We HAVE To Talk About That Bird Box Movie Ending
We HAVE To Talk About That Bird Box Movie Ending - because it's all kinds of complicated my friends. Like more than you even know. IMDB
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Reader Rating: (42 Votes)

Ok, ok, ok. I’m breathing. I’m not yelling. I’m breathing. And I literally just finished the movie Bird Box by Netflix with Sandra Bullock. And I must be insane. Right? Because I’m hyperventilating about some Netflix movie? (Ok, I’m probably insane, but decidedly NOT because I’m hyperventilating about this particular movie. That is just a different topic for a different day.) So yeah, I just finished this fantastic movie – and yet? I’m flipping out? What is up with that? Eric Heisserer! My friend (ok, so he’s not a friend in the real world, but in my mind he is dangit), you absolutely destroyed this screenplay… like, in a good way. It is so good! Anyway… I’m still freaking out.

But why? Oh, we’ll get to that later… for now though, I’m not 100% sure that you’ve even seen this movie yet. Or read the book. You can’t enter the inner sanctum of hyperventilation until you do one or the other, or better yet? Both. Ok? So trust me (and not all the other movie review sites that are giving this movie one big pile of MEH for reviews) that this is a great little movie. It’s got an all star cast. It’s got phenomenal acting. The directing and the screenplay are brilliant in that they solve a number of nearly impossible problems from the book. I mean, how do you film a movie where everyone that removes their blindfolds die? Yeah, you don’t. That is a huge cinematographic leap you have to make to solve before this can go to the big screen… and it does. It really does. So, do us all a favor, step away from the scroll button on your mouse, and click this link over to Netflix, and watch the film first before you go further down this page. I KNOW, it’s so hard. But we will be so very proud of you….. right after you show a freaking modicum of self control dangit! hehehe.

Come on. That looks like goodness. It’s really is a wonderful celluloid envisioning of a truly great novel, written by Josh Malerman. Over the past month or two, friends (some who’ve moved on to other jobs, moved away, or just don’t even like me anymore because of deeply personal rifts caused by my desire to eat all their chips… I’ve done it again, haven’t I?) have contacted me randomly and out of the blue to tell me that Bird Box is almost out, and they want to be sure I’m aware. You see, because I was the one that read the novel, Bird Box, and literally made everyone I knew read it. I was the one that didn’t take no for an answer… because the book was just that good. Because I was the one that ate their chips without cessation. (Again? Dang it.)

So yeah, I had really really high hopes for this movie. BUT I COULDN’T FIGURE OUT HOW IT COULD POSSIBLY MEET THEM. Why? Because the book was so fantastic. Just nigh on perfect. And yet, film? Living Technicolor? Are you kidding me? Only a lunatic would take this movie on. It’s just not a great career move. And yet, Susanne Bier, stood up to the plate, called her shot, and crushed a home run afterwards. 

Bird Box Movie Walkthrough 

The architectural layout of the movie and book are really quite different. And yet, the changes are understandably different. There are also key plot, and ending differences from the book as well, but we’ll talk about those differences later. 

The movie opens with a woman, Malorie (played by Sandra Bullock – you know Speed Sandra Bullock, Gravity Sandra Bullock. Right.) and two children, drifting down a river, eyes covered, totally adrift. The film then jumps backwards in time, to a pregnant Malorie heading to the doctor for a physical. She and her sister, Jessica (played by Sarah Paulson of Martha Marcy May Marlene fame – which, as a freebee, is a movie I can’t recommend enough) discuss Malorie’s lack of desire to be a mother, and how she is going to cope once the day arrives. But while at Malorie’s appointment, there is an outbreak of insanity hitting the streets. They had known that something wrong was happening sprinkled around the globe, and now it has suddenly hammered the United States. And as they are leaving the hospital, Malorie watches as a woman bludgeons herself to death. And on the way home? Things only get worse when Jessica sees this uh, thing… too, crashes the car, and then steps into oncoming traffic. Suddenly, Malorie, finds herself pregnant and alone in the middle of a raging inferno of chaos all around her. But a woman, out of the blue, comes to get her, protects her, and then also sees this apparition. She then climbs inside a convenient burning car, and turns it into a makeshift pyre as she immolates herself.

Thankfully, Malorie is pulled into a nearby home owned by Greg. But Douglas (played the one and only John Malkovich, made famous by a million movies, the most appropriate for this site of course is Being John Malkovich) is 100% unhappy that she is there, having just watched his wife die to save her. Thankfully though, the other people taking shelter from the insanity on the streets took pity on the vulnerable pregnant woman and brought her in. Quickly, the people in the house learn that they have to cover up the windows, and stop looking outside. That whatever is going horribly wrong is caused by seeing something they shouldn’t. That to look outside is death. The band of merry survivors then begins to grieve their loved ones, and try to wrap their head around this new world they live in. 

