Bird Box is quickly becoming my top re-read. Not only have I read the book more than once, I have also listened to the audiobook a couple of times. Each time, I focus in on a new detail that I had missed the first time around. This story is just so interesting to me!
So of course, when I heard that the book was going to have a film adaptation, I could not wait to watch. I had a countdown going and everything! The release fell on a very busy weekend for me, but I dove in just as soon as we were able to make the time.
I’m so excited to say that this film adaptation did not disappoint!
NOTE: THERE WILL BE SPOILERS BELOW.
If you missed it, feel free to check out my review for the Bird Box audiobook.
Let’s dive in!
The film begins with a wide shot of the river as a voice over a radio begins talking about a community they have that he promises is safe, but that the journey may not be doable with kids. As the radio cuts out and the title appears, the film jumps to the main character, Malorie, giving a very intense talk to two young kids, Boy and Girl. They quickly pack up, and then head out to the river and get into the dingy.
The story then jumps back in time five years and we see Malorie and her sister, Jessica, who are discussing Malorie’s pregnancy. The two have a little back and forth banter about the baby, the painting projects, the apartment, and Malorie’s lack of food in the apartment. Then the sister brings up a crazy thing that she had heard about. When they turn on the news, they see that it is only in Russia and therefore aren’t very concerned, just turning away as the news report shows a case in Alaska.
Shortly after, the two head to Malorie’s ultrasound. But immediately after her appointment, the action begins…
From there, the story jumps back and forth between the three on the river, and what had happened in the past that lead up to them traveling on the river.
When the action began, I immediately told my husband (who has heard me raving about this book time and time again) how much I loved how intense they made it right off the bat! We jumped a bit when characters started going crazy, we cringed when we saw Malorie fall or get knocked down in the shuffle of people, we gasped when a character suddenly began talking to her mother and went to sit in the front seat of a burning car. Even though I knew the overall story, I was actually talking out loud to the characters, which I HATE doing… it was just that intense.
Because of the way that both the storyline of the book and the film were organized, we both had a strong anxious feeling while watching. We couldn’t wait to see what was going to happen next! At one point, we paused the film and Alex told me that he really enjoyed how the film made him question something in one scene, but then in the next, that exact question was answered. This is such a fun element that was one of my favorite things about the book so I was very happy to see it in the film and I was so glad that Alex picked up on it!
What a great cast! When we first see the two kids, I immediately thought that they were perfect. As the crew ends up inside the house, I was so excited to see the actors that played each character. While the movie progressed, I loved seeing the various actors that popped in and out! As the main two characters, I thought Sandra Bullock and Trevante Rhodes were perfect. Trevante Rhodes acted so calm and level headed, which portrayed Tom perfectly and Sandra Bullock’s emotions were so strong. No matter the situation she was in, her facial expressions were just perfect. I love her in serious roles.
The action was so well done. When Malorie is walking around outside with the kids, the terror is so clearly shown in each of their movements and postures! It made me anxious immediately to see the way they were moving.
And of course, that ending… It will give you all the feels! So wonderfully done.
The book vs. the film adaptation:
I’m the type of person that loves to both compare the original book with the adaptation, and try to see them as totally separate things.
In this case, there were various differences between the book and the movie. However, overall, I really think that they did a wonderful job creating this adaptation and making sure that the core story wasn’t lost.
Just looking at it from a film standpoint, I would definitely say that it was a totally engrossing movie. With little introductions or back story, you begin to really root for these characters. The suspense and terror was so clear in the movements and emotion from the characters, which were all cast so perfectly. I also really enjoyed the CGI and how realistic it looked when it was necessary to include. I was so thankful that the CGI wasn’t overdone.
My only hesitations:
I didn’t like how quick they all were to take the blindfolds off.
I wish that had pulled more detail in from the book.
I also didn’t care for how quickly girl wandered off time and time again and that boy didn’t even try to say anything. Sure, it added more to the film and the overall suspense, but it could have been nice to see boy at least try to convince her not to walk away.
Lastly, I’m not sure I totally loved what they did with the characters eyes when they saw the creatures… I do think that it may have helped to satisfy those that hadn’t read the book and may have been frustrated with not seeing the creatures themselves, but it was just a little strange to me. I think I personally would have preferred if their eyes started leaking blood or turned a specific color. The kaleidoscope look just didn’t work super well for me.
Oh my goodness, this adaptation was SO GOOD. I absolutely loved it! Of course, it was slightly different from the book, and it seemed so much shorter compared to the book, but it really captured the overall tone and the terror so wonderfully! I definitely recommend giving this one a watch if you enjoy suspense. I already cannot wait to watch this again.
Thanks for reading!
Have you both read the book and seen this film? If so, what did you think?
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