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YMMV / Bird Box

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  • Adaptation Displacement: The movie instantly became a huge hit for Netflix, pulling in somewhere between 26 and 45 million viewers its first week depending on who you ask, dramatically overshadowing the book in the public eye. Quite a few viewers also tend to call it a rip-off of A Quiet Place, unaware that the book was released in 2014.
  • Alternate Character Interpretation: To what extent were the mentally ill influenced by the creatures' powers to force people to look at the creatures? Were they harmless, albeit unstable people who were being manipulated by the creatures, or were they already dangerously psychotic with the presence of the monsters releasing some dark intentions to willingly kill off innocent people? In regards to Gary, was he intentionally faking sanity to give the people in the house a false sense of security, was he another puppet being controlled by the monsters, or did he originally summon up enough willpower to remain collected before falling victim to the creatures' influence? Were his claims about the people being controlled by the creatures being exclusively mentally insane true, or was he an Unreliable Expositor who was making up a story to lead the protagonists astray?
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  • Americans Hate Tingle: The movie is not well liked by French-Canadians thanks to one of the archived footage used in the movie being that of the 2013 tragedy in Lac-Mégantic. Not helped when, even though they apologize for this, they decided to keep the footage.
  • Hype Backlash: A lot of reviewers think that the movie is only OK at best and many people think that the movie received unnecessary hype due to Netflix's overblown marketing and people making memes of it to no end. It also doesn't help that the film is being Overshadowed by Controversy where viewers attempt dangerous challenges while blindfolded and base their actions on what happens in the movie.
  • Les Yay: Quite a few viewers mistook the Hayes' for a lesbian couple in their initial scene together, before it dawned that they were sisters and that Malorie was pregnant by a man.
    • Olympia and Malorie get some of this.
  • Memetic Loser: Olympia, for letting a man in who ended up being an insane person in disguise who ended up killing all but two people and two babies, including herself.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • Much like the memes of what it would take for Pennywise to convince you to join him in the sewer, a lot of memes for Bird Box are on what it would take for the entities to make you take off your blindfold.
    • The scene of Gary forcing Cheryl's eyes open is also getting some mileage, with everything from unpleasant porn to the reason why kids love Cinnamon Toast Crunch serving in place of the entity.
    • Jokes that compare this film to A Quiet Place and Hush, but with a nonsensical last line in play — eg. Can't see, can't speak, can’t hear, can't sit with us.
    • Though it's questionable how many are genuine versus spoofs, there is the "Bird Box Challenge", in which people see how long they can go blindfolded while doing activities like pitching balls or driving cars or walking through forests. It got so bad, with many people getting injured, that Netflix had to release a tweet asking people to stop.
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    • Jokes about Matt Murdoch being the ultimate Bird Boxing champion.
  • Narm:
    • The scene where Malorie and the kids are accosted by an infected, insane man during their covert river trip. The man suddenly appears out of the fog screeching "TAKE YOUR GODDAMN BLINDFOLD OFF! TAKE IT OFF! TAKE YOUR BLINDFOLD OFF!", trying to pull them into the water. The actor goes 110% as the zombified, deranged man, while Malorie tries to kick him again and again and eventually resorts to stabbing wildly in the dark to try to get rid of him (which he still doesn't have much of a reaction to). The scene stretches on just long enough to become more hilarious than frightening.
    • When your protagonist is shouting "GIRL, BOY! BOY! GIRL!" it's kind of hard to take the situation seriously. Malorie's screams of "BOY!" in particular bring to mind an infamous Memetic Mutation from God of War.
    • The opening of the film, with Sandra Bullock in a very serious and intense tone telling the nameless kids, "It's cold, we have blankets, Girl you have your kitty, Boy you have your dog, this is just a place, we need NOTHING more from it. DO YOU UNDERSTAND?"
  • Nausea Fuel: Malorie and her children go on a trek towards safety hopefully in a boat. River water sloshes in the bottom of the boat until Girl decides she needs to pee and the river water in the boat is soon mixed with pee and blood (from when Malorie got injured by a wolf) which seeps over into Malorie’s shoes and splashes against her ankles. The trauma of the situation as well as the increasingly unsanitary conditions of their expedition causes Malorie to vomit on herself and after she comes to after passing out she smells pee and vomit on herself.
    • Plumbing doesn’t work since things went to hell so survivors have to resort to taking their feces and urine outside to dump. At one point they’re all too scared to leave the house so the feces and urine filled buckets pile up in the basement.
  • Nightmare Fuel:
    • Unknown creatures of some kind are killing humans, but instead of doing it themselves, they make you kill yourself if you look at them, which means you can’t rely on the sense you use the most to navigate the world.
    • The lead up to the disaster progresses much in the same way it would in our current real world. It starts with strange reports from different countries appearing online. Then Malorie notices quite a lot of the houses have their windows blocked. She is still absorbed in her mundane every day problems until disaster strikes. It gets worse and worse as it progresses as Malorie witness the event, from a woman she had seen earlier on her phone smashing her head against a window to witnessing her sister cause them to get into an accident and then let herself be hit by a dumpster truck.
    • There's also the way the creatures affect those that aren't driven to kill themselves upon looking at them.
    • While the movie largely operates on Nothing Is Scarier, Gary's various drawings are very unsettling.
  • Nightmare Retardant: In a case of What Could Have Been, the scrapped designs revealing what the monsters would've looked like (at least for Malorie) feel pretty anti-climactic to say the least.
    Description: Boss baby ain't takin your shit no more!
  • Older Than They Think:
    • Bird Box was criticized for being a copy of A Quiet Place. The novel that the movie is based on actually predates A Quiet Place by four years.
    • This also isn't the first time for a movie with a premise where people commit suicide for no reason other than in contact with invisible forces. M. Night Shyamalan's The Happening took this similar premise but with a heavy handed Green Aesop message.
  • So Okay, It's Average: Overall people's consensus of the movie, even from people who only watched it for the meme. While the idea may not be original, but the cast's performance and the direction are stellar enough to be entertaining.
  • Watch It for the Meme: Those that missed the release date went on to watch the movie simply to see those aforementioned memes in context.
  • The Woobie: The two children. Being raised in the post-apocalypse couldn't have been easy. Malorie as well, considering the sheer hell she'd gone through in the early days of the creatures' attacks.


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