Movie Night is back and Sandra Bullock is Malorie, a portrait artist and a reluctant single mother-to-be living alone in her cluttered studio. There’s growing news on TV about random suicides, but it’s far away, in another country on another continent. Until it isn’t. If you haven’t seen the trailer, you know what to do.
This movie is as riveting as it is horrifying. I don’t know how they did it but it’s the first time I have watched a woman willfully get into the driver’s seat of a burning vehicle and I am scarred.
Based on a 2014 novel of the same title, some reviews suggest that it stayed true to the book most of the time. I haven’t read it and so can’t make a comparison. Regardless, books are always more detailed and I might give it a shot.
The plot is backwards and starts with Malorie rowing blindfolded in a small boat with two children; girl and boy, while she has flashbacks on how they came to be out in the cold and on the water. So you’ll probably start this movie with a thought like “What the hell is going on? What does she think she’s doing? How far does she think she will get like this?” to “Wow. O, dear God. What if it was a trick? This little girl with the stubborn face will get us all killed…sh*t sh*t sh*t!” At least that was my reaction.
Young children in horror movies always make it even more frightful. They are unpredictable and prone to dumb-moves that put everyone at risk, while we subconsciously become vested in their survival. What I found most refreshing was the genuine reluctance with which Malorie approached motherhood. There are so many movies that portray maternal love as sure, soft and cuddly. It was great to see that maternal love can be a struggle, defined by grit and a sense of responsibility.
Sandra Bullock’s performance was brilliant and believable. I’m surprised none of the kids wet themselves from the sheer terror in her voice. After Oceans 8, my opinion of her dwindled a bit but this work restores her icon status for me.
This movie is very reminiscent of A Quiet Place particularly because I sat through both with a full-to-bursting bladder. I believe the later was a lot more intense, perhaps because a child was killed very early on. By contrast, we never get to see the monsters in this movie. We get an idea of what they may look like from sketches and learn to register their presence by the rustling of leaves and shrieking of birds.
About the ending, I can’t say too much without dropping a spoiler so I’ll summarise by saying it ends well.
John Cena the American professional wrestler is listed in the movie cast but I didn’t see him play any major character. Perhaps he was one of the outlaws? If you see him, please let me know in the comment section below.
Do I recommend this movie? Certainly but… I recommend this for only adults… with stable minds, please. There are way too many self-harm and suicide scenes in here. In addition, there are voices telling the characters to do things they shouldn’t. Other reviewers believe this movie tries to draw attention to mental health issues like depression and schizophrenia or dementia. I don’t know enough about mental health conditions to come to the same condition but I am of the opinion this movie could be disturbing for some.
Will I see it again? Probably not, but only because I have a 5000-word coursework to turn in in January and. I have deactivated my Netflix account temporarily.
Have you seen Birdbox on Netflix? Let me know what you think in the comments!
As always, thank you for reading!
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