Eventually, the house turns to the mundane task of figuring out how to stay alive. Food and basic necessities are the main concern. And in time, a woman wanders up to the house, and group decides to allow her in. Turns out, she is pregnant, and due about the same time as Malorie. Oh fun. Douglas basically goes ape. And as the demand for food goes up, they decide to head out to Charlie’s super market, which, as luck would have it, he locked up before he left. (Ok, pause, I cry bull crap on this particular detail. This is an apocalypse and we are talking about an untouched grocery store? Protected by a padlock? Seriously? The front of the store is all plate glass! But I digress. We are going to let this particular detail go.) So five of them cover the cars windows, and buckle up for a ride of their lives. 

And after a fairly uneventful grocery shopping event (all things considered), they hear a pounding at the back of the store. Apparently there was someone locked in the meat fridge, and he was talking about having been locked in, and that he wanted out. Uh, last I checked, this wasn’t a zombie was it? Sure enough, there was a madman inside the locker, and Charlie dives through to keep him from coming out. This, my friends, is the first hint that the “aliens” (or whatever) have different effects on different people. But let’s chat about that after the walkthrough.

Fast forward a bit, and we find Malorie and Olympia simultaneously going into labor. Which isn’t good, because it also happens to be the time when Gary goes completely bat-s%!& crazy. And begins killing everyone in the house. First Douglas, by opening up the garage door, as he systematically murders everyone in the house, until he is finally stopped by Tom before he can get to Malorie and the babies. (Gotta say, this scene in the book is one of the best scenes ever. It really was the culmination of a brilliant build up. Instead of drawings, Gary has a notebook he took from someone at the asylum I believe, who couldn’t stop talking about the creatures and how amazing they were. But in the book, we find out that the journal was actually Gary’s.)

So that leaves us with Tom, and Malorie… oh, and boy and girl. Then, one day, Tom gets a radio transmission calling out to them, and telling them that there is a safe haven. And that if they travel by the river they can make it. Well, obviously, it’s not as simple as all that if it takes her the entire movie to do it. And when Tom is bum-rushed by a group of non-blindfolded individuals, and killed, Malorie decides she is going to take the children and try to find this sanctuary. And off they go, drifting down the river for several days until they make it through the rapids, and then up the bank until they can follow the bird sounds to the school for the blind. 

What Causes the Bird Box Madness?

The very first thing we have to talk about, more important than anything else, is the cause of the madness. Why? Because the movie isn’t clear at all. All we know is that the madness started in Russia somewhere, and then quickly made its way around the globe. Like, within the same day. So let’s talk about a few different explanations for what might be happening…

Theory #1 – Viral Zombie Madness Outbreak

If you’ve ever spent any time considering the speed of a zombie outbreak, you know it’s probably not that. I mean it’s too fast. Or maybe what about a fast paced viral outbreak, it’s even much too fast for that. And even with airplanes and international travel the way it is today it screams around the globe in the span of a single day. So, what could it be then? I mean, I guess it could have been aerosoled out onto the ground in a plane traveling that fast. But then, how do you account for the insanity, and suicides? Is it just in the air? I can’t see how this could be. Can you guys work out how this could be viral?

Theory #2 – International Psychotic Break

There was a movie in the last year or two where madness was spread via the television screens that are ubiquitous. But I can’t, for the life of me, think of what movie that was. Gr. Anyway, could it be that the global populace was hammered by psychosis rending TV rays? Well, that would account for the speed of its spread. But, no one was watching a TV when they were turned. Ok, so radio waves? Then why wasn’t everyone in the general proximity induced to commit suicide? It’s clearly caused by seeing something specifically – and generally the things they are seeing are outside. Hrrm… that doesn’t seem right either.

Theory #3 – Alien Invasion

Well, there are a number of things that the book makes infinitely clearer than the movie – and this is one of them. It is pretty widely understood in the book that this is some sort of alien visitor, that may or may not be hostile. It is posited that the aliens are just developed in such a way so as to cause madness in human viewers. They accidentally mirror back to the viewer their worst possible psychological fear that induces suicide. In the book the force spreading the suicidal impulses didn’t seem to be doing it intentionally. They could have even been friendly. But the spreading death might have been an accidental by-product of their accidental skin makeup.

