Bird Box (Susanne Bier, 2018)

What's it about? Malorie (Sandra Bullock) and two small children are about to undertake a very dangerous journey down a river. For some reason they must all wear blindfolds and will die if they take them off. What has led to this situation? Cue flashback to five years earlier....

Is it any good? A serviceable post-apocalyptic thriller with a good central performance from Bullock as the socially-detached, reluctant mother who finds a way to survive against the odds. It works its way in satisfactory fashion through the usual tropes of this genre as an assorted band of survivors work together to survive. That said, these supporting characters (played by John Malkovich and Trevante Rhodes among others) are superficially sketched, so there is little emotional impact when they inevitably meet their fate. It also fails to credibly explain how Malorie and the children have survived so long and navigate their surroundings so well, beyond a few brief scenes of echo-location training, which suggests they have dealt with an inability to see remarkably well. As such, it suffers by inevitable comparison with the thematically similar and superior A Quiet Place from last year, although it is worth noting the book upon which this is based predates that film, so perhaps The Day of the Triffids is a better touchstone. Still, this is still a perfectly watchable film which will pass a couple of hours agreeably, so long as you're prepared to suspend your disbelief a fair bit.

Anything else I should know? A big hit for Netflix who trumpeted all through the holiday period about how it had broken all sorts of viewing records for the streaming platform. A few days later, obviously delighted by the extra PR, but under pressure to adopt a concerned parent role, Netflix issued a warning to stop people undertaking the 'Bird Box challenge'.

This is where viewers who aren't the brightest bulb on the tree, presumably fooled by the film into thinking being blind was no big deal, have taken to social media in their droves to show their attempt to remove themselves from the gene pool by undertaking mundane tasks whilst blindfolded, with predictably dangerous results. Not to be outdone, I will attempt to write the rest of this review with my blindfold on

*fixes blindfold on*

fq wo;fhsdknpsoe  aljdaplm;al diheuhp ,dm;  i  ao  d o  i  wek dn;k edndpaksknixenkae,d, mdmpoe dx,mamoamlsm.aaaj da  naliwjdi d adiwdjap aa.,.p...............

*falls off chair, gets head stuck in sofa, stands on rake, falls into wood chipper, dies. Footage posted on social media for the entertainment of others. Except everyone is already bored and has moved onto next challenge*

What does the Fonz think? Worth a peek.

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