***WARNING (Bird Box Spoilers)
Y’all are totally missing the underlying message of this film!
The monster makes you commit suicide and hear voices. Notice that people labeled as “mentally ill” are immune to the monster and they want everyone else to see it. THEY WANT EVERYONE ELSE TO SEE WHAT ITS LIKE TO WANT TO TAKE YOUR OWN LIFE AND HEAR VOICES IN YOUR HEAD. The monster is suicide and mental illness personified. Throughout the film you slowly watch people unravel and fall victim to their own fear, paranoia and violent behavior, all symptoms of mental illness. This forces the audience to ask “Now who’s crazy?”. Without any in-depth information about the “monster”, all the characters are figuratively and literally left blind.
Why can no one see the “monster”? Because suicide and mental illness don’t have a face. It can affect anybody. In the scene in the kitchen with Sandra Bullock (Malorie), and Trevante Rhodes (Tom), Malorie says something to the effect of “My sister would have never killed herself. She wasn’t like that”. Today we have those instances of people who were clearly exemplifying suicidal tendencies before they took their own lives, but the stigma surrounding suicide and mental illness often causes people to hide those feelings rather than talk about them; we’ve all seen those new stories and interviews were people who were close to a suicide victim say things like “She never seemed like she’d do something like that” or “everything seemed fine”.
The scene where Danielle’s McDonald’s character (Olympia), asks Malorie to take care of her child if anything happens to her is also very telling. Olympia speaks about feeling like a burden because she was spoiled her whole life and “all that love made [her] soft” while Malorie proclaims she was “raised by wolves”. Both women are PREGNANT, and despite their different backgrounds are at the mercy of the same invisible force. I think this is a commentary on gestational and postpartum depression.
Almost all of the characters are dealing with grief to some degree, especially Malorie and John Malcovich’s character (Douglas). They both watch their loved ones commit suicide. This shows that suicide doesn’t just affect the victim, but also the people around them.
In the end we see that the only way for Malorie and her kids to survive is by USING THEIR VOICES.
Now go rewatch the movie and stop looking at things at face value. That kind of observation is what the film is trying to get you to stop doing. It’s so much deeper than that.
Credit Carlly Pitson