Friday, January 4, 2019

Movie Review of Netflix's “Bird Box”


By Lorraine Glowczak

Rated: R

“Bird Box” seems to be the most talked about Netflix's collection of original movies in recent weeks. The film is an adaptation of the 2014 horror-thriller novel by Josh Malerman and stars Sandra Bullock as Malorie Shannon.

Malorie is a recluse, painter and a single woman preparing to give birth to her first child. One day, reports come in that people in Russia are committing mass suicide for no clear reason.

While Malorie and her sister, Jessica (Sarah Paulson) are at the hospital for Malorie’s scheduled checkup, the bizarre circumstances seem to be moving their way to America. On the way out of the hospital, Malorie watched as a woman hit her head into a window, over and over, while others were screaming and running in all directions around her. Outside, the chaos continued as vehicles hit each and people purposefully hurt themselves, including Jessica.

Malorie barely manages to escape and seek shelter at a house with several other people, including a wealthy man, Douglas (John Malkovich) and a kind soul, Tom (Trevante Rhodes) to name just a few. They eventually realize the mysterious force that makes people kill themselves can only cause harm if people look at the unknown/unseen force. As a result, in come the blindfolds.

Much of the action in “Bird Box” is told through flashbacks between Malorie’s time in the house and time spent on a river with two children, a boy – named “Boy” (Julian Edwards) and a girl – named “Girl” (Vivien Lyra Blair).

During the flashback, the viewer discovers that Malorie, Boy and Girl are trying to find a walled refuge from the terror. All they must do is take a boat and ride the current toward the sound of birds. At one point, in order to navigate the rapids, someone will have to take their blindfold off.

Although “Bird Box” seems to be a hit among Netflix watchers, I suspect it will not win any major awards. However, if you are up for a psychological thriller and if you can handle the anxiety produced by the dizzying speeds of back and forth flashbacks, it is worth the two hours and four minutes of wasted time.