What exactly makes a thriller worth watching? Perhaps that’s more subjective, rather than objective, although thrillers that “wow” the audience usually have similar motifs or themes. “Bird Box” is a thriller/drama that has blown up over the last month and has even generated several online memes.
The Netflix original is either loved or thoroughly disliked. The premise for the film revolves around a presence that causes events of mass suicide around the world, focusing on the recollection of a few survivors. Eventually, the film focuses on the journey of one, Sandra Bullock, who plays Malorie Hayes, and the two children she watches over. Their goal is to eventually find their way to a safe compound. That may seem simple, but not when sight is restricted. The very thing that has spread the mass suicides is the sense of sight - whenever a suicide is seen it spreads.
The film can be highly uncomfortable at times, always setting the watcher on edge because there’s the underlying threat of the main character “seeing”the presence. The film is able to pull the watchers into the emotions of Hayes. By doing this, it creates an empathic tie that makes the character more relatable. For example, Hayes is harsh in the film – she has to be when it comes to saving the two children she cares for. She may seem extremely mean in ways when she does tell the kids they will die if they take off their blindfolds but it is what she has to do to survive.
Given the situation, the dialogueand the concern of the characters is well placed. The characters also make decisions based off their personalities. Tom, played by Trevante Rhodes, is an admirable character who helps Hayes with the children. He makes sacrifices in order to save the “family” so they can go on their journey.
Although the story’s deaths are inevitably sad, even forlorn, the characters that die and their reasons for dying coincide with how their characters are presented.The film does well to make the situations and the characters consistent.
The film is also good at creating suspense, having the viewer wondering what may happen next. There is a lack of predictably in the film, which helps to make it a worthwhile thriller to watch. The premise of the film is unique, creative, and exhilarating in and of itself.
Thankfully, the film is successful in the chronology of events – the flashbacks and then the present day reality are also welldone. It flips between different time lines, but the flips make sense. They are understandable and answer questions someone might be thinking, such as how did the mass suicides start?
Overall, the thriller/drama is one to watch.