Netflix rolls out its Sandra Bullock starring apocalyptic feature Bird Box this week, where what you see most definitely can hurt you.
Last year Netflix gave us The Ritual, which was a huge win, and The Cloverfield Paradox, which certainly was not. Now comes an apocalyptic movie, with the likes of Sandra Bullock, John Malcovich, Sarah Paulson, Lil’ Rel Howard, B.D. Wong, and Travante Rhodes starring in it; not your average cast for a horror film, particularly one getting the full Netflix treatment.
The story is from an acclaimed book by Josh Malerman, and the comparisons to A Quiet Place are obvious. The world is being changed by people having visions that show them their deepest fears, and something malign and terrifying is exploiting the human population. The story also bears a strong character to The Mist, where the exterior forces prove to be an existential threat, but the collapse of communities may prove even more dangerous.
The movie is divided into two major components. One delivers the onset of the events, while Malorie (Bullock) is pregnant, and the world begins to unravel. Fast forward five years, where Malorie has survived the initial onslaught, and the survivors have learned to blindfold themselves when moving about, and literally using a canary in the coal mine as alerts to when the monsters are near. (Thus, “Bird Box”)
Malorie’s mothering and protective instincts drive her to trek through what appears to be the northern California coast (the redwood trees are a dead giveaway) to safer havens. Will this film be able to invoke the same sensory deprivation response as A Quiet Place? Maybe, but the power of the Krasinski movie was in the audience being able to go through the same silent running mode. In this movie, to get the same experience would mean to run with the camera off and the audio on… not nearly as compelling.
Still, the book’s pedigree, the director Susanne Bier (Brothers) the screenwriter Eric Heisserer (The Arrival), and that fantastic cast would suggest something potentially special. Don’t let me down Netflix!
So, Scariest Crew… you’ve got a Netflix account, right? You gonna watch it?
Eric: Yep. There’s so much going for this movie, that I probably will have to give it a watch. I am always a sucker for a family based horror drama, though I am a bit suspect of some of the decisions that Malorie makes… a drift boat trip, blindfolded? That can’t end well. But it’s Netflix, and it’s free (ish).
Robert: Absolutely. Sure, it’s a direct ripoff of A Quiet Place, but it looks exciting if a bit far-fetched. I’m pretty sure if I was asked to run at top speed through a forest blindfolded with two kids under my arms, I’d brain all three of us on a tree in the first 20 feet. But I’m a sucker for “global disaster” movies that actually show the disaster as it starts. Plus, it’s Netflix! I’ve already paid for the movie, I might as well watch it.
I’m going with a straight up — hard pass.
This movie is rated R, and is available exclusively on Netflix. Stay tuned for a review and a book report from Liz on this one!