I know why the caged Birdbox sings

2 Jan

While dutifully working from home today, I watched Birdbox on Netflix (I’d seen the memes). Watching a tense thriller with the blinds open, sun shining through, is the only way for me to do it (though I discovered that when I turned away from the screen, I faced the mirror closet in our entryway. Still saw everything!).

I was hesitant to watch it, not only because it promised to be scary, but because I’ve had my fill of post-apocalyptic hellscapes. I read Parable of the Sower and Station Eleven last year. I’m very familiar with The Hunger Games. The genre has kind of jumped the shark. What does Birdbox add to this overcrowded genre? Is it a fable about global warming? A prophecy that women and people of color will inherit the earth? Does it tell its survival story in new and interesting ways?

No, as far as I can tell, Birdbox doesn’t say much, nor does it add much to the post-apocalypse genre. And although I watched some scenes from behind a pillow, what I did see was impressive turns by John Malkovich, Trevante Rhodes, and of course Sandra Bullock. I love a good survival story against faceless foes. Despite its flaws, I liked Birdbox. You should see it with eyes wide open.

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