the Little Red Reviewer

Archive for the ‘Josh Malerman’ Category

Bird Box (movie)

Starring:  Sandra Bullock, Trevante Rhodes, John Malkovich

Directed by: Susanne Bier

Available on Netflix, Dec 21 2018

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Ya’ll know I don’t read or watch much horror. I’m not usually interested in being scared. Or maybe it’s that the things that fill me with indiscriminate terror are not the normal “scary” things?

 

Anyway, a number of years ago, Josh Mallerman’s debut horror thriller Bird Box made quite a splash. The jist of the story was If You See Them, You Will Die.   Not like “see it” like in The Ring movies, but if you looked at whatever this terrifying creature was, the sight of it would make you kill yourself. Was it the horror of what you’d seen? Did the creature brainwash you?  Who knows, and no one was going to find out. Bird Box is the scariest book I have ever read. You can read my review here.

 

Last year, I’d heard they were making a movie of Bird Box.  The first time i saw a preview for A Quiet Place, I hoped it was a preview for the movie Bird Box.  Obviously it wasn’t, not enough blindfolds.

 

A few weeks ago, I learned Bird Box would be on Netflix, and today, I got to watch it.

 

It’s been four years since I read the book, and to this day I remember being absolutely terrified by that book.   Surprising nobody, I watched the movie in broad daylight, with all the lights on.

 

First thoughts:

Sandra Bullock? I love her, but isn’t Malorie supposed to be a 20-something?

 

Wow 40-something Malorie, you are really, really unlikeable. What the fuck is your problem?  Do you have to be a bitch all the damn time?

 

John Malkovich, yeah! Haven’t seen him in ages, I love him!

 

Rest of the movie thoughts:

Just like in the book,  the movie gets going fast, and you’ll barely have time to breathe in the first half.  Malorie, newly single, isn’t excited about being pregnant. Her sister Jessica takes her to her doctor appointments, and Malorie is basically in denial that in a few months she will be bringing a new life into the world.

 

On the day Malorie begins to just maybe be ok with being pregnant, the world ends. Cars are on fire, people are running, there are explosions. Jessica walks in front a speeding bus.  A woman saves Malorie’s life by inviting her into a suburban house. Seconds later that same woman calmly gets into a burning car, and sits there, burning to death, while her husband watches from the house.   Go ahead and read that last sentence again, would you? I want this to sink in.

 

This is how the world ends. Invisible creatures that convince us to kill ourselves. The only way to survive, is to stop yourself from seeing them.  But if you do survive, then what? Do you just starve to death? How long will you wait before you just say Screw It, and go out and stare death in the face?

 

The choice to cast nearly everyone as middle aged adults made more sense when Olympia showed up. Young, spoiled, careless, Olympia looks like a walking advertisement for Pampered Chef or Tupperware parties. She knows she’s completely out of her league as soon as she meets the other people in the house.  Everyone else in the house has life experience, they know the same golden oldie songs, they’ve lost people. They view Olympia as a liability. You can see in Olympia’s face, as she looks around the room, that she knows she’s a liability.

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2014-06-01 19.37.17Bird Box, by Josh Malerman

published March 2014

where I got it: purchased new

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For the purposes of a quick survey, I want you to make believe that like me, you are deathly afraid of spiders. Yes, even the itty bitty ones. Yes, I know they are more afraid of me than I am of them. Yes, I know they don’t have teeth. Just make believe, ok?

Which is scarier: seeing a small-ish totally squishable spider in your bathtub, or knowing there is a spider in the bathtub, but not knowing how big it is? It could be teensy tiny and killable or it could be an articulated legged, egg carrying, huge as fuck brown recluse? (Jesus Christ, just typing that sentence has me scared fucking shitless)

The second one, right?

We all know how to fight things we can see. Fight zombies with shotguns, fight aliens baddies with superheroes or flamethrowers, fight diseases with medicine, find someone who isn’t arachnophobic to take care of the spiders. But what about an enemy you can’t see? The unknown is far scarier than the known. Once we know something, we can categorize it, understand it, and learn how to defend against it if it really does mean us harm. It being unknown makes all of that impossible. It’s also the devil’s food for your imagination.

In Josh Malerman’s debut novel Bird Box, something is ravaging humanity. Not a disease per se, but something that makes people kill themselves, often taking other loved ones or even random people with them. These are not serial killers or sociopaths, these are not revenge or attention seekers. These are old ladies who commit suicide in the middle of the street, children who sit the bathtub and slit their wrists, happy people, healthy people. No one seems to know what’s causing it, they just know it is getting worse, and it is everywhere. All anyone knows is that it is something you see. Something gets into your eyes, and from that moment on your life can be measured in minutes. Easily one of the most intense books I have ever had the pleasure of reading, if Cormac McCarthy’s The Road, The Weeping Angels from Doctor Who and The Walking Dead had a threesome horror story love child, Bird Box would creep the shit outta that baby.

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some of the books reviewed here were free ARCs supplied by publishers/authors/other groups. Some of the books here I got from the library. the rest I *gasp!* actually paid for. I'll do my best to let you know what's what.