- Netflix’s post-apocalyptic horror film “Bird Box” has been the talk of the internet.
- The film is based on a 2014 novel of the same name by Josh Malerman.
- Unlike the novel, the Netflix adaptation has a somewhat uplifting ending.
- Warning: Spoilers for “Bird Box” ahead.
The “Bird Box” phenomenon has captured the interest of the Netflix-watching community, from celebrities to eager fans who can’t stop making memes of the smash film. After watching the movie, you may still have some lingering questions about its ending. It differs from the 2014 novel by Josh Malerman on which the film is based, and it proved to be one of the most surprising twists in the movie.
The movie may have received some average reviews from critics, but with Netflix reporting that it received over 45 million views in seven days, it’s safe to say there is something of a phenomenon surrounding the movie.
Keep reading to learn more about the movie’s ending.
The ending finds Malorie and the children at a sanctuary
After travelling down a dangerous river for 48 hours and struggling to survive against unseen monsters for five years, Malorie, played by Sandra Bullock, and two children, called Boy and Girl, finally find sanctuary. As the birds begin chirping louder and the wind starts blowing harder, Malorie and her children are finally allowed into the building they travelled to find. The building belongs to Rick (Pruitt Taylor Vince), a man Malorie had previously spoken to via radio.
Rick introduces Malorie and her family to his sanctuary, which is a school for people who are blind. Its inhabitants, including Rick, are primarily blind, and they have thus gone unscathed by the creatures that threaten those who see them.
Malorie and her children are amazed at the shelter and experience a reunion with a familiar face, Dr. Lapham (Parminder Nagra), the OB-GYN Malorie spoke to at the beginning of the movie. Malorie also gives Boy and Girl their official names. She names the boy Tom after her fallen survival partner and the girl Olympia after the girl’s fallen mother.
The film’s team chose a more uplifting ending than the book’s
The ending of “Bird Box” is different from the ending of the novel.
In the book’s ending, the people in the sanctuary have blinded themselves to avoid the force of the evil creatures.
The movie opts for a less intense ending, as the sanctuary is instead a school for people who are already blind and the community has opened itself up to fellow survivors. The ceiling of the sanctuary is covered with birds and greenery, blocking the view of outside.
Eric Heisserer, the writer of the film, talked to Thrillist about the decision to make the ending uplifting: “It seemed smarter for us to make that more of an optimistic ending. I’m one who generally leans toward a hopeful or optimistic ending even in dystopian horror movies. I’m not one to embrace nihilism considering that I feel like we’re living in that world now.”
Director Susanne Bier echoed his sentiment, telling Polygon she wanted the movie to end on a positive note and to celebrate Malorie as a strong and determined female protagonist. She said: “I’m not particularly interested for the audience to leave, from the cinema or their own screen, with a kind of completely bleak point of view. That’s not really what I believe in.”
The relatively happy ending could mean a number of things – one being the importance of hope
The sanctuary that the three finally reach represents a positive, hope-filled ending for the family. Many fans and critics have commented on the movie’s unconventional and neatly packaged ending.
Writing for Screen Rant, Hannah Shaw-Williams argued that the revelation that the sanctuary was a school for people who are blind represents the importance of faith. She wrote, “It represents the power of blind faith – the kind of faith that Malorie had when she chose to take on the rapids with both herself and her children blindfolded.”
Some critics argued that the entire plot was a backdrop for Malorie’s character development, and the ending represented her reopening herself up to love and human connection.
Jesse Schedeen wrote for IGN that there was significance in Malorie’s choice to give the children names at the end of the film: “When they finally arrive at the compound, she belatedly gives them the names she denied them in the outside world. Malorie finally comes to realise that a life without genuine, human connection is no kind of life at all.”
Visit INSIDER’s homepage for more.
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.