When watching Netflix’s Bird Box it is hard not to think of M. Night Shyamalan’s The Happening.
Both films feature a mysterious event that causes people to kill themselves, leading a group of people to band together in a fight for survival.
Thankfully, however, Bird Box, directed by Susanne Bier, is not laughably terrible like The Happening.
That said, is Bird Box a good film?
This is not to say everything about the film is bad.
The highlight of Bird Box, for me, is its strong performances by Sandra Bullock, John Malkovich, Trevante Rhodes and others.
There are also numerous scenes in the film that deliver pure enjoyment on an intensity level.
The scene where the event first starts happening and chaos ensues is genuinely disturbing and opens up a lot of intrigue about what is going on.
It is by far the best scene of the movie.
Along with this, there are other pretty intense scenes, like an action sequence with Rhode’s character, Tom, and a final desperate attempt to escape, both at the back half of the film.
These scenes only work though because of the performances though, which, sadly, cannot save Bird Box from its own shortcomings.
Among these shortcomings are the characters themselves, who, with the exception of Bullock’s character Malorie, would all be very one dimensional without the solid acting.
Then there is the lack of answers surrounding what is going on.
Although the rules on how to survive the creatures causing this event are clearly set up, it is never explained what these creatures are.
It is like they had a cool premise but could not think of a good way to explain said premise.
Although, given how Shyamalan laughably tried to explain that The Happening’s particular suicide event was caused by plants, it is probably good that Bird Box avoids giving answers.
However, along with the lack of answers there are also serious leaps in logic in the film.
This is especially noticeable in the rapids scene where there were so many things that do not make sense that it pulled me out of the film.
Bird Box even tries to implement some comedy, although it fails miserably, with a Trump joke that had me rolling my eyes.
Finally, there is the way the film is structured, which makes it extremely obvious which characters will die, making it difficult to care.
All of this contributed to making Bird Box an intriguing but ultimately lackluster film for me.
It has good moments but keeps you blindfolded when looking for answers.