Here's What You Need to Know About BIRD BOX: the No-Spoilers Version
Bird Box has been out for a week and I already feel like I'm about a hundred years behind in my involvement in the hype. Oops, Netflix did it again and made another viral hit starring Sandra Bullock. Everybody's been talking about it, and I read so many passionate but vague reviews that I kind of assumed it just sucked like Sharknado. As with most things that are A Thing, I even gave it a number of loving nicknames, including but not limited to: Bird Pox, Bart Spots, Bark Spas, Barn Troughs, Bar Hops, Blart Cops, Bard Boss, and one of my personal favorites, Bird Bras. I finally watched this shit last night and I'm here to tell you what I feel you need to know about this movie, and I'll keep it low on the spoilers.
1. Bird Box is not exactly like A Quiet Place.
This was my first worry before watching it. The trailers look really similar: attractive people running through the wilderness with equally good-looking children and some form of sensory deprivation. Yeah, both have M. Night Shaymalan vibes. One feels reminiscent of Signs, and the other feels like a more expansive version of The Village. However, Sarah Paulson makes an entrance on screen in the first few minutes of Bird Box, and it's one of the first hints that shit is about to get weird...way weirder than A Quiet Place.
2. Sandra Bullock is AHMAZING...as usual.
Apparently, some nerds in my age bracket and below have been referring to Sandra as “the lady from Bird Box.” Really? You've never heard of Sandra Bullock before Bird Box? This is embarrassing. She's literally as famous as Julia Roberts (you know, “that toothy girl from Mystic Pizza,” in the immortal words of Ron Swanson). You need to watch another Sandra Bullock film basically immediately. While You Were Sleeping is a personal favorite.
3. This movie is solid in the creepiness arena.
I feel like Netflix has that breathless, slow-building fear blueprint locked down for life. I held my breath during Stranger Things, I held it during Insatiable, I almost lost consciousness during The Haunting of Hill House, and dagnabbit they did it again with Bird Box. I’ve heard complaints that it was occasionally hokey, and that some parts felt a little contrived, relying heavily on classic horror tropes. I don't disagree that some parts felt a little cheesy, but honestly? They felt cheesy in a very creepy and intentional way to me. So yes, if you're a fan of the ghoulish and the macabre, you will have seen some of these concepts before. I just feel like it works.These are the kinds of scenes that lure you into a false sense of security before upping the ante to something really effed up.
4. On that note, parts of this movie are kind of effed up, and this really could be triggering to some.
Again, no spoilers but if you have postpartum depression/anxiety, are sensitive to kids being scary situations, are triggered by gore/guns, or are deeply affected by storylines involving suicide: don't watch right now. You're not missing anything too important.
5. Trevante Rhodes is one of the sexiest humans alive.
Recently Candor published an article about Idris Elba that sparked some debate between myself and my colleagues: is Idris like SO SUPER HOT? I was in the minority with my feeling that meh, he's just alright. Well, colleagues and friends, may I submit Trevante for your consideration? He plays a strong, nurturing, kind, and sexxxy male with little-to-no stench of toxic masculinity.
6. The ending is really surprising, but hang in there till the end if you can.
Listen, I’m not going to spoil the end of this for you. I will say that it’s worth hanging in there. You’re going to see a lot of actors along the way that you recognize (John Malkovich!) You’re going to endure a two-hour-long gender reveal party because Bullock just calls the two kids “Boy” and “Girl.” There will be moments that are poorly acted, and there will be moments when you’re wondering why this is such a hit. Just know, the ending is surprising and you’ll probably be glad you saw it through.
If you’re in the same boat (har har har, this is a Bird Box joke) as I was in and you’re wondering if this is worth your time, consider my rating: a solid “sure, give it a try.” It’s trepidatious, riddled with actors you know you’ve seen somewhere before, poignant enough that you’ll have some good vibes, and Sandra and sexy Trevante rock this out.
If you’ve seen it, what did you think?