By Kira Stallworth
Bird Box starts in a normal society until people begin committing suicides for reasons unknown. When Malorie Hayes’ sister is a victim of the mass suicides, Hayes is heartbroken and confused. Once her sister is dead, she realizes many people are committing suicides and she is also unsafe. She later learns that people are committing suicides after they make eye contact with a demonic spirit. When someone looks at the spirit, the person feels a sudden urge to kill themselves. The only way to remain safe is to stay indoors, and to not make contact with the outside world. Hayes entered a house with a group of people trying to survive, but they could not stay in the house forever. Everytime they needed to go to the store or drive, they needed to wear a blindfold to avoid seeing the spirit. The rest of the film is dedicated to figuring out how to survive for the rest of their lives. The blindfold is the signature item that went viral and caused the Bird Box Challenge to take place.
The Bird Box Challenge is a challenge that went viral on the Internet, and even Netflix was forced to respond to the chaos. In order to complete the Bird Box Challenge, participants must complete an everyday task blindfolded. Netflix tweeted, “Can’t believe I have to say this, but: PLEASE DO NOT HURT YOURSELVES WITH THIS BIRD BOX CHALLENGE” after the challenge went viral.
Although Bird Box accidentally created a negative influence online, there are valuable themes the Internet is ignoring. Eric Heisserer, the writer of Bird Box, notes, “It’s better to face madness with a plan than to sit still and let it take you in pieces.” This displays the importance of taking action rather than letting madness, itself, determine one’s fate. Bird Box reveals to the audience it is more important to compose a solution instead of blaming the problem. Another thematic line is “How can she expect her children to dream as big as the stars if they can’t lift their heads to gaze upon them?” This proves people must be able to take a risk in order to set and/or accomplish a goal. Taking risks is a large part of this movie, and this quote exemplifies the value the attempt to face a challenge or goal.
Aside from the themes throughout the film, the cinematography is also outstanding. Especially scenes where people saw the spirit was phenomenal because the viewers can literally see the character’s eyes turn slightly darker. There is also a variety of cinematic nature shots including the evil spirit. The evil spirit was always shown as a gust of wind with leaves blowing around it.
Although this film caused more trouble than it was intended to, it was not a bad film. Bird Box is an interesting thriller, but it was not extravagant. The plot is basic and quite easy to follow. This film is still enjoyable and shot very well. All viewers must remember to not mimic the actions performed in the film, and only watch for enjoyment. Viewer must also remember to learn from the presented themes, and to never put their lives in danger. Grade: B-.