31st Dec2018

‘Bird Box’ Review (Netflix)

by Jak-Luke Sharp

Stars: Sandra Bullock, Sarah Paulson, Trevante Rhodes, John Malkovich, Jacki Weaver, Rosa Salazar, Danielle Macdonald, Lil Rel Howery, Tom Hollander, Machine Gun Kelly, BD Wong, Pruitt Taylor Vince, Vivien Lyra Blair, Julian Edwards, Parminder Nagra | Written by Eric Heisserer | Directed by Susanne Bier


In the wake of an unknown global terror, a mother must find the strength to flee with her children down a treacherous river in search of safety. Due to unseen deadly forces, the perilous journey must be made blindly.

Bird Box, based on the 2014 novel by Josh Malerman and adapted by Eric Heisserer, is the latest Netflix original from director Academy Award-nominated director Susanne Bier. A terrific cast lead by Sandra Bullock, with a supporting cast of Sarah Paulson reteaming for a second time after Oceans Eight, with Moonlight’s Trevante Rhodes and acting legend John Malkovich. Even with an Academy Award-nominated director and cast list, as well as unlimited promotion from Netflix, legally or not, I’m looking at you Twitter, Bird Box can’t get by as a sufficient horror or the basis of any form of any entertainment. In essence, Bird Box a two-hour long, dire drag.

The structure here implemented by director Bier and editor Ben Lester pays no compliments to a possible impactful story that unfortunately evolves into a redundant and regressive plot. With such little animosity or atmospheric tension visible on screen its difficult to determine if its the performances or the screenplay that is the biggest let down. The non-cyclical beats are dull and quite frankly boring. Bird Box prides itself on being an atmospheric tense voyage but fails to inject any of palpable evidence to suggest it as such. With every yard gained to further the film’s plot, cuts back to boil in the mundane and poorly scripted threads of relationships and character arcs.

Even when Bird Box finally begins to find its feet the film sadly stagnates in the poorly implemented feature of on-screen believability. The often utlised production method that whatever happens off screen has a greater and deeper impact of evocative terror in the unknown is sadly dearly mistaken in the production of Bird Box. The initial assessment of such a method may be true but the conviction in Bird Box is far less efficient than the standard it should be utilised. The believability of terror is non-existent with how poorly implemented the iconography and themes are. Resulting in a third act that holds no weight and unfortunately rides on flat mysticism with a poor pay off that feels far too unbelievable to even fathom as contextually realistic.

Bird Box is available to watch on Netflix now.


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