A Few Lingering Questions About Bird Box, Netflix's Viral Hit

Photo: Courtesy of Netflix.
Lingering questions about its sudden and overwhelming virality aside, Netflix's Bird Box has a few remaining mysteries. After Malorie (Sandra Bullock) arrives at a safe haven — a home for the blind, converted to a home for people who survived the apocalypse — the world of Bird Box doesn't get any simpler. And, for that matter, the story doesn't exactly fall into place the way it could. Bird Box opened a Pandora's box of questions! How silly!
Bird Box follows a familiar path: It takes place in a world shaken apart by a seeming invasion of otherworldly creatures. These creatures have the ability to convince humans to take their own lives — they are the ultimate psychological manipulators. They only have power over humans, though, when looked at with the naked eye. The solution? Always wear a blindfold and use birds, which can sense the creatures, as a proto-alarm system. (Hence the title.)
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Who lives, who dies, who gets to become a master manipulator?
Gary (Tom Hollander) is one of the notable characters in the movie who has seen a creature but isn't immediately killed because of it. Instead, Gary spends his time trying to woo other, unaffected people. He is the reason Olympia (Danielle MacDonald) dies after childbirth and why John Malkovich, who plays Douglas, takes his leave of the narrative.
But what is it about Gary that allows him to live? The movie carries the slight implication that people who were previously mentally ill — those who lived at an inpatient facility for the "criminially insane" called Northwood — would somehow seamlessly transition into a proto-missionary for the creatures. This has some obvious issues.
Why can't the creatures be seen?
Well, because then everyone who saw the movie would die! But really, the monsters don't appear on screen because the minute they do, they become less scary. Sandra Bullock and director Susanne Bier even said that production filmed a scene with the monsters that did not make the final cut. In this scene, the monster looked like "a green man with a horrific baby face."
The only glimpse that the movie provides is when infected Gary rolls out a series of drawings he's done of the entities.
Why is it always sunny when the creatures come around?
I know it's always sunny in Philadelphia, but why is it always sunny in the Bird Box universe when the creatures slink by? The creatures appear to be the opposite of vampires. They thrive in the sun exclusively, especially because they can't seem to get inside houses or Wal-Marts. These entities are outdoor creatures, and they don't seem to do cloudy.
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What happened to Felix (Machine Gun Kelly) and Lucy (Rosa Salazar)?
The inaugural couple of the movie, Felix and Lucy decide to have laundry room sex after witnessing Greg's (BD Wong) murder. After the Wal-Mart excursion Lucy and Felix take the car and just drive away, content to make love in some other safe house, I suppose.
Why was there a Trump reference?
In Wal-Mart, Douglas gives a toast to his new friends. "We are collectively making the end of the world great again!" Douglas says, gesticulating in the style of the 45th president. The other members of the group roll their eyes.
Why did the creatures show up in the first place?
Not that aliens need a reason to invade, per se, but what was it that set the apocalypse into motion? In The Happening, which supposedly inspired the book upon which Bird Box is based, the attack has a moralistic undertone. The Happening suggests that the attacks are a warning from plants because, essentially, humans are being too destructive. Bird Box doesn't have the same ideology: It's like the creatures are just there for some massive nihilistic prank.
Do the creatures affect animals besides birds?
Clearly, non-humans can be affected by the creatures, as demonstrated by the birds. But the birds are pretty much the only animals in the movie aside from humans and an early mention of a horse. In Josh Malerman's novel, Malorie has a dog named Victor who succumbs to the entities, as demonstrated in the excerpted passage below.
She heard Victor's bone pop. His fur and flesh had ripped. "Victor!"
She pocketed the microphone and dropped to her knees. Kill him, she thought. But she couldn't.
Maniacally, she searched the stage. Behind her, it sound like Victor had chewed through his own leg.
This may have been too violent to portray on screen — I certainly don't want to watch it happen — and Bird Box neglected to include Victor the dog. That said, dogs dying in horror movies does tend to be a trope. Anybody remember I Am Legend?
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