Thriller “Bird Box” Scares Audience With Unpredictable Plot

Netflix’s Adaptation to Novel Intertwines Deeper Meanings into Engaging Screenplay


If someone is a social media user, there is no way they could have gone without seeing the latest meme or gif with Sandra Bullock blind-folded, as she is in Netflix’s “Bird Box.” Netflix aired “Bird Box” on Dec. 13, and since then, it has been watched by over 45 million accounts, making it the most-viewed seven-day film released on the streaming service and leaving viewers blown away with the special effects, acting and intricate plot.

Director Susan Bier adapted the 2014 novel by author Josh Malerman into a outstanding movie that uses captivating techniques such as flashbacks, special effects and outstanding acting while jumping between timelines. “Bird Box” grabs the attention of viewers of all ages through the post-apocalyptic drama theme that consistently engages its audience.

What makes this film so different from other thriller movies are the monsters. Although they are never revealed, the audience is able to come to the conclusion that the horrors are not visible; however, the audience can sometimes hear them. The creatures do not pick and choose who they target, but those who see them commit suicide, hence avoiding the effects by wearing blindfolds.

The title comes from the box of birds that main character, Malorie, and her children bring onto their boat while on a river cruise to seek refuge from the creatures. These birds are a warning signal that the evil creatures are near and danger is approaching.

Upon first watching this movie, viewers are not only entertained by the engaging and often humorous screenplay, but they may also draw conclusions to a deeper meaning intertwined into the plot.

As the audience knows, the monsters compel those who look at the creature to commit suicide, but there seems to be a loophole. Gary, an ill man trapped in a mental institution, roams freely outdoors unaffected by the monster. This raises the question: was he already affected by the creatures? Gary comes as a late addition to the group of unaffected people, asking for help and support. He claims to be alone and unaffected himself but acts suspicious. Questions between the members of the house are raised as to whether or not he is safe to be around. As the viewers later find out, the answer is no. He is a mentally ill man who feels determined to take on the quest to destroy humanity along with the monsters because the mentally ill relate more to the monsters than they do to their own species. Both a former psychiatric patient and a supermarket clerk who is referred to as “crazy” try to urge others to open their eyes into the everyday pain that they deal with.

Those who look will be affected, but these creatures do not pinpoint certain people, just as mental illness can affect anyone and impact their lives. There is no cure for mental illness. Though there are medicines to reduce symptoms, there is currently nothing to reverse one’s behavior, similar to those affected by the monsters in “Bird Box.” Once someone looks, he or she is forever hurt.

Ultimately, those who have not suffered the effects of the monsters are living in complete darkness. Constantly blocking off windows and wearing blindfolds, they attempt to prevent themselves from the harmful consequences of looking at the monsters. The monsters represent people’s own deepest, darkest fears, causing them to commit suicide. Agents of the monsters force people to take off their blindfolds and see their internal fears. By shining a light on mental health, “Bird Box” engages modern audiences with a unique conceptual horror that is unlike the jump scares and goriness of traditional horror films.

Many well-renowned actors contribute to the cast, such as Sandra Bullock playing Malorie, John Malkovich portraying Douglass and Danielle McDonald who played Olympia, who all do an exceptional job playing their role; however, Bullock carries the majority of the film through Malorie’s distressed and desperate experiences.

“Bird Box” relates to present day because today’s society can be scary and unpredictable. In attempt to comprehend those who are less fortune and mentally ill, “Bird Box” does an exceptional job at conveying a deeper message while still keeping its audience intrigued throughout the entire film.