“Bird Box” Proves Less is More

bird box
4star 2“Never lose sight of survival.”

Happy holidays – if you’ve been watching Bird Box, you’ve had a terrifying holiday like the rest of us.

Five years after an ominous unseen presence drives most of society to suicide, a mother and her two children make a desperate bid to reach safety. If you look, you will die is the basic premise, and it’s great. It’s simple, and it works.

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What’s great about Bird Box is that it uses my favorite movie trick of less is more to frighten the audience. It may be A Quiet Place 2.0, but it’s packed with enough heart-racing suspense and terrific acting that it’s worth the watch.

Sarah Paulson bird box

“Bier and her Netflix producers have made an algorithmic chiller that includes every trend from the sensory deprivation horror of Don’t Breathe and A Quiet Place to JJ Abrams’ mysterious monsters to thunderingly thematic sci-fi like Arrival, which screenwriter Eric Heisserer also penned.” via The Guardian

Spoiler: We never get to see the monsters of the movie. Why exclude the antagonist entirely? How exactly would you reveal a monster so terrifying that the sight of it causes victims to commit suicide?

Bird Box

Bier told Radio Times: “To be completely honest, every time I see a monster in a movie I kind of go, ‘Is that all?’ Because they (the monsters) tap into your deepest fear, we can’t ever see them, because that deepest fear is going to be different whoever you are. That has always been the most frightening, and I wanted the whole movie to have that atmosphere.” 

And, she’s right. It totally works. Eliminating the monster entirely leaves everything up to the imagination of the audience, but choosing this route also divided a lot of viewers.

It’s metacritic score is at an abysmal 52% with critics arguing that the plot is scattered with a cheesy supporting cast. One critic wrote that not only was the film a waste of time, but “one of those films where you’re constantly waiting for it to get good, and then the credits roll.”

Trevante Rhodes bird box

For once I can argue in total disagreement. While some of the supporting cast was a little contrived, cheesy and forced (I’m sorry…I love you Trevante Rhodes, but leading next to Oscar winner Sandra Bullock did not look good on you). Despite some of the C-level supporting cast, it’s Sandra Bullock who carries the film so effortlessly that you almost forget about the supporting flaws. A-listers like Sarah Paulson and Jackie Weaver are also so underused it’s disappointing.

It’s not a flawless film, but it’s also not as damned as some movie-goers are arguing. It must have done something right to be the ultimate movie meme of 2019, right?

Love it or hate it? What do you think of Bird Box?

 

bird box meme

10 thoughts on ““Bird Box” Proves Less is More”

  1. I liked it too, and I agree with Bier about not showing the monsters. I’m glad they didn’t, I don’t know how they could’ve done it in a satisfying way.

    Great review!

  2. I’m with you, I’m glad they didn’t show the monsters and I think the movie is much better than a lot of people are saying. Sometimes I think people look too hard for reasons to not like a movie, and I’ve never understood why. Great review!

  3. I don’t get a lot of the criticisms either. Yes it has some issues especially with how it uses (or doesn’t use) some of the characters. But I still had fun with it and ended up liking it more than I ever expected to.

  4. I watched it last weekend and liked it even less than A Quiet Place. Sarah Paulson was the highlight but she was there for 5 minutes and kept talking about horses lol

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