Bird Box

Directed by Susanne Bier and based on Josh Malerman’s novel, ‘Bird Box’ made a big splash when it debuted on Netflix in 2018. Having an Oscar winning star as the lead didn’t hurt either. Whilst Sandra Bullock hasn’t the greatest acting range, it’s interesting seeing her tackle the horror genre. It also shows the potency of today’s steaming world with its ability to hype products in order to gain viewers. With more high profile actors turning to television for more substantial roles, the reversal of the old ‘tv to cinema’ route is complete with works like ‘Bird Box’ further cementing this.

Living in a post-apocalyptic world, Malorie (Sandra Bullock) is on the run with her two children. Her pursuer is a sinister supernatural entity forcing people to look at it and suicide. Wearing a blindfold so she can avoid this fate, Malorie crosses rivers and mountains for safety. Along the way, meeting among others, Cheryl (Jackie Weaver), Douglas (Jon Malkovich) and Greg (BD Wong). All battle to survive the shadowy evil waiting to strike when they least expect it.

Although thinly plotted, ‘Bird Box’ is consistently gripping. From the first frame, it notches up the tension with ease. Malorie’s strong-willed personality is immediately apparent as her constants fight for survival pushing her to the limit. Bullock equips herself well, displaying an emotional gravitas previously unseen. Whilst her co-stars are equally strong, ‘Bird Box’ is Bullock’s show all the way.

Under Susanne Bier’s direction, ‘Bird Box’ almost manages to avoid feeling derivative. Whilst aspects of familiar horror tropes creep in, there’s enough originality to make for captivating viewing. The loss of sight gives the characters a vulnerability from the start with the unseen menace posing genuine threat. Bier handles these scenes well, relying on atmosphere than grisly visuals.

‘Bird Box’ generally thrives due to its high calibre cast and script. Bullock puts in a rare good performance with the drama/horror field suiting her limited range. Whist the cinematic experience isn’t about to show its final credits just yet, more films like ‘Bird Box’ increases the allure of streaming with it providing its own unique movie experience.

Rating out of 10: 7


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