BY JULIA SAFRIN
“Whatever you do, do not take your blindfold off,” is a warning Sandra Bullock repeats many times throughout the two-hour duration of Netflix’s most recently released thriller, “Bird Box.”
The harrowing thriller follows a mother, Mallorie (Sandra Bullock), and her two young children, Boy (Julian Edwards) and Girl (Vivien Lyra Blair), as they desperately journey, blindfolded, in search of a remote safe house after a mysterious and unseen entity drives the majority of the population to commit suicide.
“Bird Box” is based on the 2014 post-apocalyptic novel of the same title by American novelist, Josh Malerman. The novel was adapted into a screenplay written by Oscar nominated American screenplay writer, Eric Heisser. The film was directed by academy winning director for 2010 foreign language movie “In a Better World”, Susanne Bier.
A couple of weeks after its initial release on December 13, 2018, “Bird Box” sent Twitter and other social media platforms into a frenzy with fans of the movie doing the viral “Bird Box Challenge,” where one does a variety of things blindfolded like the characters in the movie. However, like many other internet challenges, it has been viewed as dangerous as some YouTubers took the challenge to another level, like Jake Paul, who went as far as to drive into traffic blindfolded.
The dangerous challenge became so viral Netflix had to step in and take action. On January 2 they issued a public health warning. Later, Netflix took to Twitter and tweeted, “Can’t believe I have to say this, but: PLEASE DO NOT HURT YOURSELVES WITH THIS BIRD BOX CHALLENGE. We don’t know how this started, and we appreciate the love, but Boy and Girl have just one wish for 2019 and it is that you not end up in the hospital due to memes.”
The movie unintentionally sparked a viral internet challenge and has been undeniably popular among consumers, with many saying it’s Netflix’s biggest hit to date. The film was streamed by 45 million subscribers in the first week of its release, a record high for a Netflix original.
While it is loved by many, it is equally hated by those who see many flaws and nothing special about it. Some criticize it for being filled with plot holes and many unanswered questions, that appear throughout the film. The movie is also being compared to “A Quiet Place”, another sensory-deprivation horror film of the same year, by fans and critics. While others say the two movies have nothing to do with each other.
Whether viewers may love it or hate it, it’s no doubt that “Bird Box” has taken the internet by storm and has taken a lesser known novel and turned it into a major, well known Netflix hit. “Bird Box” is flying high in the Netflix rankings and will surely nest into movie history.
Photo courtesy of IndieWire