Theory #4 – Fan Favorite… wait for it

But is there another theory here that can beat aliens? Glen, below in the comments drops some goodness on us all and brings to us a supernatural explanation for the movie. Which, I love. These rustling leaves are ANGELS – bringing an avenging fire! hahah. No seriously, there are Biblical accounts of vengeance poured out by angels – like for example Sodom and Gomorrah – the Angel of the Lord swept through the city and annihilated anyone that remained. Egypt – God Himself swept through through the city and killed every first born that didn’t have blood on the door posts. Or, what if its some other spiritual attack? Ghosts, the dead? It could totally have been some sort of evil uprising from the spiritual realm. I like it as one of the most realistic explanations of this confusing part of the movie.

The Effects of the Bird Box Aliens

I personally believe that the effect of the attack is an alien life form. Doesn’t mean you have to. I’m just leaning on the assumption of the book.

Anyway, as you watch this film, if you come to it without having read the book, you probably said more than once… “Now wait just a minute.” before things became plain. If, in fact, they did become clear that is. But there are two distinctly different responses to casting a glance at the aliens. 

  1. Complete and utter insanity – that only results in the death of the person in question and those around them. 
  2. The only other option is that it causes a sort of epiphanic state. An “enlightenment” as it were. Or a feeling of revelation that this vision needs to be shared with the rest of the world. 

Why two different responses? We do know those who are mentally unstable have the secondary response, this euphoric epiphanic experience. Could it be that those who aren’t well adjusted see beauty and potential, where sane individuals see impossibility and doom?

About half way through the movie, the house gets a visit from a man named Gary (played by Tom Hollander of Pirates of the Caribbean fame). Well, we find out later that he has already seen the aliens, and yet, he isn’t suicidal… is he? Well, we know from his telling of the story that he was jumped by roaming inmates that had fled a local asylum. Who’s to say he isn’t one of the asylum inmates? And later on, we know that Tom (played by Trevante Rhodes) Malorie’s romantic counterpoint, is killed by a roaming gang that attempt to force any blindfolded people they find to look at the aliens. Could it be that they are recruited agents of the aliens intent on the destruction of the world’s last citizens? Or maybe their responses are just a chemical mistake that causes them to want to share the “greatness” that they themselves saw in the aliens?

The Ending of the Movie Bird Box Explained

Most of you reading this have probably been pretty intrigued by the details so far. Yeah, some are insane. Sure, sane people become suicidal. Got it. Right! And then you hit this section and you are finding yourself going… but there is literally nothing to explain. Malorie, boy, and girl made it to a refuge. They are surrounded by blind people because they can’t die from the aliens. The birds are a bonus detection system. What’s there to explain?

Well, you might find this as shock, but the book ending is really really different. I guess it’s literally the same, it’s a blind school, a refuge. But woah, is it really scary… and really dark. Instead of being this glorious refuge, it was a place where everyone new coming to the shelter deliberately blinded themselves as a form of protection. And it’s been a number of years since I read the book, but boy and girl are taken from Malorie intentionally. There are troughs, and shoots where they are herded through. Right? (I maybe making this up. But boy was that ending dark.) Rick, the head of the commune, sort of puts Malorie at ease telling her that they don’t blind people anymore… but wow did I not believe him, like AT ALL. It was a really dark ending. 

But here, in the movie, it is so gloriously uplifting as to be shocking. Not only do Malorie and her children make it, but she reaches a point of catharsis that culminates in the naming of her children. She’s obviously avoided naming them in order to not get too attached. It’s a shockingly upbeat ending as the world burns around them. It’s not to say that the movie version of the ending isn’t perfectly done. There was no way that an American audience was going to swallow the book’s ending. Which, if you’ve read a single other post from THiNC. you’ll know I couldn’t give a rat’s ass what the standard American Audience would like. Create the best ending possible. And yet, one of the things I wasn’t really fond of in the book was the ending. I just didn’t know what to do with it. It was partially consoling and partially disconcerting? It was unsettling in its confusion. 

A Final Thought on Netflix’s Bird Box Movie

Bird Box, the book, had one very important scene that couldn’t happen in the movie. Why? Well, because we never could see the creatures that were causing the chaos. Think about it though, in the book, it’s ok to describe the aliens because you still aren’t seeing them. But in the movie, the moment you show one of the aliens, you are supposed to die. Which, doesn’t work in movie adaptation. I even kept saying to myself, but how are they going to solve the alien problem? Who knew flying leaves was going to be the solution?!? 

