What would you do if after living a perfectly normal life, you realize that if you open your eyes, you die? What if you have to choose between the security offered by the status quo security and remote promise of a change for the better? And what if you are forced by circumstances to assume a role you always rejected and, rol that offers you more responsibilities than satisfaction?
Those are the questions that director Susanne Bier tried to answer in Bird Box, Netflix’s bid for the holiday season. And in my opinion, with very good results.
Now, if after 124 minutes of suspense, drama and death, you still have questions about this movie, don’t worry, because in this post we will answer all the questions we can about the movie, its ending, its antagonist and its final message. Without further ado let’s analyze and explain this Netflix release … Bird Box.
1 ^ Does Bird Box have a post-credits scene?
No. When you see the name of Director Susanne Bier on beautiful black background, there’s nothing more to see. Except the names of the hundreds of people who worked their asses in the production of the film.
2 ^ What exactly is the creature (or creatures) causing the wave of suicides?
Charlie (Lil Rel Howery) offered a supernatural explanation: the creatures are demons whose goal is to destroy human life, taking advantage of their sins, weaknesses and deepest fears. Taking advantage of the natural weakness of human beings and their proclivity to dissolution and to neglect the values of traditional religions.
Well, that explanation is quite plausible, but does not explain why it leaves out the insane and blind. What makes them special? They are not sinners? Well, I offer a second alternative.
Douglas is an asshole, that’s undeniable, but usually he is quite right when he states something, he says that this is some sort of biotech weapon from Iran or North Korea. But remember that the outbreak started in Romania and Russia. Perhaps this is the Chernobyl outbreak of biotechnological weapons.
The point is Russia may have experienced a kind of biotech weapon, capable of altering the mental structure of the enemy troops causing death wishes, biotech structure with artificial intelligence, so it could be selective in its victims.
But if someone, somehow created conditions for these weapons on experimental state to mass escape and scatter, the results are the ones we saw. Furthermore, these weapons must be able to feed from the fear of their victims and to reproduce, the more terror, more weapons. This would explain why they do not affect the blind and insane, it is exclusively aimed at soldiers who are supposed to have no physical or mental problems. And also why it seems to hesitate to attack pregnant women.
3 ^ What are the limitations of the creatures?
a ^ The creature penetrates the nervous system of the victim visually. If the victim sees the creature, their brain immediately turns off all self – protection mechanisms in the body and uses his fears, failures or errors to induce suicide.
b ^ The creature can use hearing to attack the victim, and try to convince them not to use bandages or to open their eyes, faking familiar voices. But, it can not cause suicide by hearing.
c ^ The creature seems to have some reservations towards women who are pregnant, reason why Malorie (Sandra Bullock) and Olympia (Danielle Macdonald) were not affected, even though they were no wearing bandages during the chaos.
d ^ The creature does not affect blind. Probably it affects them in a hearing level, but at the shelter seems they found a way to avoid that too, and the formula seems simply to in peace. The more stressed, tired or hungry a person is, the more vulnerable to a hearing attack.
e ^ The creature affects differentially to the mentally ill. Instead of inducing suicide, showing them his worst fear, they suffer the opposite effect, generating perpetual happiness in their minds, with the firm conviction that everyone should see the creature, even if the price is death. Some of these people may not be diagnosed, and it seems that the less severe the mental illness, greater ability to pretend they are healthy, as the case of Gary (Tom Hollander).
f ^ The creature has the effect of causing a state of violent alert on birds, so effective that Malorie uses them as an alarm system, as in the shelter. It is unknown if it has a similar effect on other animals or other animals are susceptible to the harmful effects of the creature.
g ^ The creature does not need to be seen with your own eyes, to attack it can be seen through cameras, or any other filter as cellphones, binoculars, and the like.
4 ^ Bird Box Timeline Explained
Given that Bird Box’s novel was released in 2014, we can say that the part of Greg’s house takes place that year, and the part where Malorie goes to the refuge across the river, takes place in 2019.
The film begins in 2019, with Malorie instructing the kids on how it will be the trip, and what to and what not to do, to get to the shelter. However, this timeline is intersected by the events of 2014, the onset of the condition in California, the death of Jess, and the arrival of Malorie to Greg’s house.
The film maintains this structure for like the half of its lenght, when Gary eliminates most of the refugees in Greg’s house, the day of delivery of Malorie and Olympia (what a telenovela!) leaving only Malorie, Tom (Trevante Rhodes) and the two babies. And from there it jumps to 2019 when it shows us the onset of the trip, until finally all gaps are filled in the timeline and at the end we only see the blind trip to the refuge.
