Movie Review: ‘Bird Box’

Claire Lawrence

More stories from Claire Lawrence

Recently, Netflix has been killing the movie game by constantly refreshing social media feeds with new and exciting films for people to sit down and enjoy. A few weeks after seeing all the buildup for Netflix’s new thriller movie, “Bird Box”, which came out in mid-December, I casually sat down on a rainy night to watch and see what all the fanfare was about. This movie shocked me most with it’s unpredictable cast that included John Malkovich, Trevante Rhodes, rising actress Danielle Macdonald and Academy Award winner Sandra Bullock.

In “Bird Box”, ominous creatures have invaded people’s daily lives, causing an outbreak of mass suicide and throughout the film, it’s discovered that you are only affected by the monsters if you look at them. The story starts by following single mother Malorie, as she embarks on a dangerous journey to safety with two young children. In order to complete the journey successfully and avoid the evil that’s lurking all around them, they have to cover their eyes and embark on the trip blindfolded. The film flips back and forth between the past and the present, forcing audience members to keep up with the plot line, leaving them engaged and also on the edge of their seats.

To have a successful horror or thriller movie, filmmakers have to make sure they know what they’re doing. If a scary film doesn’t have enough scary factors throughout the story, then audience members will get bored and lose interest. Without good effects to aid a scary story, the message can also be lost. “Bird Box”’s director Susanne Bier and screenplay writer Eric Heisserer incorporated many different sound and imagery effects throughout the film that engrossed audience members and got them to pay attention. Once someone is paying attention, the few jump scares that occur will surely get their heart racing. Another playing factor that made the thrilling movie that much better was Bullock’s performance. She captured the character perfectly, a distant women who got stuck in the wrong place at the wrong time, and was able to successfully convey the intensity of the situation in the film.

As I mentioned earlier, the auditory effects throughout the film, like the score and the constant bird chirping, made for a spine-chilling experience. As a movie watcher, I noticed the score mainly consisted of a building orchestral pieces, as most horror movies do, but there was also a more lighter side to it that occured during emotional scenes. Having both music effects helps people watching the movie follow along with the rollercoaster of emotions. Another auditory effect I noticed was the bird chirping that would follow Malorie and the children as the traveled. In the movie, the birds represent the only peace left in the world, because they can warn humans when the monsters are near. The chirping constantly happening throughout their journey means danger is always around them, no matter what, and is a reminder to the audience watching just out deadly the situation is for the characters.

Most Netflix original movies have been following a darker, more thrilling path. I personally enjoy this because I think scary movies are always fun to watch on nights when you’re alone and have an itch for a scare, or when a bunch of friends are over to make for a riveting sleepover. But out of all the selections I’ve scrolled through and ended up watching, “Bird Box” definitely takes the cake for being the best. Even if you aren’t a fan of scary movies, “Bird Box” is still one you should check off your watch list. The mind-bending and horrifying concept is one that will definitely keep you on your toes and you won’t leave you couch disappointed.