But anyway, in the book, there is a scene where Malorie feels the presence of a creature on the other side of her blindfold. She chooses to remain calm knowing that the danger relies 100% on her removing her blindfold, which, she is never going to do. But the creature, tries to remove her blindfold for her. It pulls at it. Curious as to what that thing is all about. And then it leaves, leaving Malorie unharmed. Which sort of put to bed – for me anyway – this question of whether or not the aliens are hostile or not. I do not believe that they are. But you are going to have to opine below as to what you think. Are they actively destroying the world? The movie seems to make them out as world destroyers, and the book leans another direction. What do you think of the aliens? Are they even aliens? What is going on here?

Edited by, CY

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33 Responses

  1. Patrick

    In all my years on this Earth this is the absolute worst writing I have ever seen out of a human being. This is the new wave of young people and their writing talents or lack thereof. Obviously this person was giving a thesaurus for their birthday. It is becoming very common for Young Writers to use unnecessarily huge and almost never heard before words…. they do this on Rotten Tomatoes all the time. They think that they’re going to get some Pulitzer for writing a simple review about a bad movie. The ridiculous exuberance alone is enough to embarrass any reader… it was almost like reading a review from some nerd about Comic-Con. It is very difficult to read this new modern style of writing of unnecessarily long articles written as if the author was being paid by the word. I felt that article was ludicrously long and almost incoherent. It was like reading a book to describe what a movie was about.

    Reply
  2. Rick

    …The author, Josh Malerman, is 43 years old. So if your problem is with the writing, best to point fingers not at the young people. It seems short-sighted to dismiss a poor writing style not as the fault of an entire generation, but as just a poor style itself, you might actually enjoy something from young writers.

    Reply
    • Taylor Holmes

      Hey Rick,
      I do not believe that our dear Patrick was referring to Josh Malerman, but rather, he was referring to me. I got zero indication that he had read the book from that comment. The funny bit is, I don’t remember a single complicated or interesting word in that entire post. So if he found that particular post complicated or hard to understand, “incoherent”, then he wouldn’t do well with any of my other posts… that much is certain. I personally don’t write for a mainstream audience that is for sure.

      But you are right Rick, it is really lazy to stereotype an entire generation in a single comment about something someone hates. Just lazy.
      I digress.
      Taylor

      Reply
  3. Jaime Smith

    Thank you very much for your review. I loved the movie and didn’t even realize it was a book until after I’d watched it. I wanted to know what the differences were between the two mediums. You did a fantastic job covering both sides of the stories. I loved having all my questions answered. Thanks again! ~ Jaime

    Reply
    • Taylor Holmes

      Jaime,
      Glad you found it useful. The book is worth a read. It has been on my top ten list for a number of years now. It’s really a fun read. And would still be interesting even after you’ve watched the book. Anyway, glad you got your questions answered. That’s a personally rewarding thought!
      Taylor

      Reply
  4. Jessica

    I absolutely loved both the book and the movie! The only thing that really bothered me was that the movie made these “creatures” seem like they are trying to kill everyone, but nothing in the book suggests it’s on purpose. It also bothered me a little that the movie made Malorie out to be a bit worse of a mother then the book. In the book she’s a lot harsher but there was no mention of her ever thinking of having one of the kids take off their blind folds. To my recollection anyways.

    Reply
    • Taylor Holmes

      Hey there Jessica,
      Oh you are totally right. She didn’t consider forcing either girl or boy to take off their blind folds in the book. (Worse, in the movie, she told boy she would decide right after he volunteered, making us think she was considering forcing her non-child to look.) In the book she took her own blindfold off to navigate the rapids. She didn’t even consider forcing one of the kids to do it. I mean, seriously, how would that work?!? They don’t even know their rights from their lefts! gah.

      I agree with you Jessica – she was stern in the book, but not harsh. But I thought that that was an interesting take on the character and her development to accept the kids as her own. Anyway, great points all.

      Taylor

      Reply
  5. Becca

    You said it’s been years since you’ve read the book, so maybe that’s why you’re completely wrong about the ending. The children are not taken from Mallorie at all (in the next to the last sentence, she’s actually hugging them and talking about how happy she is that they are no longer alone). They also aren’t “herded” through anything. The book ending and the movie ending are closer in similarities than almost any other part of either.

