The Bird Box- What are they? Spoilers

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Themightytom
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The Bird Box- What are they? Spoilers

Post by Themightytom » 2019-01-04 10:08pm

The Bird Box is all the rage, it stars Sandra Bullock, it's on Netflix, it's free, even if it is entirely unoriginal.

Basically Something Ominous happens in a far off place on the news. It chaotically happens around recently introduced main character, people are forced to huddle together and get to know each other,
they learn the world has changed, they scavage some free shit, some people die in a sudden and expected manner, they meet a sinister stranger, some shit is revealed about the stranger, some more shit happens and then a quest for the mysterious refuge, etc. I hope that didn't give too much away. I spoiler tagged specifics and labelled the thread.

The plot revolves around these mysterious entities which could be demonic, could be alien, I don't know, all I know is the main character didn't wake up from dream at the end so it is presented as actually happening.

I was kind of interested in discussing and cataloguing their observable traits, because that was really the only interesting part of the movie.
Spoiler
The entities are a visual phenomon. They can cause some kind of psychosis by stimulating the brain through visual observation. Electronic filtering does nothing for to block this, but a blind fold that can see light/dark does, apparently it has something to do with perception and recognition.

If perceived humans seem to have exactly two responses. Instant self-determination or an overwhelming desire to expose other humans to the entities. In some the second response seemed to be a calculated and manageable response and in others a frenzied compulsion. This might reflect their baseline personalities.
There is some variation in self termination, stepping in front of a vehicle, running to smash through a window, sitting in a flaming car, stabbing self with scissors, some of these things could have failed to terminate but we saw no wounded or maimed. All suicides were instantly effective or entirely unresisted self injuries.

The desire to harm others is not linked to self termination. (Olympia gave up her baby without trying to let it see, or desiring to harm it.)

The human brain attempts to translate their sounds into recognizeable and sympathetic recollections, possibly a memory trigger, or just an extrapolated association. It doesn't seem clear if there is any attempt at intentional communication. Blindfolded people hear the voices of people they know or remember and are highly inclined to listen to these people as they encourage them to take off their blindfolds. Different people here different voices at the same time.

The entities register as a solid object to a car with proximity sensors but nobody seems to have touched them and bullets don't seemed to harm them, assuming anyone can hit them. They seem to be too big to get through a sheet or blanket draped over someone, and above eye level.

They are not able to pass through solid objects nor to manipulate solid objects such as blindfolds though they do seem to possess some ability to make leaves rustle.

I believe some kind of intelligence or coordination would need to have been possible for the entities to actually have the impact they did, because while I'd have expected civillians casualties to be high, it seems like literally no local state or federal leadership managed to make it into a simple bunker, though it was suggested early on that the government knew something about what was happening, having advised people to stay off social and visual media and to use radios. The story took place in either a collapsed global civilization or possibly a very large quarantine zone.

All of this probably adds up to evil talking butterflies.



Any thoughts?

"Since when is "the west" a nation?"-Styphon
"ACORN= Cobra obviously." AMT
This topic is... oh Village Idiot. Carry on then.--Havok

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Re: The Bird Box- What are they? Spoilers

Post by FaxModem1 » 2019-01-04 10:50pm

Things I learned from this film:

1. It's wise to listen to the crazy person who worked at the supermarket and reads nothing but religious conspiracy theories on the internet.
2. Being the person who refuses to help others is the smart thing to do, until you're on the chopping block, in which case, yeah, people should help others.
3. Women really do sync up with each other, to the point of having their births at the same time.
4. Monsters can be stopped by newspapers and blankets.
5. Checking someone whom you don't trust's belongings for anything odd or dangerous, especially after having been attacked by infected people before, is just rude and shouldn't be done, even if that ends with all of you dead.

Kidding aside, it made me think. Were the 'converted' humans organized in any way, or we're they just roaming individuals and gangs? Because there didn't seem to be any coordination there.

What did they survive off of? Are there convert humans plowing fields and planting crops to keep the troops alive as they hunt for uninfected? I ask because they should be running low by now.

At what point do the creatures decide to purge their army and just have them off themselves? Or opposite of that, at what point do they say, 'Wait, I need you to hunt down the other humans', because after a while, they'd run out of hunters.

