Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Bird Box (2018)

Number Rolled: 60
Movie Name/Year: Bird Box (2018)
Tagline: Never Lose Sight of Survival
Genre: Drama, Horror, Sci-Fi
Length: 124 minutes
Rating: R
Production Companies: Bluegrass Films, Chris Morgan Productions, Universal Pictures
Producer: Susanne Bier, Sandra Bullock, Dylan Clark, Mark Cotone, Ainsley Davies, Alexa Faigen, Eric Heisserer, Kelly Helstrom, Ryan Lewis, Chris Morgan, Clayton Townsend
Director: Susanne Bier
Writer: Eric Heisserer, Josh Malerman
Actors: Sandra Bullock, Trevante Rhodes, John Malkovich, Sarah Paulson, Jacki Weaver, Rose Salazar, Danielle Macdonald, Lil Rel Howery, Tom Hollander, Machine Gun Kelly, BD Wong, Pruitt Taylor Vince, Vivien Lyra Blair, Julian Edwards, Parminder Nagra, Rebecca Pidgeon, Amy Gumenick, Taylor Handley, Happy Anderson

Blurb from Netflix: Five years after an ominous unseen presence drives most of society to suicide, a survivor and her two children make a desperate bid to reach safety.

Selina’s Point of View:
That was intense.

A couple of months ago I reviewed Cargo (2017) for Trust the Dice. I mentioned that it was one of the best zombie films I’d ever seen. Well, I guess someone at Netflix has the same obsession with end-of-the-world stories that I do, because they are not joking with these films. Bird Box is easily now my favorite non-zombie apocalypse movie.

The way the director, Susanne Bier (Serena, Credo, Things We Lost in the Fire), handled tension in this film was incredible. I finished watching it almost fifteen minutes ago and I still have this lump in my throat and line of dread weaving through my chest.

On top of that, either the screenplay writer – Eric Heisserer (Arrival, Hours, Extinction) – or the novelist – Josh Malerman (King Ripple, The Listing, Doctor Paradise) – (or both) put so much into the characters that it was impossible to not empathize with them. I have never wanted to see a protagonist have a happy ending more than I did in this film.

I won’t tell you whether or not they got it, though. Trust the Dice doesn’t do un-warned spoilers.

I do not think I should have watched Bird Box before bedtime, however. Not for the fear factor, either. It’s because there are so many dread-based emotions writhing around in me right now that I would undoubtedly have nightmares.

This movie was not paint-by-numbers. It was clearly someone’s passion project.

I recommend Bird Box to anyone that loves horror and is absolutely sick of the basic-bitch jump-scare bullshit that’s out there right now.

Cat’s Point of View:
I’ve been really looking forward to this movie ever since I saw the first trailer. Let me tell you, it did not disappoint.

I was excited to learn that this film was based off of a novel. My list of books to read grows exponentially by the day. My curiosity is piqued. I really appreciated how the production team approached dealing with the antagonist. I’m dying to know how it was treated on the written page.

While I do admit that I’m a bit hyper sensitive in regards to any ‘big bad’ potentially coming after kids, this story grabbed me and didn’t let me go.

The moments like those shown in the trailer where Sandra Bullock’s (The Lake House, Gravity, Minions) character screams out to not take her children are like a knife to the gut. When I find myself holding my breath and/or muttering to myself in hopes that things are going to be ok, I know I’ve really bought what a movie is selling. I was on the proverbial edge of my seat throughout.

IMDb mentions that both Bullock and the director nearly passed on this project. I am very grateful that they didn’t. I couldn’t see anyone else in the role of Malorie.

I appreciate that Netflix obtained an MPAA rating for this movie. A lot of their original content is self-rated. The extra steps to make this R rating ‘official’ goes a long way. I’m not sure that viewers really put enough weight behind TV-MA.

This is one of those movies where children might be integral members of the cast, but this is by no means ok for kids. Hell, this is disturbing enough for adults. So, keep that in mind when giving this a watch. You don’t want little ears or eyes around.

I have no qualms at all giving this film a hearty thumbs up.

Speech Available: English, French, German, Italian, Spanish
Subtitles Available: English, French, Spanish, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 65%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 68%
Metascore - 52/100
Metacritic User Score – 5.9/10
IMDB Score – 6.8/10

Trust the Dice: Selina’s Rating5/5
Trust the Dice: Cat’s Rating4.5/5

Movie Trailer:

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