Everyone has been talking about Netflix’s unmitigated success, Bird Box. As we broke up our regularly scheduled programming of holiday movies and Christmas cookies to watch something a bit more sinister, we couldn’t help but wonder what the monsters or “entities” would look like.
In Bird Box, survivors of a post-apocalyptic world have learned to adapt to life without sight in order to avoid seeing the entities who have the power to convince people to kill themselves by appearing as their worst fears and greatest regrets. In a move that only served to add to the suspense, filmmakers decided to never actually show the monsters. Is it just me, or does it all of a sudden get less scary once you see the monster in a scary movie? In an interview with Bloody Disgusting, screenwriter Eric Heisserer revealed that they filmed a scene showing the entity, but ultimately chose to cut it in favor of the final version. Sandra Bullock described the monster as a “long fat baby” or “a green man with a horrific baby face,” which only made us more curious to know what the intended form of the monster looked like. Well, now we finally have answers.
Bird Box’s special effects makeup designer, Andy Bergholtz shared pictures of a few possible versions of the monster on Instagram.
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*Some spoilers ahead for BIRD BOX, continue reading at your own risk!* We had the unique pleasure of designing a creepy makeup for the film, although the scene ultimately ended up on the cutting room floor. Keep in mind, the fatal "vision" that each character saw would most likely be different for each person (you'll understand if you've seen the film), and this makeup appeared in a cut "dream/nightmare sequence" with Sandra Bullock's character. Considering her pregnant state and emotional arc thru the movie, the producers felt Sandra's nightmare would have something to do with a twisted, demonic baby creature attacking her (that's as much as I could gather about the context of the scene anyway). I sculpted at least 3 or 4 variations on the design before it was approved, which began as a more aggressive, monstery look and was revised to be a bit more subtle in the end. I also had the pleasure of painting the finished prosthetics before sending them to set, to be worn and performed by the one and only Dirk Rogers @thehalloweendirk, applied by the great @proutyfx. It's funny, I read an interview recently where Bullock described the creature as a "snake-like, green man with a horrific baby face". Many folks have speculated what the creature may have looked like, but they fail to realize the "snake-like green man" portion was simply Dirk in a spandex green-screen suit 😄. Everything from the neck down was intended to be a giant CGI creature/body added later. In the end, I actually really liked the movie and think it was better off NOT showing the makeup. Kudos to the director for sticking to her guns on that one. Still a fun project to be a part of, thanks Howie! @hoops511 #netflix #birdbox
So, why the green snake baby? Bergholtz prefaced his post with an explanation. Each fatal sighting is specific to the character. It represents their fears and regrets, which are all different. These mockups were for an entity that is seen by Sandra Bullock’s character, Malorie. “Considering her pregnant state and emotional arc thru [sic] the movie, the producers felt Sandra's nightmare would have something to do with a twisted, demonic baby creature attacking her,” Bergholtz explained.
If they had decided to show the entities in Bird Box, it’s likely that we would have seen multiple versions depending on the character they appeared to. The real question is, what do the entities look like when they are not taking on the form of someone’s greatest fears and regrets? That, we may never know, even if they did leave the film’s ending open enough for a sequel.