Okay, so Malorie (Sandra Bullock) decided that it would be smart to name her two kids Boy and Girl. Boy. And. Girl. Why?!? It just doesn’t make any sense. If the writers were trying to display a post-apocalyptic world where there is no sense of identity, they could have just done that through the environment and overall tone, which they did (fairly) well. But no, it just seems weird.
But I digress.
Bird Box is a Netflix film that has an unseen monster, one that takes the form of your worst fears and forces you into suicide. It’s an incredibly interesting psychological thriller in using this concept, however, it would be considered much better if it had been released 10 months earlier, before A Quiet Place. Instead, everyone sits around saying how this is just a poorly copied version of John Krasinski’s horror film. However, I adamantly disagree with that idea. To compare these two means that the only examination was surface level, in the sense of “Well, in A Quiet Place, they weren’t allowed to make any noise and in this one, they’re not allowed to see”. It’s a purely trivial glance and does both movies a disservice by only examining the most apparent taglines the films offer.
While Bird Box does not measure up to A Quiet Place, in my opinion, this movie does have quite a bit going for it. Apart from the psychological intrigue, the movie boasts an impressive cast, from stars like Sandra Bullock to icons in Machine Gun Kelly. However, my personal favorite performance came in the form of Douglas (John Malkovich). How in hell does John Malkovich always act so creepy?! A lot of actors, like Hugh Jackman for example, complain about getting typecast, but John Malkovich has no problem being the threatening, dark character in every single role he plays. Although John’s performance is typical in the sense that it is seen in many of the roles he plays, he does it astoundingly well. He delivers an element of suspense and danger that helps contribute to the fall of man/post-apocalyptic element of the film.
Even though Douglas adds an element of fear and nervousness, the suspense is one factor that I felt was lacking throughout the movie. The most important part of any thriller is derived from the level of suspense that affects the viewer and leaves a memorable experience in their mind. Although there were certainly a few moments that were thrilling and slightly frightening, there was not a tense aura that permeated through other thrillers that cement themselves among the greats (Silence of the Lambs would be the best example). An aspect of this is that the “monster” is not able to be seen and leaves too much to the imagination.
Bird Box was a unique thriller that was certainly entertaining and fun to watch but did not quite have the ‘zing’ that cements a thriller as truly great. Despite this, the movie was very enjoyable and well shot, with a dramatic score behind it that amped up the action and helped deliver the avant-garde style film.
Rating: Nice, juicy Porterhouse