At Your Leisure – Bird Box

January 14, 2019

By John L. Davis IV

I’m not one to jump on a bandwagon. I dislike hype. Far too often I’ve found the popular film or book to be a letdown. When everyone’s talking about it, I usually just go on my merry way, ignoring the hype.

Many who know me, including you, readers, might know that I love end-of-the-world stories. From Stephen King’s The Stand to the 1980’s made-for-tv movie The Day After, I find those kinds of stories engrossing. Alien annihilation, viral plague, zombie infestation, it doesn’t matter how the apocalypse comes about, I’m happy to read or watch it.

When Netflix first released Bird Box, starring Sandra bullock, the hype made me stay away, for a few days at least. Once I discovered it was tale of the apocalypse, well, I had to check it out for myself, hype or not.

I’m glad I did.

Usually, as the viewer, we often have a fuller picture of the events surrounding the final days than the characters in any given story. Not so this time. We’re as much in the dark as they are.

We see the tragic and violent events unfold the same as Mallorie (Bullock) and the others. We know as much as they do, and we’re allowed to figure it out with them. There’s “Something” out there, invisible, but there. If you do see it, it’ll drive you to hurt yourself or others in the most brutal ways. Because of this the characters are forced to navigate the world blind, their eyes hidden behind blindfolds as they attempt to make their way to safety.

Mallorie begins the film as a likeable, relatable character, one that I found myself rooting for more than once, hoping for her survival. As the film draws on, she became, to me, a little less likable, simply because of some of her personal choices. Her character is strong and well written, though not always your favorite person.

Although many claimed that the movie was truly frightening, I didn’t see it that way. It was certainly intense, with some harrowing moments, especially later in the film, and there are some splattery scenes worthy of any good horror flick. Bird Box is more intense thriller than straight horror, with elements of drama, science-fiction and a dash of fantasy, all mixed together well, with a story that definitely left me wanting more.

For some of you, Sandra Bullock may be the only reason you might consider watching the movie. If that’s the case, you won’t regret it. She gives an awesome performance, alongside a strong cast, such as John Malkovich and D.B. Wong.

Bird Box is available to stream on Netflix.

Do you have a favorite book or movie you’d like to share with me, possibly have it written about in a future At Your Leisure column? You can reach me at john@rallshe.com.