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Reed Alexander's Horror Review of 'Bird Box' (2018)

A Formal Apology...

Let me preface this by saying I've never been impressed with Sandra Bullock as an actress.  From Speed to Miss Congeniality, I've always looked at her acting career in general as meh.  In my opinion, the only award she ever deserved was a Razzy.

Sandra... I've got to tell you, I have never been more wrong about an actress in my life.  I was thoroughly impressed.  Sandy, why haven't you been doing more of this?!  This was amazing!  It perfectly showcased your capacity, not just to emote, but to sell a human response to an absolutely illogical circumstance.  There was never a moment when you made this look easy on your character.

So, needless to say, the acting was amazing.  Pretty solid cast as well.  They even had John Malkovich and Sarah Paulson.  And can we give a hand to Trevante Rhodes for his supporting role?

As survival horror goes, the human element in this movie was perfect.  AND THEY DIDN'T NEED ZOMBIES, FOR FUCK SAKE!  God I'm so fucking sick to death of zombies.  It wasn't necessarily a new concept in survival horror, but this was the best it's ever been done.  We'll get to more of that in the spoilers.

I do feel like they could have done a little better with the atmosphere.  There were tons of dead bodies just laying about.  These sorts of things draw all kinds of nasty critters and smell to high heaven.  They also sort of create a heavy atmosphere from just all the decay, almost like a mist.  It's just something they could have done better.

And you know what?  As interesting as the concept is, it wasn't particularly complicated and the story was really straight forward.  It sort of just flowed naturally.  I didn't like the fact that they decided to jump back and forth between how Sandy's character starts out and where she ends up.  It sorta spoils the ending as there's only a few logical places for the story to go for it to end up the way it does.

This movie is definitely a must watch.  Not in my top 20, I don't think.  There were definitely some huge problems with it, but definitely watch this.

Spoilers!!!

Why did Sandy's character choose to have a baby? She clearly doesn't want it, and doesn't seem to have any hangups about abortion. So why does she choose to have it? It seems like it was a pointless add-on to the tension in the movie. I mean, they add a pregnant lady to the movie later. Why have Sandy's character also be pregnant? There doesn't need to be two children involved in the ending of the movie. It might have set up a circumstance where she'd effectively be forced to choose which child she'd have to sacrifice, but then they don't bother having her character make that choice. If it was such a big deal to set that up, they should follow through with it. So if you know you're not going to follow through, you could accomplish the same thing with a single child.

Anywho, this movie is effectively The Happening, except not terrible. I think the screen writer examined everything The Happening did wrong and simply corrected it. First off, the idea from The Happening that trees were selectively killing humans was laughable. Second, Bird Box opens up a whole new mythos by having it be about some mysterious invading force you can't look at. Regardless, like The Happening, this mysterious forces causes you to kill yourself. But it goes further than that. It attacks your mind in a personal and intentionally malicious way. It can't get you to take off your blindfold? Well, it can try to convince you that it's your mother who wants you to take off your blindfold. It can't get to the humans who have barricaded themselves in a house? Well, it can raise a cult of humans who don't kill themselves but want to drive others to kill themselves. These fuckers were devious. It becomes clear that they can't interact with us in a physical way, so they interact with us purely in a psychological way.

I do think they royally fucked the movie up by jumping between timelines. Because they effectively start the movie at the ending, you KNOW that Sandy's character is going to end up alone with her kid and the pregnant lady's kid. I mean, if you're a horror fan, you kinda know that's going to happen anyway, but it loses a lot of it's effect by just setting it up at the beginning of the movie. It doesn't ruin the movie, it just makes it slightly disappointing.

But it's still an amazing movie and I still absolutely recommend it.

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Reed Alexander's Horror Review of 'Bird Box' (2018)
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