    Reply
    • Taylor Holmes

      Hey thanks Becca.
      I do know that in the book, in order to get into the school of the blind, you had to gouge out your eyes (The Lobster movie anyone? Sorry, couldn’t let that reference go.) And only recently they stopped doing that. So yeah, this little “refuge” isn’t 100% goodness and light, that is for sure. But yeah, I probably have false memories of the separation, and the herding. Sorry about that everyone!!
      Taylor

      Reply
  6. Mrs. English

    Taylor, I admire your desire to write. Please use less questions and unnecessary question marks in your extensive summaries and reviews. Also, there’s no place for “celluloid” and “architectural” in this context. C-

    Reply
  7. Glen

    Hey Taylor,

    When I read something so ridiculously malice-filled like the first comment on this thread, I wish that I could get that time back. Reading his silly diatribe was truly a waste of time.

    Okay, so I saw the film but haven’t read the book. I saw the film a few weeks ago at a screening here in LA. The audience loved it. As did I. Then I watched it again on Netflix but I left the subtitles on. I feel like I got so much more information on the second viewing watching it with the subtitles. So much dialog gets missed as the film medium mostly tells stories via images.

    I think the movie points more to a supernatural explanation rather than aliens. Lil Rel’s character spells out various theories in different cultures worldwide about the end of days. Humans have been judged and have been found wanting. The spell that people that look at the creature fall under seems rather malicious. They see their loved ones that have died and then are compelled to be with them by killing themselves.

    When I watched the film with subtitles, I noticed something I missed entirely the first time in the screening auditorium. I didn’t hear or understand all the various sounds/voices that occurred until Girl almost took her blindfold off because she thought it was Malorie telling her to do so. Prior to that, there are several instances in which Malorie and Tom hear their names being called/whispered by the creatures. The subtitles really cleared that up for me. And that leads me to believe that there is nothing unintentional nor benevolent about what these creatures are trying to do to mankind.

    Now one thing has bothered me a bit after viewing it the second time. It’s Gary. Yes, I get that he most likely is one of the mental patients that escaped. But do you remember if the birds reacted to him at all during his time in the house? I don’t remember that they did. And another question: it seemed like he was fine until he laid those pictures out on the table. Right after that, he went bat shit crazy. And at a certain point after opening the blinds and windows, his eyes then transformed like it did with the sane people when they got infected. That doesn’t seem to fit the rules laid out in the film. You read the book. Did they explain what happened with Gary any more specifically?

    And I am also curious about the couple that ran off with the car. I’m betting they prolly tried to make their way back to the supermarket and just stay there. That’s the only scenario that would make any sense. Does the book flesh out any more details about them than does the film?

    All in all, I thought the film was a successful thriller. Intense. Riveting. And I think that leaving the creatures’ appearance and their intent up to the audience’s imagination was a scarier choice. I think Hitchcock would agree. What you don’t see is often scarier than what you do see.

    Cheers!

    GM

    Reply
  8. Casey

    Taylor, I enjoyed reading your insightful review.

    I don’t usually respond to other comments like this, but I’m making exceptions here: Patrick, ironically, your review of a review is verbose. Yes, I used the SAT word “verbose.” Also, Mrs. English, a grammar Rx: “fewer questions,” not “less questions.” I’m not being disrespectful to anyone. I’m just being helpful.

    Reply
  9. Cherrie

    I thought maybe you wanted to know, as I didn’t find this on any other “explanation” or review. The creatures aren’t aliens. They are your worst fears or deepest sadness, they are part of you. The “creatures” are the parts of yourself that you dont want to acknowledge. And the reason they are outside, and dont enter homes, is because Malorie didn’t want to go outside. I didn’t read the book, but in the movie she talks to her sister, at the very beginning, about how she doesn’t leave the house. As this is her story, her “dream”, it becomes about her fear of leaving the house. And her denial of having a child. Then she is forced to take care of two children. And forced to leave the house.

    The ending is simple, it’s a very common symbolism to free birds and let them fly. It just means she is free from her fear. It’s the point where the dream ends, and she would be able to walk outside and see the world.

    Reply
  10. Lyn McDonald

    Thanks so much for the review. I just watched the movie and googled and your explanation was the first one I seen so clicked on it. I will recommend the book to my husband as he is more a book worm then anything else (a very old fashioned handsome 35 year old one though Hee Hee wink wink). I read the first reply and thought it was a bit harsh but everyone has their own appoinions in this day and age I guess. The slack from the haters makes you tougher and stronger!!! Anyway merry Xmas all. Stay safe, stay happy & stay healthy and best wishes for the new year 2019 and thanks again for the review. I talk non stop and write like I talk so I didn’t mind that it was long explained a lot. Love & hugs xoxo

    Reply
  11. Jody

    Thank Taylor, I watched the preview on Netflix and thought “Oh boy Bullock is getting desperate for rolls, And thought I have not read the book or watched the move yet I Hate, Hate, Hate movie ending that leave audiences guessing or lacking a real answers. Before I watched Bird Box I had to read more about it, I stumbled upon your review which I found Fun, Throlling and involving. Thank you … I’m going to take my judgemential blind fold off and watch Sandra put hers on .

