Unlike in ‘A Quiet Place’ earlier this year where if you wanted to survive it was all about keeping your trap shut in new Netflix film ‘Bird Box’ it’s your eyes that need to remain firmly closed if you want to last long. Based on Josh Malerman’s 2014 novel of the same name and adapted for the screen by Eric Heisserer, this latest Netflix outing sees Susanne Bier, probably best known for her work on ‘The Night Manager’, in the director’s chair.
After a worldwide cataclysmic event a group of survivors must work together and attempt to understand and evade an unknown threat ultimately seeking refuge in a safe, secure and sustainable location. Whilst similar in some ways to other post-apocalyptic stories, ‘Bird Box’ still manages to present an intriguing premise which immediately captivates. For some it will the lack a certain level of exposition to satisfy but it offers much more in its place. The story is told in a non-linear fashion, jumping between two different time periods. This method of story-telling can make films feel disjointed, disrupting the natural flow but here it works incredibly well. The two different timelines running parallel to each other keeps a quick pace over the longer running time and allows for much intrigue and suspense within the narrative. There are numerous sequences throughout ‘Bird Box’ which will evoke fear in the film’s audience, showcasing how less can be more delivering moments of tension with unnerving results to say the least.
The cast for this horror, led by Sandra Bullock, features a wide range of performers, with quite a lot of well known names starring. They work well together, creating an interesting group of characters with dynamics that are fascinating to watch. Bullock is fantastic in the leading role and delivers a lot of the emotion of which this film is so rich in. Much like other films in this genre it becomes so effective because it focuses on the journeys and relationships of its characters rather than just the furthering of the more obvious narrative. As a result ‘Bird Box’ is as heartfelt, if not more so, as it is scary. The supporting cast, which includes Trevante Rhodes & Sarah Paulson impress too but it is the story and the emotion conveyed through it which is the real success here.
‘Bird Box’ is a late surprise in this cinematic year and a definite highlight of Netflix’s content to date. Sandra Bullock anchors this compelling post-apocalyptic horror with an assured and emotional central performance. Furthermore, with Bier’s careful direction of this well adapted and effective screenplay the film quickly becomes an intense and dramatic ordeal that would have been a powerful cinematic experience. However its home entertainment platform takes nothing away from its strengths as its immersive quality transports you straight from the comfort of your own sofa right into the hell on earth that its characters are living. Will you be brave enough to keep your eyes open?
Written by Hamish Calvert
Rating – 9/10
Question: What is your favourite Sandra Bullock film?
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