Bird Box: Theories and hidden messages behind the Netflix movie

Tijen Butler January 2, 2019
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Birdbox Netflix movie


After two hours of action-filled drama, Bird Box ended with so many questions unanswered. Fans have therefore taken to the internet to share their theories and what they think the hidden messages are.

Netflix announced that Sandra Bullock’s Bird Box scored a record high of 45 million streams within just seven days. So, if you haven’t yet seen Susanne Bier’s zombie-style thriller since it was released on December 21, 2018, we suggest you watch it now.

Bird Box ending explanation

The thriller follows a survivor, Malorie, and her children, Boy and Girl, who live in a post-apocalyptic world after an unknown monster causes mass-suicides around the world.

People are driven to take their own life from the moment their eyes gaze upon the creature—though what they look at is never actually shown on Bird Box.

Years pass and survivors travel blindfolded to stop themselves from falling victim. Bird Box follows several interesting and thought-provoking themes.

However, the movie ends with a lot of questions unanswered. In the end, they walk into a safe community for the blind.

We take a look at the theories and hidden messages behind the movie.

Bird Box: Mental health awareness

Viewers have taken to social media with the theory that Bird Box attempted to shed light on mental health and increase awareness.

Positive tweet about mental health awareness in Bird Box
Twitter users think that Bird Box is increasing awareness surrounding mental health (Twitter/@marlborolayts)

Many believe the storyline demonstrates how everyday people may be battling against their demons and how the person you’d least suspect may suffer from depression and have suicidal thoughts.

However, others believe it is a “terrible” representation of mental illness.

Tweet that Bird Box is representing mental illness negatively
Many believe that Bird Box is representing mental illness in a crippling way. (Twitter/@RamCity)

People have taken to Twitter arguing that the portrayal shown on Bird Box will intensify the stigma.

Difficulties of parenthood

Being a parent is difficult for anyone and the same goes for the main character.

Even before the mass-suicides, Sandra Bullock’s Malorie felt she lacked her maternal instinct during her pregnancy.

After the babies are born, she simply names them ‘Boy’ and ‘Girl’. Some believe this is to prevent herself from getting too attached if they were to pass away.

Tweet about Bird Box and parenting
Fans notice the theme of parenthood. (Twitter/@sherlocknorms)

There is also a scene of Malorie and the children on a treacherous river, rowing blindfolded. Viewers decipher this is a metaphor for the struggles of motherhood.

Bird Box director Susanne Bier said: “There are a lot of things that are part of our idealised vision of motherhood, but I always thought it was much more complex, much more ferocious… I think that’s what Sandra gives it.”

Lovecraftian monsters or aliens

Most theories also surround what the monsters actually are.

In the Netflix film, it’s heavily suggested that people suffering from clinical mental illness aren’t driven to commit suicide like the others. Instead, these people come away enlightened, calling the creatures “beautiful,” that it will “cleanse the world” and that they’ve seen the “truth.”

Gary in Bird Box drawing the creatures

One person who saw the creatures but lived was seen drawing pictures of dark creatures with white eyes, suggesting the monsters look like that.

Chemical biowarfare

John Malkovich‘s character Douglas theorises this reason for the mass suicides near the film’s opening.

He blames it on North Korea, suggesting that a global enemy could’ve released a chemical agent that drove people to insanity, killing themselves for population control.

Psychosomatic hysteria

Described as “the rapid spread of illness signs and symptoms affecting members of a cohesive group,” mass hysteria does occur in the real world where behaviours are involuntarily repeated.

From the Tanganyika laughter epidemic In 1962 or the Strasbourg dancing plague in 1518, documentations suggest that such hysteria could be possible.

Religious themes

The Bible says “For we walk by faith, not by sight,” and viewers believe that the movie includes the religious undertone due to this quote.

Tweet about bird box and the bible
Fans notice the correlation between the movie and the bible. (Twitter/@Liiion_Babe)

Characters must wear blindfolds to survive—this could represent a ‘blind leap of faith’.

Bird box bible meme
Bird Box Meme showing the possible correlation between Bird Box and the bible. (Twitter/@Liiion_Babe)

And it seems that it certainly would’ve taken a lot of faith as the three characters spend several hours on the dangerous river unable to see.

Bird Box 2: Will there be a sequel?

Millions of views are hoping for a sequel as there are so many questions yet to be answered, and we’re itching to find out what happens next.

There is even a possibility for a prequel about how the pandemic started in Europe.

Unfortunately, there is no suggestion that another movie is on its way, but after Bird Box‘s success, they’d be crazy not to give us more.

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