    Reply
  12. Eli

    In the beginning you had Malorie(Sandra Bullock) who was painting and in walks her sister with groceries nagging her… But in th mix of all of it, it’s quite clear that Malorie got pregnant on a one night stand and was left carrying this baby alone. She also never goes outside ( Fear?)

    What are the creatures?
    This outbreak of “suicides” and others of “seeing the light?” The “it’s beautiful” one liner from these victims thru out the movie?

    Well

    Whether it’s a calling from God, Aliens, or science entity….

    It’s clear that in the movie the creatures symbolizes Malorie fear of being a mom and fear of stepping outside..into the light pursay…

    Lindsay (‘malcovich wife) went out and helped Malorie and got caught up.. She seen her mom, and boom! Suicide!!!!

    So it kinda throw you off to what’s really going on.

    But also, if you guys remember the movie The Fog you know it’s quite the same!!

    I don’t think it’s Alien at all, but more of a spiritual awakening and physical ending!

    And as for the the rest who were left surviving this apocalypse… Well the ending didn’t leave us know justice.

    Reply
  13. Buddy

    I read the book this past summer and couldn’t wait to see the movie. As with one of my other favorite films of late, Get Out, I found the movie to perhaps have some socio-political symbolism. The fact that a certain (presumably smaller) percentage of people can see the entity without being affected reminds me of how, in real life, a certain percentage of the population can see what’s going on politically in the US and around the world and think that it’s a good thing. Compelling theory until I remind myself that the book was written two years before 11/8/2016! Oh well. Anyway, thoroughly enjoyed both the movie AND book and will probably re-read the book this coming weekend.

    Reply
  14. Darlene

    Hi! Thanks so much for your explanation on the book, it cleared up some things for me. As for the movie, I have a theory about it as well. I think mental illness is shown throughout the movie. The aliens/demons used crazy people. Examples:The guy in the freezer- he spent time in a institution, but managed to lock himself in a freezer and wait quietly to be found, after they’d been chased by the things to the store.
    Gary was psychopathic or sociopathic, he took joy in opening up the windows. He drew the many images he’d seen them take. The birds didn’t react because like a true psychopath or sociopath, they blend in seamlessly with the people around them. Also, when he went to Malorie, he toyed with her, instead of just snatching the blankets off her.
    Another, Tom seemed to be dealing with a little bit of depression, which may be why he was able to make a decision to kill to protect his family even though he was infected. He bonded with Malorie so fast because she was pregnant and he missed that.
    Malorie seemed to be heading down the spiral of depression, she had no contact or desire to contact anyone , not even bothering to keep up with eating for her unborn child. So I think that helped in her slightly, she was more resistant.
    The people who looked without committing suicide were being controlled by the wind. It tried attacking in the beginning, then they got attacked by freezer guy. Rick and Tom spoke thru walkie talkies, and the cars showed up the next day. The crazies knew where they were foraging. When she was on the river, she was being chased. The things kept trying to separate her and the kids, knowing that she would lose it without them. It attacked her the hardest when she was close to safety. So it was more violent than the book, at least in my opinion.
    I think it was a hostile takeover. The sane people would have questioned and fought, while the insane were happy to expose everyone.

    Reply
  15. nbd

    hey taylor, it seems like you got tom and charlie’s characters confused in the beginning of your review. (“they decide to head out to Tom’s super market,” “Tom dives through to keep him from coming out”) charlie (played by Lil Rel Howery) was actually the one who worked in the super market and sacrificed himself to keep the group safe from fish fingers.

    Reply
  16. X

    You merged two different characters. Tom never worked in
    the grocery store or scarficed himself to the madman in the freezer. Charlie did. Charlie also provided the theories for what the creatires were. Tom was an ex-service man and ended up being Mallory’s life partne/step-father to her kids. Tom and Charlie are also played by two different actors, who look completely different. I’m shocked you didn’t bother to correct this.

