Bird box, Netflix’s new high-profile thriller, is a combined bag. There’s plenty that grabs you, and then there’s the ending, which is unfortunately so farcical that everything that came before it immediately sucks out the air in bird box’s metaphorical balloon.
bird box, like several other famous Netflix titles, seems like a movie written by algorithm, but it is in fact based on a 2014 novel by Josh Malerman, the kind of book that receives optioned a year before its release date.
The movie, directed by Susanne Bier, jumps back and forth in time. In one thread, it documents the onset of a mysterious invasion by invisible creatures that menace the population.
It’s a pedigreed, interesting project, one that gives Bullock a chance to put a toe in the streaming world, as so many of her movie-star contemporaries have of late.
Bird Box has an all-star cast from Sandra Bullock to the two breakout child actors who play Bullock’s kids in the terrifying movie.
Secrets, sex and betrayal ensue. thanks to an apocalypse-junkie performed by Lil’ Rey Howrey, the group comes to believe that they’re handling an evil that takes the shape of their deepest fears, and the only way to avoid going insane is to never look really into the outside world.
Pretty mixed, falling to the negative side, for director Susanne Bier’s effort that has a 65% positive critical score on the review site RottenTomatoes.com.
Whatever countering/informing influence Bier could have had on the story is drowned out by the hoariness of both Malerman’s original story and Eric Heisserer’s adaptation.
Lest this seem too harsh, Bier is capable of drawing blood from a stone. Her direction lends a sense of tension to some of the film’s set pieces, including a simple moment in which one of the children wanders off,
But in the final product, despite Malorie and the kids’ making it to the sanctuary, Bird Box offers no sense that the death-inducing beings are somehow benevolent. It’s all terror, however unseen.