I don’t know why I expect films that set up a difficult “Why” premise to ever answer it. It never happens. Why did aliens from Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977) arrive, and what did they look like? Why did the hitmen in Pulp Fiction (1994) feel so adamant about protecting the briefcase? What was in it? And while these two examples use this restrictive technique to great effect, Bird Box (2018) fails to achieve the same impact. And miserably so. This film is a lazy piece of shit that caters to people with the fucking IQ of a baked potato.
Follow Sandra Bullock in a discount A Quiet Place (2018) scenario mixed with a Tarkovsky premise. This film is a pinata filled with manure. You expect that after beating a dead horse for the eternal length of a kid’s birthday party that there’d be some candy payoff, but you’d be wrong. It’s just more shit. There are some natural dialogue moments that I appreciated, but the obvious and overused tropes were so goddamned tiresome that I eye-rolled myself into an altered state. You have the casual mythology expert for no fucking reason explaining aspects of a doomsday scenario that, ultimately, is never resolved for the viewer. Trim the fat, you pieces of shit. Stop ramming square pegs into round holes. Did they have an obligatory news broadcast montage explaining an end-of-the-world phenomenon? You bet your ass they did!
I genuinely thought there would be some interesting, symbolic purpose for a creature (originating in Russia for some obscure reason) affecting you because of what you SAW. But it doesn’t. And not because it’s esoteric, but because it’s fucking LAZY!
I think about Tarkovsky’s Stalker (1979), which had a similar premise (and the book is even more similar). But Tarkovsky positioned the arrival of the aliens in a way that was entirely plausible, so you didn’t bother asking questions about their motivation. They just showed up and that was that; the real questions were about the familiar, human reactions to their arrival (and immediate, subsequent departure). It didn’t require further explanation.
By contrast, I constantly found myself asking questions during this film that resulted from their laziness. “So I guess we’re just assuming they made it back from the blind drive without issue? Have any of the writers ever canoed? Do they know the impossibility of blindly rafting? So the creature affects anything visible, but isn’t allowed indoors – except through those it’s touched? Why are these rules important to know and do I give a shit…no…I don’t.”
It started off well enough, even though the obvious comedic relief was obvious, with the mom giving this emphatic, serious speech which we ALL knew was going to be revealed as directed at children. But as the film went on, it’s obvious twists got lazier still (not even sure how that was possible), with minor stressors injected into an already trite plot: kids doing stupid kid shit that’s inherently stressful. The little girl leaving the boat to find the surrogate mother…fucking stressful. But I’ll tell you: watching that little shit eating spaghetti over a white carpet would’ve been MORE stressful.
For the scale and budget of this movie, their lack of effort is inexcusable. This film was a waste of my time and I am going to file a class-action lawsuit against Sandra Bullock for this bollocking film. See what I did there? No worries, I’m going to have an obligatory black character explain the fucking joke to you before he unnecessarily sacrifices himself to serve my agenda….