If you haven’t been on social media since December 21st then you may not have heard of Bird Box. However, everyone else in the world has been inundated with memes and references to the Netflix thriller. The film had a record-breaking 45-million views in the first week after its release, making it the most viewed Netflix original to date. If you’re one of the 45-million to have watched the film, there are some details you may have missed. We’ve rounded up the subtle metaphors, hidden Easter eggs, and other goodies that we don’t want you to miss out on. Take off your blindfold and take a look.
10. Based On A Novel
What many fans of the film are missing out on is the origin of the story. Bird Box is based on a novel of the same title. The book was released in 2014 to critical success and was written by Josh Malerman. Malerman is also the frontman of rock band The High Strung. While the film sticks to many of the prevailing themes in the novel, there are some stark contrasts. Fans may want to check out Malerman’s thriller for a look at what inspired the movie because the director of Netflix’s telling chose to make her film more positive than the original work. The setting of the story was also changed.
9. Nev Schulman Cameo
Fans of MTV’s reality show Catfish are in for a treat in Bird Box. Host Nev Schulman watched the film—with the 45-million other audience members to date—and took to Twitter to point out what he called a "creepy" resemblance.
At the beginning of the film, Malorie is working on a large painting. The piece features several figures but focuses on a young couple. Schulman couldn’t help but notice how much the pair resembled himself and his wife Laura. This cameo was no accident, though, as the artist who created the piece for the film was Lily Morris: the friend of both Nev and his wife.
8. Hidden Deaths
With so many graphic deaths featured in Bird Box, it’s no surprise that a couple could get lost in the bloody blur. Some eagle-eyed fans, however, noticed that they had seen a specific pair of anonymous corpses before.
When Malorie first arrives at the safe house, she encounters a couple. They’re missing their kids and soon make a foolish attempt to save them. During the blindfolded drive scene later, Tom runs over two nameless bodies in the street. If you’re observant, you’ll notice that they’re the same couple from the safe house that left. This detail could get easily lost with so much chaos to distract viewers.
7. Struggles Of Parenting
There are many themes throughout both the novel and the film. Some are blatant but others are more subtle. Fans everywhere have connected the dots and discovered some of the underlying tropes in the film, though. At the beginning of the timeline, we meet Malorie while she's pregnant. The world seems to lose all sense and fall apart around her as the apocalyptic event begins. The symbolism is heavy. Many feel that the story is a metaphor for the fear and struggle of becoming a new parent. It can make mothers, in particular, feel like the world is upside down. Many parents weighed in on how accurately the film captured the emotions of caring for kids.
6. Blind Faith
You don’t have to be a biblical scholar to catch all of the religious undertones in Bird Box. There are several on-the-nose conversations between characters about Christian prophecies and the events unfolding around them. A subtler nuance to this theme is the need to remain blind to survive. In Bird Box, any character who relies on their own sight is stricken down. Some have argued that this is an allegory for blind faith. Many who “open their eyes” and begin to examine their beliefs find themselves questioning what’s real. Could the film be addressing the reliance on ignorance for faith to survive?
5. Mental Illness Awareness
In Bird Box, anyone who takes too close a look at what’s going on around them is driven insane. One look at the mysterious creatures and you meet a violent end by your own hand. Fans and critics alike can’t help but draw a parallel between this and society’s struggle to address mental illness. Those who blind themselves to the problem can survive and move on. Those who face it head on are overcome. Many point out that society tends to turn a blind eye to the complex and often overwhelming issues surrounding mental health. Suicide, in particular, is a mental health crisis the film touches on heavily.
4. Social Media Commentary
Artist Lily Morris provides a stunning painting for use in the film. In the story, Malorie is painting the piece as a commentary on how dependent many have become on social media. The picture features several people standing close together. Each is on their phone instead of connecting to the others around them. Malorie’s sister tells her that the painting is deeply lonely. Mal responds that the people in her work are often times too distracted and overstimulated to connect. The loneliness is incidental. Many have pointed out that the film is a metaphor for that same dependence.
3. Monster Sneak Peek
The production team made a bold choice in the making of Bird Box. There was originally a scene that revealed what the creatures looked like. For many reasons, this scene was deleted and the film relies on implied fear for its mood instead. We get an idea of what the monsters look like from sketches created by one of the characters, but observant fans will notice there’s another peek at the mysterious monsters. In one scene, a silhouette of the creature can be seen passing by a window. This doesn’t give fans a direct look at what’s terrorizing the world but it gives viewers something to work with.
2. Douglas Is Never Wrong
There are few characters in Bird Box as hated as Douglas. He’s portrayed by John Malkovich as an obnoxious loudmouth who’s drinking his way through the apocalypse. Probably the most annoying thing about Douglas is that he’s always right. He tries over and over to warn people off of doomed choices to no avail. No one wants to take the advice of this abrasive drunk but everyone who fails to heed his words meets horrific consequences. It’s easy to get caught up in dislike for him, but writing off his rantings is a mistake. Fans have noticed that everything Douglas predicts seems to come true.
1. New Ending
Those who have read the book know that the film ends differently. If you haven’t picked up Josh Malerman's novel you may be missing out on the key difference.
In the film, Malorie and her kids make it to the sanctuary and find that it’s a home for the blind. There is so much hope and emotion in that scene. It leaves the audience with a sense of security.
In the novel, Malorie and the kids still make it to the sanctuary but they find something darker waiting for them. Many of the residents at the home had chosen to intentionally blind themselves in order to survive. This heartbreaking detail implies that this tragic choice is the only way forward. The director of the movie didn’t want to leave the audience feeling hopeless so this detail was omitted.