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Bird Box is a 2018 American post-apocalyptic horror film, directed by Susanne Bier from a screenplay written by Eric Heisserer, and based on the 2014 novel of the same name by Josh Malerman.

The film follows a woman, played by Sandra Bullock, and a pair of children, who must travel through a forest and down a river blindfolded to avoid supernatural entities that cause people who look at them to commit suicide.

Plot Edit

Warning: this text contains details about the plot/ending of the film.

In a post-apocalyptic world, Malorie Hayes advises two young, unnamed children that they will be going downstream on a river in a boat. She strictly instructs them to not remove their blindfolds, or else they will die.

Five years earlier, a pregnant Malorie is visited by her older sister, Jessica. A news report is being shown on television about unexplained mass suicides originating in Russia quickly spreading across Europe. Malorie has a routine pregnancy checkup with Jessica accompanying her to the hospital. When leaving the hospital, Malorie sees a woman bashing her head into a glass panel followed by others panicking as chaos quickly erupts throughout the town. Malorie and Jessica attempt to drive away from the violence, but Jessica witnesses the phenomenon affecting the masses, loses control of herself as she drives, and the car ends up overturning. An injured Malorie then witnesses Jessica walk into the path of an oncoming load truck, killing herself.

Malorie attempts to flee on foot through the mass chaos on the streets. A woman, Lydia, invites Malorie over to a house for safety, even though her husband, Douglas, disagrees. However, right before she reaches Malorie, she goes into a trance, begins talking to her dead mother, and casually climbs into a burning car, which subsequently explodes. Malorie is rescued and brought into their house by Tom, a fleeing passerby. While recovering at their base, one of the survivors, Charlie, theorizes that an otherworldly entity has invaded Earth, taking the form of its victims' worst fears and driving them insane before causing them to commit suicide. At the insistence of Tom they cover all windows in the house and blindfold themselves whenever they must venture outside. Later, Greg volunteers to tie himself to a chair while monitoring the surveillance cameras to find the issue of the entity but kills himself by rocking his chair violently and slamming his head into a hearthstone after seeing it.

As the supply of food decreases (and with the arrival of a new survivor, Olympia, who is also pregnant), Tom, Malorie, Charlie, and fellow survivors Douglas and Lucy decide to go to a supermarket close by to restock. Malorie finds pet birds and decides to take them along with their supplies. The group attempts to help a coworker of Charlie who is locked outside the supermarket begging for help, and whom Charlie describes as "a little crazy". As they contemplate the risks of opening the door, the birds Malorie was saving go into a hysterical fury. The group is attacked by the infected coworker, who was not killed by the entity but is instead used to infect others. Charlie sacrifices himself to save the others, who are able to make it back safely to the house.

Sometime after, Felix (a survivor) and Lucy steal the car and drive away. Soon thereafter, Olympia lets Gary, a stranger and apparent lone survivor of another group, into the house, against Douglas's objections. Douglas gets extremely upset and starts threatening the others with a shotgun, and is knocked unconscious by Cheryl (an elderly survivor). Douglas is subsequently imprisoned in the garage. Later, Olympia and Malorie go into labor, and Cheryl helps with the births. Gary starts to take out various drawings of the entity and seems to undergo a trance, indicating that he could have already been partially overtaken by the entity when he arrived. He peeks outside and is completely taken over; he then knocks out Tom and proceeds to remove all the coverings from all the windows. Olympia then jumps out of the window and Cheryl grabs a pair of scissors and stabs herself in the neck. Douglas is killed by Gary when Douglas tries to stop him. While Malorie tries to protect the newborn babies (Malorie's boy and Olympia's girl), Tom recovers consciousness in time to overpower and kill Gary.

Five years later, Tom and Malorie are living together with the children, whose only names are "Boy" and "Girl". They receive a transmission from a survivor stating that they are well and safe at a community hidden in the forest. The four decide to go to the community, but are ambushed by a group of infected survivors along the way. Tom sacrifices himself to save Malorie and the children.