5 ^ The crazy man on the river is real or it is a manifestation of a creature?
Something strange is that in one of the shots of this event we can Malorie pawing the air, as if the subject were visible only to her. But everything indicates that perhaps it is only a continuity error. The subject exhibits all the symptoms of a mental patient affected by the creature, and takes no known form to Malorie and in no other point of the film is observed that the creature go to human figures to seduce someone so they remove their blindfolds . Although it does perhaps only to liquidate their victims.
Or, an alternative is that the creature can mutate and some have the ability to transform into a human figures, but if so, it severely limitate their abilities. Or it may be that this is the stage when the creature can not get fear from their victims and fall into decay. An alternative.
6 ^ How and in what order do refugees died at Greg’s?
Initially Greg (BD Wong) was at home, after losing her husband. He accepted as refugees his neighbors Douglas (Jon Malkovich) and his wife Lydia. Later he let in Sheryl (Jacki Weaver), Felix (Machine Gun Kelly), Charlie, Jason (Taylor Handley) and Samantha (Amy Gumenick). Then we see how Malorie, Lucy (Rosa Salazar) and Tom are allowed in. Then Tom and Malorie receive Olympia, and finally they admit Gary into the house.
a ^ Samantha and Jason received a call from his son Bailey and decide to leave the house before the real action occurs. They left without blindfolds, so most likely they die along the way.
b ^ Greg , in an attempt to elucidate what happens outside, without exposing themselves, choose to view on – screen the external security cameras and yes it affects him, and although he is tied, he ends up committing suicide.
c ^ Charlie dies saving his teammates after an attack from an insane co-worker in the grocery store.
d ^ Lucy and Felix escape from Greg’s house, stealing the car. If they followed the same method that Malorie and Tom used to go to the supermarket, they may have found a way to survive. Although the odds are 50%.
e ^ Sheryl, Olympia, Douglas fell into the trap of Gary, which is one of the demented. Gary opened the windows and forced Sheryl to see outside, causing her to stick herself in the neck with the same scissors with which she cut the umbilical cord on Malorie and Olympia.
Olympia sees the outside as it can not cover his eyes protecting her baby. Initially she attempts suicide with her daughter, but Malorie convinces to let the baby with her, and then she throwed herself out the window.
Douglas tries to fight Gary, but the demented gives him a very good fight and ends up stabbing him in the chest with the scissors.
f ^ Gary , he dies when Tom gets to shoot him.
g ^ Tom died five years later trying to protect Malorie, and his children of a group of demented, the death of Tom is Malorie motivation to make the trip on the river.
7 ^ Was Malorie willing to sacrifice Olympia’s daughter to save herself and her son?
The final test for Malorie are the rapids on the river. She needs someone to see, to guide her so she can move the boat on the right direction. Rick said it on the radio, a sacrifice is needed. However Malorie, a practical woman decides not to be guided by the logic sacrificing on of the kids, but simply having faith.
8 ^ What is the meaning of Bird Box ending?
Since the beginning of the film, Malorie is self-defined as someone unable to connect, Jess could do it because she shared her child and youth experiences, and still they kept a somewhat distant treatment. So were her relationships, she always was afraid to hurt those who were close to her
When Malorie learned she was pregnant, she felt a deep fear of becoming a lousy parent figure and ruin the life of his son, as his father did with her.
Now, when she had the responsibility of taking care of not one, but two children in the middle of the apocalypse, things got complicated. Malorie adopted the same parenting style of his father with the children to ensure their survival. She forbade them to call Tom father and a mother to her, to keep the treatment as distant as possible.
But in the end, once she felt safe, she realized that containing the affection she was feeling, to the point of relying on hope and not on logic was useless and finally decided to become the mother of the kids and give them their names . She was a different woman.
9 ^ What is the message in Bird Box?
The first message – it is useless to hide behind our fears, and use them as an excuse. Hope must be the most powerful element that direct our lives. Hope let us see the future, to plan and to guide us to our goals.
The second message – family is not defined solely by blood, but by bonds of affection. So you have a family you can not choose, and family you can.
And the third and final message: even if we own an alarm system that indicates when there is danger around, life is much easier when we found the way to open that box of birds, when you have found the tranquility you need.
Update 22/12/2018 06:43. Feautured image, changed.