“Bird Box” with Sandra Bullock has inspired many spectators

The movie Bird Box, released on the streaming platform, that is a strange craze among some spectators.

After the terrifying Momo Challenge, or the wet Ice Bucket Challenge. The internet has just invented the “Bird Box Challenge”. Inspired by the movie Bird Box, released on the Netflix platform on December 21, 2018. This challenge requires moving blindfolded, like the main character played by Sandra Bullock.

Because in the feature film directed by Susanne Bier and adapted from a book by Josh Malerman. It released in 2014, humans live in a post-apocalyptic world, in which they must blind their eyes if they want to survive.

Adapted from the eponymous novel by Josh Malerman published in 2014

This post-apocalyptic horror film staged by Danish director Susanne Bier (Revenge, Serena). Ambitious less openly authorist than the latter. He nevertheless adopts prestigious attire (solid cast including Sandra Bullock and John Malkovitch, use of Scope format …) and put on a promising concept.

And if, unfortunately, they come to look at the world around them without filter, mysterious forces could certainly push them to suicide … In this film, watched, according to Netflix, by more than 45 million people, Sandra Bullock embodies Malorie. A mother of two (only named Boy and Girl) trying to reach a survivor’s camp through a rough river, maneuvering a boat without being able to see where she is going.

A woman and two children set off on a dangerous blind journey along a river to reach a hypothetical sanctuary. Five years earlier, Malorie. Who was pregnant at the time, is trying to cope with a group of survivors with the first onslaught of a mysterious force that decimates the world’s population. All who open their eyes sink into suicidal madness.

A mug of inappropriate influences

Marketing concept rather than artistic idea, the blindness supposed to give color to the film being solved in a simple unthinking gimmick in terms of staging. That is a transposition of sensory deprivation of Without a sound (beautiful silent fantasy film staged by John Krasinski) from hearing to sight. We must see these river sequences to deflate in an artificial multiplication of the point of view (since the boat, since the shore, since the drones offered by the production). Which does not create any anxiety (it is far from the eyes of disturbing birds of The Ornithologist João Pedro Rodrigues).

Beyond this decal of a recent success (more lucky than cynical, the production of Bird Box having been launched before the release of Without a sound). The film seems to have been written by a massive digestion algorithm that would have drawn in a vast cinematic buffet the elements of its industrial recipe. If the work of Mr. Night Shyamalan, especially the unloved (wrongly) Phenomena, appears as his most obvious influence (on the verge of plagiarism during scenes of collective madness or for the way to materialize an invisible force by vegetable rustling). He has neither visual power nor stainless empathy.

Added to the drumming is a post-apocalyptic wandering traced by Cormac McCarthy’s Road. That is a group of survivors from The Strain by Guillermo Del Toro. And a supermarket unearthed in Dawn of the Dead by George Romero, a courageous mother embarked from La Wild river Curtis Hanson. And caged birds captured at Hitchcock … The calls of foot cinephiles and signs of recognition geeks multiply without the sum of borrowing. That is to a new emotion.

A story played in advance

As the film progresses, we realize that the viewer is always one step ahead of the story, and that by pausing the player it is often possible to guess the replica. The scene or the plan next (would it be the interactivity of content promised by Netflix?).

Some examples (and big revelations): we guess immediately. Who will come to look for Malorie when she hides under the duvet with the two newborns, or that the bearded manacing on the bank will come to attack the boat. Same observation at the level of the characters, roughly characterized (the geek, the grandpa reaction …). Which we embrace at first glance the destiny (still revelations: The young pregnant woman is obviously the mother of the little blond girl that protects Malorie. So she will have to die, the old con played by John Malkovitch. That is too obviously unfriendly for the film does not offer a sacrificial redemption …).

Far from stirring up the suspense, this stroke of advance works as a sedative administered to the spectator a little stressed, who knows that the return to balance and the known is only a matter of minutes, that the film will always return in his gongs. This absence of risk-taking kills in the bud the few beautiful staging ideas (driving a car to the GPS and blind, unrolling a breadcrumb trail so as not to lose children …) and defuses each potentiality of trouble.


Rating: R (for violence, bloody images, language and brief sexuality)
Genre: Drama, Mystery & Suspense, Science Fiction & Fantasy
Directed By: Susanne Bier
Written By: Eric Heisserer
Stars: Sandra Bullock, Trevante Rhodes, John Malkovich
In Theaters: Dec 13, 2018 Limited
On Disc/Streaming: Dec 21, 2018
Runtime: 117 minutes
Studio: Netflix

Cody Corrall
It squanders an opportunity for thoughtful commentary on trauma and survival.

Richard Brody
Unfortunately, Bird Box puts these performers through familiar paces, in roles of such tight typecasting that they seem like recurring characters in an extended TV series…

Amy Nicholson
Bird Box’s pieces feel forcibly screwed together, a movie marionetted by strings of data code. There’s good scenes and smart ideas, but overall, the movie mostly clomps.

Bonnie Burton
By the end of the film, I started to wish I’d blindfolded myself. In fact, I started to root for the monsters.

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