The world becomes chaos when an unknown outbreak occurs, killing many people. ‘Bird Box’ focuses on Malorie (Sandra Bullock), a mother who must take her children down a dangerous river to reach safety. To top it off, to stay safe from this outbreak, Malorie and her children must be blindfolded at all times while travelling down the river and through the forest. The film also provides a lengthy backstory as to how Malorie got to her present situation.
This film has a great opening scene that builds suspense, but that moment is gone shortly after, as we are then faced with a movie that decides to go back and forth in the narrative timeline.
While ‘Bird Box’ has similar tones to other films we’ve seen (such as A Quiet Place, The Happening or even the smash-hit TV series The Walking Dead), thankfully ‘Bird Box’ has enough to make selected elements in this film differ. Either way, it will be a challenge for most viewers not to think about those other films while watching. Perhaps it’s a key reason why this film landed on Netflix?
One of these different elements is merely having the actress Sandra Bullock as the lead role. She is a strength in this film, but sadly I felt she wasn’t utilised to her 100% full potential. In key dramatic moments, her responses can sometimes be delivered along with cheesy script and dialogue, which takes away from what should be a suspenseful moment. The fact her hair and make-up is consistently stunning while others around her go without is also something of a distraction for me. Nevertheless, it is her performance alone that is a highlight of the film. The film also manages to introduce other well-known actors including John Malkovich.
As for the film’s runtime, it is a lengthy one. I was surprised when I felt like I had achieved a significant duration of the plot only to discover that I had only hit the one hour mark and had another hour as well as more to go. For this film, I don’t feel all the elements of its back story was required. We have an opening that delivers tension and suspense, but first, we must know about how our leading lady and all the characters met beforehand. It is this backstory that makes the film drag and become overall predictable. I felt like the film had started to show its ending already, so when the audience is forced to watch a backstory…. we feel like we already know the outcome.
Overall, Netflix has managed to deliver another big film without the release in cinemas. For horror/thriller fans, there are elements to enjoy here, but there are also elements we have seen once before. Some will be bothered by this; some will be happy to watch these elements again. As for the film, some moments can drag and are ultimately predictable. Actress Sandra Bullock is the biggest strength of the film, which I feel is also something different for her film career.
Thank you for visiting! Walkden Entertainment is also available on:
Review Written by Peter Walkden