Is the apocalyptic Sandra Bullock thriller Birdbox a hit for Netflix? Yes and no. Yes, in the regard that Netflix is streaming and producing more and more theatre worthy films (ie, Mudbound). Yes, because it is a throwback to classic thriller/suspense stories like Rod Serling’s Twilight Zone or any Hitchcock film. So, what’s the problem? Let me point out some good things.
Birdbox starts out hella strong with a monologue from Malorie (Sandra Bullock) explaining to two small, terrified kids if they look or take off their blindfolds “they are dead.” At first, you think maybe she’s a kidnapper and is uber mean to scare their pants off. You quickly realize she’s their Mom and is scaring them into staying close to her and keeping the blindfolds on for their safety.
The film doesn’t waste anytime getting to the heart of the matter, displaying disturbing images of a woman stepping into a burning car looking for her dead mother, another young woman on a pedestrian hospital gateway banging her head against glass or literally stepping in front of a moving bus. Why? Apparently, there is a toxic virus infiltrated by demons that is causing humans to commit suicide. Y’all know I am not the chick for horror stuff, so all of this was wayyyyy outside my comfort zone as an audience member. The remainder of the film is spent figuring out how to avoid the virus to stay alive, culminated by a rapid river run with blindfolds. However, bright spots included Trevante Rhodes (Moonlight) as a romantic lead/hero was quite refreshing and John Malkovich being the ultimate curmudgeon was hilarious at best.
So, what’s my issue. Ummm…not so sure while trying to escape a demon you’re gonna get busy and take a nap not knowing whether or not you, your boo and the kids are truly safe. Not to spoil it for you, the end was interesting but still leaves me with some questions and concerns.
Birdbox entertained me, but stressed me the hell out all at the same time. I spent half the film peeping through my fingers and jumping…just saying. You can let me know how you feel about it when it hits Netflix on December 21st.