‘Bird Box’: A Popular Flop


Photo via Netflix

Athena Zengewald, Staff Writer


2 stars

The thirst for quality, suspenseful movies was rumored to be quenched by the new Netflix Original, Bird Box. The day it was released, December 13th, 2018, contained plentiful bouts of hype on social media, as Sandra Bullock, a popular actor, plays the main character, Malorie Hayes. Fans across the world sat on the edges of their seats for Bird Box’s release date to see how the actors and actresses did, and they were let down. Camera angles, the flip back and forth between time periods and less-than-desirable extras took the hopes of a good movie and shattered them.


Netflix, unfortunately, has a repertoire for subpar original shows and movies. Even their film adaptations have a bad rep, such as Death Note, which got a 38% on Rotton Tomatoes. And after having seen all sorts of Netflix Originals, I honestly wasn’t looking forward to watching another. However, after much talk amongst friends about Bird Box, and the jokes regarding the “Bird Box Challenge”, I decided to give it a try with an open mind.


During the film, I noticed the astounding similarities to A Quiet Place. As the children’s lives were threatened, the parental figures splitting ways – and one dying eventually -, you could almost taste the similarities. Replacing the monster’s enhanced sense of hearing with affecting the victim once seen wasn’t the best move to pull. Don’t get me wrong, the story has great potential, but the application of it just wasn’t fulfilled as it was intended to.


To make matters worse, there are several points where the FX are shabby. In the severe rapids scene, you see water being splashed onto the camera, causing the screen to appear as if there is actual water on your TV or screen device. This special effect may disrupt the audience, as Bird Box was made for you to watch and enjoy rather than be a part of the film itself.


Close-ups in the eyes of monster victims were dramatic in the wrong ways, as well. To my dismay, the visibility of creatures was uncertain to none. I can only assume that the characters are seeing the monsters disguised as trusted individuals, causing them to not only hear their voices to take off whatever they’re using to shield their eyes but to see the person and tell them to harm others and themselves. But when the camera zoomed in on eyes of the affected, you could easily tell that people behind the scenes used simple lighting effects to get a “different” eye.


Cringe-worthy lines, unnecessary scenes, and a waste of plot at the end granted Bird Box appropriate negative attention from reviewers, but positive from the masses. I didn’t enjoy the movie simply because of the wasted potential, but it could be considered a good movie if you pay no mind to the details. Overall, Netflix has improved its movie quality, but Bird Box itself? It’s a 2 out of 5.