Netflix’s “Bird Box”: The fuss behind the film (Spoiler free)


Courtesy Netflix

Elizabeth Selberg, Staff Writer

The new psychological thriller has broken Netflix records with its popularity these past few weeks. The movie adaptation of the book “Bird Box”, by Josh Malerman, stars Sandra Bullock as Malorie, a woman in an apocalyptic world where upon sight, an unknown force manifests itself as the person’s greatest fear.

The film has raised lots of discussion from viewers over the past month.

It was released in theaters Dec. 13, but it wasn’t made available on Netflix until Dec. 21.

Even then, it didn’t gain popularity until the holiday weekend when it got 45 million views in its first seven days after being released. Rumors have spread about the film’s sudden success, some of the most common being that Netflix exaggerated the number of views by lowering or fluctuating the requirements of what counts as a “view.” Netflix has clarified that a view is defined as  70% or more of the film having been watched; however, the statistic was never confirmed by a third party, and many remain skeptical. Another rumor says that Netflix created fake social media accounts to share Bird Box memes and increase popularity after its slow release.

Whether or not these rumors are true, the film and its memes have definitely made their marks on the internet. Most recently, people have begun participating in the “Bird Box Challenge,” a challenge where individuals attempt to do daily tasks blindfolded like the characters in the movie.

Netflix responded to the challenge on their Twitter account by saying, “Can’t believe I have to say this, but: PLEASE DO NOT HURT YOURSELVES WITH THIS BIRD BOX CHALLENGE.”

The warning may have seemed somewhat unnecessary when it was posted; however, it is now clear that it was not only necessary, but possibly imperative for some of the film’s fans whether or not they listened.

Early Saturday Jan. 12, a 17-year-old in Layton, Utah crashed a car while doing the Bird Box challenge. The unidentified teen was driving her car with a 16-year-old passenger when she reportedly used her beanie as a blindfold, causing her to lose control of the wheel and skid across several lanes, hitting another car and a pole. Thankfully, no injuries have been reported, but the crash serves as a warning toward the consequences of the Bird Box challenge when done irresponsibly.

Aside from the challenge, Bird Box memes are continuing to go viral all over social media, only furthering the excitement surrounding the film.

While countless people have taken a liking to “Bird Box”, or at least the memes, many others disagree, which shows in the film’s ratings. It received a  6.7/10 from IMDb and a 63% from Rotten Tomatoes, well below Netflix’s most recent hit, “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before”, which received a 7.3/10 from IMDb and a 96% from Rotten Tomatoes.

Either way, the film has sparked lots of conversation since its release as to what exactly it symbolizes.

In an interview with Nightmare Magazine, Malerman said, … it’s certainly about infinity and what being forced to encounter it might do to you. But it’s also about being afraid of the world beyond your window… ”

Whether you’ve already seen it, are planning to see it, or have no interest, hopefully, with the help of this article, you can understand some of the references and opinions surrounding “Bird Box”.