Birdbox thoughts

Sandra Bullock as her character Malorie in the Netflix film Birdbox. She is blindfolded holding her two children, Boy and Girl.

Courtesy of IMDb.

Sandra Bullock as her character Malorie in the Netflix film Birdbox. She is blindfolded holding her two children, Boy and Girl.

April Platt, Class Writer

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Birdbox, Netflix’s largest movie release to date, has quickly become an internet sensation. Beyond its jaw-dropping ratings, Netflix’s new hit has also acquired a repertoire of memes and challenges following the film.

The film focuses on a pregnant woman named Malorie (Sandra Bullock) and her life after the world descends into chaos following the rise of random mass suicides. Realizing that she must flee to safety, Malorie makes her way into a home, where she is safe from the images that have led to the mass suicides. In this home, she meets other substantial characters in the film such as Tom (Trevante Rhodes), Douglas (John Malkovich), and Felix (Colson Baker).

Birdbox has become a sensation overnight, its ratings quickly overtaking all of Netflix’s past releases. The film has captured fans across the U.S., ranging from young to old. Birdbox’s take on lack of vision in the film parallels another film released earlier in 2018, A Quiet Place, which placed focus on a lack of sound.

The film impressed fans and critics alike with its chilling theme of subtle horror. Senior Evelyn Cardona stated, “I wasn’t expecting to like the movie, but I became more intrigued as the horror emerged, and frustrated as my favorite characters died.” While the audience was not overtly scared watching the movie, there was a persistent sense of unease in its viewing. Simply put, it will leave you on the edge of your seat.

Following the film’s release, the internet descended upon it, creating memes on memes of the numerous blindfolded scenes. The Birdbox “challenge” consists of people on social media blindfolding themselves and attempting to complete tasks. The memes following this challenge became so popular that even NFL and NHL teams engaged in the fun. However, this “challenge” was quickly discouraged by the streaming giant, as the dangers of living blindfolded began to emerge. Netflix issued a warning from its official Twitter account, urging fans of the film to cease participation in the “birdbox challenge.” This stems from injuries being obtained by people participating in the challenge.

The National Federation of the Blind has also made statements against the “Birdbox challenge”, noting that the film’s portrayal of “blindness” misconstrues what it is like to actually be blind. The society’s issue with the film came out of its portrayal as blindness as a “trend”, rather than the physical disability that affects millions. The society also held issue with the Birdbox “challenge”, as people were endangering their lives in a bid to “live blind”.

Birdbox shows just how closely internet culture and the modern film industry are intertwined. Films like Birdbox now have real-world life or death consequences, stemming from challenges such as the “Birdbox challenge”.