Malorie, the children, and their pet birds (which are contained in a box to protect against the entity) make their way blindfolded down the river on a boat. They fight off an infected survivor and survive raging rapids. The entity chases and tempts the children and Malorie to remove their blindfolds but is unsuccessful, and the three eventually reach the community.

Malorie learns that the community is a former school for the blind and that many members of the community are blind. Because of this, Malorie releases the pet birds from the box to the other birds up on the ceiling. Malorie finally gives the children names (Tom and Olympia).

List of DeathsEdit

Name Cause of Death Killer On Screen Notes
Woman in orange Head slammed on glass window The creatures/self Partially
Jessica Hayes Run over by a truck The creatures/self Yes
Man in car Unknown The creatures/self No Found dead
Lydia Killed in car explosion The creatures/self Yes
Five people Unknown Unknown No Found dead
Greg Head slammed on stone The creatures/self Yes
Two men Unknown Unknown No Found dead
Man and Woman Unknown Unknown No Found dead
Charlie Stabbed to death Fishfingers No
Olympia Jumped from window The creatures/self Yes
Cheryl Stabbed in the neck with scissors Gary Yes
Douglas Stabbed in the chest with scissors Gary Yes
Gary Shot Tom No Self-defense
Man Unknown The creatures/self No Found dead
Four psychotic seers Shot Tom Yes Self-defense
Psychotic seer Shot Tom Yes Self-defense
Tom Shot in the head The creatures/self No
River Man Hacked with machete Malorie Hayes Yes Self-defense

Cast Edit

  • Sandra Bullock as Malorie Hayes
  • Trevante Rhodes as Tom
  • Jacki Weaver as Cheryl
  • John Malkovich as Douglas
  • Sarah Paulson as Jessica Hayes
  • Rosa Salazar as Lucy
  • Danielle Macdonald as Olympia
  • Lil Rel Howery as Charlie
  • Tom Hollander as Gary
  • Machine Gun Kelly as Felix
  • B.D. Wong as Greg
  • Pruitt Taylor Vince as Rick
  • Vivien Lyra Blair as Girl/Olympia
  • Julian Edwards as Boy/Tom
  • Parminder Nagra as Dr. Lapham
  • Rebecca Pidgeon as Lydia
  • Amy Gumenick as Samantha
  • Taylor Handley as Jason
  • Happy Anderson as the River Man
  • David Dastmalchian as Whistling Marauder
  • Keith Jardine as Yelling Marauder

Production Edit

The film rights to Bird Box were optioned by Universal Pictures in 2013, prior to the book's release. Scott Stuber and Chris Morgan were set to produce the film, with It and Mamadirector Andy Muschietti attached as director. Screenwriter Eric Heisserer was in negotiations to pen the script. In July 2017, after Stuber became head of the feature film division of Netflix, it was announced that Netflix had acquired the rights to the book and would develop the film, with Sandra Bullock and John Malkovich starring. Susanne Bier was announced as the director. In October 2017, Danielle Macdonald, Trevante Rhodes, Jacki Weaver, Sarah Paulson, Rosa Salazar, Lil Rel Howery, and Amy Gumenick joined the cast. In November 2017, Machine Gun Kelly and David Dastmalchian were also added.

Principal photography began in California in October 2017. Wilderness scenes were shot on the Smith River in the far northern part of the state. The house exterior is from a place in Monrovia. Cinematography partially took place in Santa Cruz, and the final scene was shot at Scripps College.

The film uses footage of the Lac-Mégantic rail disaster, which caused the death of 47 people in the town of Lac-Mégantic, Canada on July 6, 2013. The stock-footage was purchased from a vendor and Netflix has said it will stay in the movie even after a request to remove it from survivors of the disaster. The same footage was also used in another Netflix production, Travelers, but has since been removed.

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