The Wild Ending of Netflix's Survivalist Thriller Bird Box, Explained

By | January 3, 2019

Bird Box has effectively taken over current conversations of popular culture. In a rare move, Netflix released streaming data indicating that the new Sandra Bullock-starring survivalist thriller/horror movie is, indeed, a massive hit (though those numbers from the infamously guarded company should be greeted with a healthy amount of skepticism). And Twitter reported that Bird Box has been tweeted about more than 8 million times in the last 30 days.

If you’re one of those many people who happened to watch Bird Box, or if horror movies aren’t your thing but you’re curious about the post-apocalyptic thriller, you’re naturally asking: What’s up with that ending? Bird Box takes some pretty intense turns starting from a chilling premise, in which entities that have overtaken earth cause people to kill themselves when they see the creatures. We’ve helped you out by breaking down the (sort of) unexpected ending (spoilers below, naturally).

We know early on from Bird Box‘s time-jumping story that Sandra Bullock’s Malorie is taking two children in her care, known simply as Boy and Girl, in a rowboat down a river to a supposed safe community amid the dangers of the entities. They all travel blindfolded, and Malorie teaches the kids (one of whom is hers, the other being the child of Olympia, a fellow survivor who dies) how to make do without their sight.

The crew struggles mightily on their way, dealing with an infected man who tries to kill them and being capsized. In a forest, the entities try to fool each of them into taking off their blindfold by mimicking the voices of loved ones.

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But this is a Hollywood production, after all, and killing two young children is something you rarely see in such a movie (and unless Malorie saved them, that is undoubtedly what would’ve happened). Malorie and the kids reach the community and discover that it is indeed a peaceful oasis and former school for the blind populated mostly by blind people.

This makes sense, and if you were thinking during the first 10 minutes of Bird Box, “What about blind people?” congratulations. The ending (which is darker in the book the film is based on) still leaves some lingering questions, like how the hell is this community able to build a canopy from plants that allows in plenty of light yet somehow shields everyone, including those with eyesight, from the entities that seem to be everywhere? And why, for that matter, is everyone protected from them in any sort of indoor (or indoor-adjacent) space when they’re so good at traveling around? Are the residents of this oasis able to live on the provisions from their relatively small garden? And can we really accept that Malorie coincidentally runs into the doctor who helped her through her pregnancy in this commune?

It’s best not to dwell on these questions, because Bird Box doesn’t have satisfying answers. It gets a bit corny toward the end, and the visual effects get dramatically worse (so it’s probably for the best that the filmmakers deleted footage of the entities we never see), especially whenever leaves are blowing around. But the movie delivers solid jolts throughout, and at least you can sleep soundly knowing that Boy and Girl and Sandra Bullock escaped death. Well, at least until the inevitable sequel comes out.

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