Does ‘Bird Box’ Live Up To All The Hype?

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Does ‘Bird Box’ Live Up To All The Hype?

'Bird Box' film poster now streaming on Netflix. (Merrick Morton/Netflix)

'Bird Box' film poster now streaming on Netflix. (Merrick Morton/Netflix)

'Bird Box' film poster now streaming on Netflix. (Merrick Morton/Netflix)

'Bird Box' film poster now streaming on Netflix. (Merrick Morton/Netflix)

Juan Viruet, Entertainment Critic

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Adding to an already abundant amount of originals such as ‘Stranger Things’, ‘Roma’, and ‘The Haunting of Hill House’, Netflix has once again found itself with another home run in the form of ‘Bird Box’. Starring Sandra Bullock (The Blind Side), Trevante Rhodes (Moonlight) and Sarah Paulson (American Horror Story), this film has a lot of hype surrounding it; along with the ridiculously hilarious memes on the internet.

What ‘Bird Box’ has going for it is the prestigious presence of the female lead, Sandra Bullock. Sandra plays the role of Malorie, a pregnant woman who just like everyone else in this film, is caught off guard by the horrific events that are suddenly taking place in the world. Bullock’s performance by no surprise is great as she gives a believable and gritty vibe to the character. Definitely not her best on screen performance, but great nonetheless.

For fans of suspenseful popcorn flicks, this is probably the best choice to watch this year. The film is scattered with tension filled sequences that give it a unsettling feeling all throughout keeping the viewer invested in some of the characters but not all when a few eventually meet their demise.

A gripe I have with ‘Bird Box’ is the lack of character arcs and development. Every character is pretty straightforward; you either like them or think they’re worthless. Machine Gun Kelly and Rosa Salazar’s characters are the epitome of worthless to the plot. They serve no purpose other than to take up space in the home and eventually steal a valuable item from the rest of the group.

Although there are pointless and uninspired characters, the events that they go through are still entertaining to watch, but when certain situations happen there is no emotional attachment present to keep you invested in a majority of the characters other than Malorie and Tom.
Director Susanne Bier also nails the post-apocalyptic atmosphere, making the circumstances and characters feel hopeless with no light at the end of the tunnel. Having a blindfold around your eyes to step outside sounds like a major chore, imagine having to go through that for the rest of your life due to ‘your worst nightmare’ out to get you. A great concept with not the very best execution.

This leads me to my second biggest gripe of the film, the pacing and runtime. There is no reason for this movie to be 2 hours long. The lengthy runtime keeps certain suspenseful scenes running too long and takes the viewer right out of it. Good pacing and cutting some sequences could’ve helped those tense scenes and the overall film tremendously. If the film would have cut a whole 30 minutes of scenes, it would’ve been a more immersive experience.

The cinematography of the film as a whole and the look of certain scenes are very appealing when watching, especially all of the river sequences where Bier wisely uses wide shots to show just how lonely the characters are on the path they are taking to serenity. With great color grading and nice temperatures of the colors, the shots are a delight to see.

‘Bird Box’ at times is a very conflicting story though. The film feels as if its two films mashed into one. The house and river sequences are two different journeys that don’t really go together well. All of the river sequences would have worked a lot better as a short film or whole other film all together. It was perplexing to see the cuts back and forth through the different timelines making it cluttered.

Netflix has once again made a hit with mainstream audiences and garnered massive social media attention. Under all the hype surrounding it just lays an entertaining enough film with some irking problems that most movie goers wouldn’t care too much for.

Overall: 5.5/10