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Bird Box

Bird Box (2018) Movie Poster
USA  •    •  124m  •    •  Directed by: Susanne Bier.  •  Starring: Sandra Bullock, Trevante Rhodes, John Malkovich, Sarah Paulson, Jacki Weaver, Rosa Salazar, Danielle Macdonald, Lil Rel Howery, Tom Hollander, Machine Gun Kelly, BD Wong, Pruitt Taylor Vince, Vivien Lyra Blair.  •  Music by: Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross.
        A woman and a pair of children are blindfolded and make their way through a post-apocalyptic setting along a river.


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Bird Box Bird Box is a suspense-drama with a touch of supernatural horror, however, the format is simple and full of the usual clichés. In this case a group of individuals are holding out in a house trying to ride out an invisible evil threat that is making people all over the world, violently kill themselves for no apparent reason. The movie is shot in flashback format where the main character, Molly, played by Sandra Bullock, is on the final leg of a trip where she is attempting to escape with two children. She is taking them by row boat down a river. During this trip she reflects on the sequence of events which got her to this point.

There is nothing new about this movie, as it embraces the usual clichés of searching for provisions, dealing with conflicts within the group, and watching fellow group members die, sometimes in a somewhat slapstick horror comedic sort of way. We've seen this so many times it's almost insulting to point it out. I bring it up because I consider this to be the first fatal flaw of the movie, lack of originality.

Matters only get worse as the movie is packed with the usual stereotypical supporting characters such as the gay guy, the obnoxious white guy, and the comedic chubby black guy. Also, there is the low esteem overweight and pregnant young white women, the old lady, and the black male protector who carries out his duties faithfully, but who also has an intimacy agenda as it relates to Bullock. These characters are what I would call disposable stereotyped characters because they're all temporary props, easily replaced vessels which carry the movie along to each subsequent bland cinematic destination. We know that for them, the future is as bleak as their lines and that each one will die at the prescribed time. This type of casting is insulting and easily reveals the shallowness of the script. These 2 additional fatal flaws ensure an anti-climactic end, because we have known since the opening of the film, that Bullock will live, and all we're doing at this point is watching to see how everyone else dies and if the ending gives us a sigh of relief knowing that we didn't waste our time watching it.

After an hour into the movie, it's five years later, we still have no idea as to the origin and the nature of the threat, and the group is whittled down to Bullock, two children and the protector, who is now her love interest (mission accomplished). They are just barely making it, when they receive an invitation for safe harbor at a compound. The climax comes however, when their safe house is invaded by the infected, and the protector lays down his life (as anticipated) allowing Bullock to flee down the river blindfolded heading to the compound.

The use of the supernatural bogey man of unknown origin and purpose is the ultimate fatal flaw because It no longer works. People can relate to fear, but supernatural fear which is randomly killing people for no apparent reason are not compelling plots anymore. Although there is a twist at the end, the twist does not make up for the structural flaws. Those flaws are self-inflicted by lazy and unimaginative script writing.

If we search for redeeming qualities of this film, it is the fact that it is well shot. It's not a cheesy B rated movie, and it has a few popular name actors who deliver quality performances. The scenes where Bullock must scold or caution her children are compelling and quite good, delivering the desired emotion one could relate to.

If you have insomnia, or nothing better to do, of if you're a Bullock fan, check it out. I stumbled across this and kind of wish I hadn't.

Review by parkerrodney from the Internet Movie Database.