    Reply
  17. Hector Juan Rodriguez

    i Just watched the movie; I should have read the book first. But since the movie is all I have… I’m still trying to comprehend the symbolism. The way of surviving is by being blind to what is outside, staying indoors, building a “wall” and not letting outsiders in… Now, where have I heard that recently?
    They let the birds “free” but really all they did was releasing them into a bigger cage; a cage where thay are safe, safe from what you are not supposed to see or it will make yourself mad and suicidal, something that some mad people find truly marvelous and they will kill you for it, something that comes from Russia…but we have birds that detect this danger and help us… what is the symbol of USA again? Is it a bird?

    Reply
  18. Chuck McKnight

    I was interpreting Bird Box in a fairly literal fashion at first as well, and I too thought aliens might be a good explanation. However, this article has pretty well convinced me that it ought to be viewed as an allegory of sorts for social media: https://paleofuture.gizmodo.com/bird-box-is-the-first-great-monster-movie-about-this-po-1831318490

    I also added this comment on that post:

    I think you may be dead on here. If I may add some more support that I didn’t see you mention, consider the birds themselves and even the title of the film. This thing makes birds—not all animals, just birds—go crazy. It’s Twitter. No social platform is more intense and crazy than Twitter—the bird in the box that is one’s computer. Twitter (perhaps standing in for social media as a whole) is the bird box.

    Reply
  19. Helen

    Hi Taylor,

    Also wanted to point out the house was owned by Greg (BD Wong) and not Douglas (John Malkovich) in the movie, which is also why Greg looked at the monitor and not Douglas. If the house was owned by Douglas the movie would have taken a very different turn, as it’s possible no one would have been allowed in.

    Reply
  20. Layla

    Charlie clearly states that it is the docks when a character asks him what’s behind the door. Not a freezer. The crazy guy is outside not in a freezer. So that’s why they are so cautious about opening the door if he had been in a freezer they could have just trained the gun in him and shit him if he acted nuts. Instead they’re trying to block the view of the creatures and Charlie dives outside to stop his colleague from forcing the door open and killing them all.

    Overall I think this film is open to several interpretations. My favorite being that the creatures represent our shadow side being presented to us. If we can’t handle the dark truth inside of us we immediately off ourselves. On the other hand the insane have lived with their darkness and accept it. They think it’s beautiful. I think the movie is a spiritual metaphor about understanding ourselves and doing the inner work so that when that final judgement comes what is reflected from within isn’t steeped in fear and ugliness. Most of our society thrives on fear and pain. If we learn to conquer fear, jealously and separation we move into a different heart and head space. But people who have spiritual awakening are often considered hippies or flighty or “crazy” Anyway it’s interesting to me that many people have reacted by reaching for the blindfold. Its like everyone would rather stay blinded and ignorant out of fear rather than face their own darkness. I had a mini awakening and the world was literally more vibrant I felt like I was in a cloud and I’m sure most people who encountered me would think I was off. But when I actively work on releasing anger, fear and the like I felt lighter and more awake. It was only a glimpse but led me to continue working on myself. Strangle enough I have a friend who tried explaining why the ugliness currently surfacing is “good”. He literally used the phrasing. It’ll be beautiful, you’ll see. I thought it was weird at first but now I understand it more. I still have a ways to go to fully grasp what’s going on.

    Reply
  21. Ilos

    At the very beginning the movie was a bit confusing. Starting from many movies with Alien, there should be at least an end where the earth is populated by aliens or not. If it was a virus, then there would have to be an illness or just all of them would be infected, or there should be cure for all the people. During the entire movie we did not see any possible form on which the theory of being Alien, Virus or anything else would be based. So my theory relies on the idea that all this was a metaphor of “covetousness” for the material goods etc. which is sending us to metaphorical death. My idea I support in these facts from the movie:
    1.) Those who saw him died – so they had the greed of what they had seen
    2.) The blinds can not be infected – so they can’t have greed to something they have not seen it.
    3.) People who were not infected were somewhere deep in the mountain surrounded by birds and the blind people – the birds symbolize nature, and those people lived in nature far from civilization.
    4.) People from “Mental Health Hospital” – metaphorically present those who are serving us all these material goods
    a) They force people to see telling “look how beautiful it is …”
    b) How can persons from the “Mental Health Hospital” drive the vehicles perfectly and they are so organized
    c) Check each home whether it is someone who is not “infected”

    This is my version of the understanding of this brilliant film

    Reply
  22. Laura

    Nice review! I will never understand why people feel the need to comment on a post they didn’t enjoy – i.e. Patrick and “Miss English,” you do realize no one is paying Taylor to provide you your free entertainment, right? Arseholes.

