“Bird Box,” A Netflix original drama that stars actress Sandra Bullock, was released Dec. 13 and people can't stop talking about it.
The movie made its way to social media with the “Bird Box Challenge” and memes across both Instagram and Twitter amongst other platforms. The “Bird Box Challenge” has been described as a challenge where people do daily tasks blindfolded just like the characters in the movie were forced to. Memes across the internet also used photos of Bullock’s character Malorie blindfolded as a comedic element in jokes.
The attention made the movie a hot topic among people online, which turned out to be a positive thing for the film and for Netflix. What was not good for publicity were the tragedies that occurred as a result of the new-found internet challenge. Recently, there was a car crash as the result of the “Bird Box Challenge.”
The mix of generations watching the movie also caused a discussion around the movie’s lead. While college kids and adults may have seen Bullock’s iconic role in “The Blind Side” and know her from other films, many young people have not.
A Twitter user, presumably a younger teenager, tweeted that someone looked like Bullock and attached a photo of the person and a scene from “Bird Box.” In the tweet, instead of naming the actress, they said “that lady from ‘Bird Box’” and Bullock’s fans came in quickly to defend her and to clarify that Bullock found success prior to “Bird Box.”
The movie itself is an intense apocalyptic horror that takes you along Malorie’s journey through what is believed to be the end of the world. She wears a blindfold to avoid making eye contact with the spirits/beings that were causing people to commit suicide. The movie’s name comes from the box of birds Malorie carries around to warn her when one of the beings is close by.
Throughout the film characters die left and right under different circumstances, leaving Malorie almost completely alone besides the two children with whom she is voyaging to safety. This aspect of the plot is particularly attention grabbing and tugged at the heart strings of audience members.
The movie was longer than expected, and the ending left some confusion among viewers. The ending does show Malorie’s fate, but never touched on what happens beyond her.
Viewers online questioned why the beings did not affect people who suffered with mental illness. When the movie began to trend online, a lot of the jokes overlooked or minimized the key discussion of mental illness. The movie displayed mentally ill people as crazy or dangerous, which should strike an important conversation about mental health. While some viewers did comment on their confusion regarding this, people online were focused on the jokes about blindfolds.
Overall the movie was a hit. Netflix reported that 45 million accounts watched the movie within the first week, which made the debut a record-breaker.
Madison Appleby is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.