In the latest Netflix horror film, Bird Box, based on Josh Malerman's 2014 book, mysterious creatures attack mankind, leading people to play their deepest fears and commit suicide. Survivors who try to stay alive stay indoors with covered windows and remain open when they venture out.
Sandra Bullock plays Malorie, a mother who protects two children of monsters, that the viewer does not get a piece of … ever. And that's not even the biggest problem in the story.
You do not need to see a creepy monster for a movie to be frightening, but you need a credible plot. The absurd moments make the whole movie hard to understand.
At first, Malorie watches a TV news report showing that different countries are experiencing a rapidly spreading hysteria that causes people to act irrationally and to hurt themselves. During her hospitalization for a prenatal care visit, Malorie sees that a woman has repeatedly hit her head against a glass wall, for no apparent reason – similar to the events in another horror movie "The Happening."
On the way home from the hospital, Malorie's sister (Sarah Paulson) "sees" the creature and then deliberately delivers the car with a pregnant maloria in it. The thing is that Malory never sees the same thing her sister has and manages to do inside a house with other survivors.
After that, the post-apocalyptic thriller becomes completely frustrating. First of all, each character feels like a stereotype trophy – a gay guy who is generous with his house, a badly tattooed boy, a bitter man with a gun, a SF writer, a former soldier, an old lady who saves the day, and and so on. Do we really need many characters? Even they looked around in every scene, as if they knew they were filled.
As the film goes back and forth between past and present, it's hard to feel a sense of urgency when we see who survives and who is not before he dies.
Then there are unnecessary moments. Since the grocery stores – like the one abandoned by the first raid survivors – sell pet birds? And why are birds the only creatures that warn men of monsters (or the people that monsters have reserved to help them?) We hope other creatures like horses, chickens, kittens or ferrets will do tricks. Unfortunately, a movie called Ferret Box probably does not sound so compelling to watch.
While we are at it, how does electricity still work in a house after monsters have caused a large proportion of the population to commit suicide? Who is still close to a major city's electrical network? And how the hell did Malorie, two children and another survivor manage to find enough food at that time just by stealing nearby houses?
And why do people use thin fabric belts? It's easy for a woman's glasses to fall just by hitting a pinnacle at a child's birthday party, not to mention an invisible monster in the woods. However, those things remained in every scene of the chase, as if they were attached to the superglue.
This leads me to that dangerous two-day trip on a river full of dangerous gardens in a scavenger boat, with Malorie and two young children – eyes closed.
Even the most experienced excursionist would have problems navigating raw water in a bad boat. But taking two little kids on a ride on the river without they wearing the vest or floating on a swim lesson? That seems to be a bad parent.
Do you know what else you feel a bad parent? Screaming to two children not to leave the boat or hurt them. There is a protected parent and then behaves like Joan Crawford. Even with all sorts of shouts of Malory, following her simple rules, the children manage to obey and wander twice.
While the idea of a sinister force following my mother and her two children sounds like a fun thing to watch, all those unrealistic moments make me interrupt the movie to try to understand everything. And I could not. Not once.
Netflix says that Bird Box had a record-breaking debut, but by the end of the movie I started to want to keep my eye on me just to enjoy the story. Actually, I started to change my mind for monsters. Unfortunately, Malorie and her children have survived and found the safe sheep she faced, for which I am worried that we are heading for a follow-up. But next time, I will have my own box of birds to warn me not to forget.
Culture: Your Hub for everything from film and television to music, comics, toys and sports.
Movie Magic: Secrets behind the scenes of your favorite movies and movies.