    Reply
  23. Lisa

    Patrick needs to get a life. I love this blog because of how it’s written and I’m a total nerd for books and film. It’s obvious Taylor does this because he loves film, not because he wants a Pulitzer. I’m wishing I would have read the book first, though. Also wish they would have alluded to that it was Aliens in the film as it never becomes clear. Otherwise, I thought the movie was fantastic.

    Reply
  24. Ryissa

    I’ll refrain from verbosity (but not doggerel).
    A horror that held onto that oh so basic rule
    Don’t let them see it
    Don’t explain it
    Just keep us scared.

    Was I scared (not saying).
    Either way I was engaged from beginning to end.
    Strong performances
    Focus on character
    Might adopt some budgies.

    Reply
  25. Just another friend :)

    Hey man. Probably somebody has already told you this, but sorry mate, have we read the same book? I mean, I’ve just finished reading it about a couple hours ago and my man… nothing you’d said happened in there. Neiteher the kids were taken from her nor were shootings. She just got scared (for a moment) when she saw some blind people walking around, but the kids never got “kidnapped”. Also, Malorie actually does give a name to Boy and Girl, Tom and Olympia.

    About the movie, well… I’ll just say that (in my opinion) it doesn’t even deserve a “MEH”. It’s just horse crap my man. Whatever you say about the screenplay and all these things, I still don’t understand why they have to change everything that happened in the book.

    If sb is reading this comment, I’ll just advice you to NOT watch the movie, READ THE BOOK (at least read the book first and then watch the movie). The only thing that the movie and the book have in common is that in fact, if somebody sees “the creatures” that person will end up committing suicide.

    I understand it’s complicated to make “a movie where everyone that removes their blindfolds die”. Until there we are cool. What I don’t understand is why they have to change the storyline. Just to make it more commercial, to earn more money? That’s what really pisses me off.

    Just to cite a few differences for those who are interested (there are millions):

    SPOILER ALERT

    0.- Malorie decides to go to the river 4 years after everything happened, not 5
    1.- At the beginning Malorie didn’t know she was pregnant
    2.- She never went to see a doctor
    3.- When she realized she was pregnant, she was only for a few weeks. Not months like in the movie
    4.- Malorie and her sister were in their house when the latter saw “the creature” from the window
    5.- They never had a car accident
    6.- Her sister actually stuck a pair of scissors in her chest. She didn’t jump in front of a truck to kill herself
    7.- Malorie discovered the house in a neswpaper’s ad
    8.- The name of the owner of the house was George, not Greg
    9.- George was dead already when she got in the house
    10.- And wait a minute, George was gay? Don’t misunderstand me please, I have nothing against that. Just, wtf? Where does it say in the book that he was gay?
    11.- Olympia’s husband was in the airforce
    12.- There is no guy called Douglas
    13.- There is no guy called Charlie
    14.- The grandma is not a grandma
    15.- The couple that had sex in the laundry Lucy and… (I forgot the tattoos guy’s name) They don’t exist in the book. They are one of the best examples I could give you. You’ll tell me what’s their function in the movie. They just show up a couple times, have sex and then disappear without actually interfering at all in the main story.
    16.- They never went to a supermarket
    17.- They never drove a car with GPS
    18.- Tom found the birds in another house, not Malorie in a supermarket
    19.-The birds were IN A BOX hanging outside of their house as an alarm system, not inside
    20.- Where is Victor?
    21.- And Jules?
    22.- And Felix?
    23.- And Don?
    23.- Where are the huskies?
    24.- They didn’t have guns
    25.- Gary’s story wasn’t like that (long story about his brother and Frank)
    26.- There weren’t any psychopaths
    27.- Nobody escaped from any mental institution
    28.- Gary had a notebook, not drawings
    29.- Olympia hanged herself with her own umbilical cord
    30.- Boy never fell down from the boat
    31.- They never left the boat until the end of the book
    32.- Malorie never fought with the man from the river

    and so on my man… I could be enumerating stupid differences for days.

    But the most disturbing bullshit from the movie it’s that Malorie and Tom end up having a relationship and “raising” the children together. Really???? Remember Tom is really affected through the WHOLE book because the loss of her daughter Robin, who committed suicide by cutting her veins in the bathtub.

    Anyway… No offense intended bro. This my own opinion about a movie that (for me) has been very disrespectful to the author of the book. They could’ve done a great movie from a great book but they just did one of the most commercial sh*** I’ve ever seen 🙂 They used the name of a great book with completely different story only for making money!

    Greetings from China!

    Pd: keep up the good job with your website! I like your reviews and you already have given me lots of movies to watch and “THiNC” 😀

    Reply

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