Bird Box

Rated 2.0

Sandra Bullock puts her supreme talents in a Netflix sensation movie that is only half good with Bird Box, a film that feels like a bunch of overused horror gimmicks mashed into one messy entity. Malorie (Bullock) is a gloomy painter. The film shows Bullock painting black backgrounds to make her look authentic. She’s dealing with an unwanted pregnancy. Sister Jessica (Sarah Paulson) tells her to get out of the dumpy-dumps, and takes her to the doctor for a checkup, shortly after seeing a strange report on TV about people killing themselves in Russia. While visiting with the doc (Parminder Nagra), all hell starts to break loose in the hospital and, even more so, on the streets. It appears as if people are seeing some sort of entity and deciding it’s far too much for them to handle, so they kill themselves in creative ways (stepping in front of buses, bashing heads into windows, walking into fire, etc.). Malorie manages to navigate through a hellish urban landscape, and winds up trapped in a house with a few others. Until the point when Malorie winds up in the house, the film looks promising. The street suicides scene is genuinely scary, and flash forward scenes show Malorie trying to find some sort of safe haven with two children, all wearing blindfolds to avoid seeing the killer vision. Those scenes work OK as well, although they are very much just a play on last summer’s A Quiet Place, with characters simply not able to see rather than prohibited from making noise. The movie hits a total dead end once Malorie goes in that house. It’s pretty much the same scenario as that remake of Dawn of the Dead, right down to the pregnant women and shopping scenes.