’s new horror movie Bird Box in mid-December of last year, everyone and their grandma took to social media platforms to declare their love for the new film. In addition to widespread praise, the movie spurred hundreds of memes and even a Bird Box blindfold challenge, furthering the movie’s popularity and relevance. Despite what people on Twitter calling Sandra Bullock “the lady from Bird Box” may tell you, Bird Box really does not deserve all of the hype and praise it is getting.
On the topic of the film’s publicity, Bird Box’s praise and popularity seemed to occur immediately, mere hours after the film’s release. Some people even began speculating that Netflix used bots to get the movie trending, and that the movie was successful due to guerilla marketing instead of quality. This is only a theory, but it does make sense, especially considering dozens of recently made Twitter accounts with tweets only about Bird Box, and the widespread praise of the movie compared to overall average reviews from movie critics. Furthermore, Bird Box simply isn’t a good enough movie to deserve so much popularity
Bird Box is not a bad movie, but it’s also not groundbreaking. It’s an average movie, and slightly above average horror movie thanks to its lack of cheap jumpscares. Bird Box is worth watching, but not worth getting your hopes up or getting tangled into believing it’s something it’s not. Bird Box is entertaining, but not much else. There is barely any character development, and the development the movie does have underwhelms. Malorie’s hostility towards the idea of children in the film’s beginning turning into her acceptance and love for Boy and Girl by the end serves as an overplayed, predictable character arc and a wannabe replica of Alan Grant’s well-portrayed internal change in Jurassic Park.
Furthermore, the idea behind the movie is truly not as original and groundbreaking as many people believe it to be. While the premise is by far the best part of the movie, other films have executed similar plots much better, including the film adaptation of Stephen King’s The Mist. A Quiet Place hosted another apocalypse plot focused on a basic human sense. While Bird Box and A Quiet Place are notably different, the movies share similar basic ideas, only A Quiet Place is a much better film.
One of the main issues with Bird Box, however, is the anticlimactic, so-satisfying-it-was-unsatisfying ending. The climax of the movie is practically nonexistent, and the ending could have included much more suspense. The film’s resolution seems much too happy and out of place for the otherwise gloomy and intense movie. I understand that many people enjoy a happy ending to an unhappy movie, but in this case it just seemed forced. It reminded me of the cheap, happy ending of 47 Meters Down after an unsettling plot twist on which the movie should have ended. Bird Box left me wanting more after an underwhelming ending, which if better could have possibly saved the movie from averageness.
I always love a good apocalypse movie, and there are plenty of great ones, but also plenty of awful ones. I would place Bird Box in the upper middle on the scale of apocalypse movies. The film was far from horrible, but certainly undeserving of so much publicity and praise.
(Sources: Medium, NY Times)