Bird Box Is About Exactly What You Think It's About

PHOTO: Bird Box on Netflix


The Netflix film Bird Box became a pop culture phenomenon and social media meme machine over the Christmas holidays. If you aren't one of the record-breaking (for Netflix) numbers and you haven't seen the movie and want to avoid spoilers, you should put on your blindfold now. 

Bird Box is based on the 2014 novel by Josh Malerman. 

It stars Sandra Bullock as a woman trying to survive an apocalyptic event that drives people crazy and causes most of them to commit suicide. Exactly what the event is is up to interpretation. 

The movie gives a general explanation by Charlie, played by Lil Rel Howery (Get Out), who explains that there is a literal spiritual warfare happening on earth with a demonic creature or creatures causing anyone who looks at them to see and experience their biggest fears, driving them to madness. 

These creatures are never seen on screen other than in drawings, although a deleted scene apparently does show a creature. The scene reportedly made Sandra Bullock laugh when she watched it. It sounds like they made the right call to cut it. 

Because they can't look at the creatures, characters wear blindfolds or stay inside away from non-blacked out windows to avoid visual contact. 

The film looks at the event from two different points in time as we see the beginning of the event and then finally connects to a second narrative where Bullock is trying to move two blindfolded kids to a safe zone along a river while all remain blindfolded. 

Some viewers are disappointed that they never get a look at whatever it is. Others have appreciated the openness of the story that asks the viewer to decide what "it" is. 

Some call it a story about racism and the willingness of white Americans to intentionally blindfold themselves to the realities of it. 

Some say it's a warning about the dangers of social media and our unwillingness to turn away from it even when it seems to make everyone around us crazy. 

If you see things through the lens of politics, you may say it's pro-Trump or anti-Trump with socialism, communism or President Trump being the evil monster. 

Perhaps you see it as a story about gun control, political correctness, abortion, or even a literal devil or demon attacking the planet. 

This is exactly why Bird Box works. Charlie explains to us that our biggest fears come to life when we see whatever it is. Any of the above interpretations could be true, because it depends on what you fear in the real world. 

In short, the movie is about what you think it's about. Your interpretation is probably the right one. 

Bird Box starring Sandra Bullock, Trevante Rhodes, John Malkovich, Lil Rel Howery, Sarah Paulson and BD Wong is now streaming on Netflix.

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