After five years, are the creatures' army of humans now making their own food through farming now, or are they just dying out because scavenging has emptied out all the food that was being made before the apocalypse?

Or even better, are the creatures bringing human chow from the local demonic/interdimensional/intergalactic human pet store to feed their humans?
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Re: The Bird Box- What are they? Spoilers

Post by Patroklos » 2019-01-05 11:22am

FaxModem1 wrote:
2019-01-04 10:50pm
What did they survive off of? Are there convert humans plowing fields and planting crops to keep the troops alive as they hunt for uninfected? I ask because they should be running low by now.
The whole thing takes place within the span of 5 years, and given the small number of survivors we see in a major city (SF right?) there would still be decades of edible prepackaged and canned foods around.
At what point do the creatures decide to purge their army and just have them off themselves? Or opposite of that, at what point do they say, 'Wait, I need you to hunt down the other humans', because after a while, they'd run out of hunters.
I got no indications there was any actual communication between the unaffected and the creatures. The unaffected are simply that, unaffected, and given the exposition that the reason they are unaffected is because they are abnormal mentally in some fashion it makes sense they are mostly unstable or homicidal maniacs.

That's not a good message regarding mental health, but we can rationalize it by saying to be unaffected you have to be really fucked up in the head vice more normal levels or mental illness.

The other interpretation is that they unaffected are not killing people because they are internally homicidal, but because of their preexisting mental illness they are affected differently. Instead of suicide, they kill others. Them working together can just be explained as them reveling in the thing only they can see no longer being chalked up to illness, but them actually seeing something real others can't. Its a small group, I can see people like that banding together.
After five years, are the creatures' army of humans now making their own food through farming now, or are they just dying out because scavenging has emptied out all the food that was being made before the apocalypse?
The urbanites, if they ran out of food which again I see no reason for this to be the case yet, probably. But we see at least one rural unaffected and there is no reason to think he isn't himself a farmer, or at least adept in rural skills like hunting and fishing.
Or even better, are the creatures bringing human chow from the local demonic/interdimensional/intergalactic human pet store to feed their humans?
We have no idea what they are.

I enjoyed this movie, but not as much as my wife. At it's heart it is just a case study on how humans interact under stress. The monsters are just an excuse to keep eveyone in a confined space and under threat. Later the sight thing is just a way to exacerbate the fear of the unknown. Standard fare.

What I didn't like about this movie is that it that for 90% of the movie the monsters are not physical threats. We don't see them kill anyone, only influence others to kill themselves. Nor do we see any corpses that suggest they had been killed by them.The worst we see is them rattling a car. And they are not killing the unaffected otherwise in some other fashion.

I honestly didn't think they were monsters at the start seeaking out humans to kill, as they don't seem to try and enter any buildings or hunt down the survivors. I just figured it was some phenomenon. Some space time rupture or other inanimate natural thing. But then all of a sudden they are chasing Sandra Bullock, and talking to her in ways that are not explainable by triggering memories or visions. And Sandra is certainly acting like she expects them to run her down and physically kill her.

Other than that it suffers from all the normal post apocalyptic tropes and logic holes, worst of all is everyone making the worst decisions possible at most junctures. I get, DRAMA, people acting rational is not exciting. But when you realize that all they need to do is throw a blanket over their heads drapped to the ground (this is what they do in the boat) the car stuff all becomes irrelevant. you can wal around seeing roads and curbs and other clues under your feet and get anywhere within an area of miles and miles you are familiar with. You could even farm this way after a fashion. It wouldn't protect you from other survivors, but neither does being in a blacked out vehicle.

Also, they would have drowned almost instantly going through rapids like that. Even in class 1 a strainer would have gotten them quickly. I saw no reason they couldn't have just walked.

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Re: The Bird Box- What are they? Spoilers

Post by Themightytom » 2019-01-06 08:07pm

Regardless of intent, their existence was a direct threat to human existence, but they really didn't necessarily demonstrate coordinated intent. It seemed generally the case that they were present, and humans had an adverse reaction. They did surround the car, but for all we know, something about it drew them in. The greater threat at the beginning was collateral damage from humans offing themselves, then from the humans trying to convert them, and finally from the perceptions of the affected character themself.

"Since when is "the west" a nation?"-Styphon
"ACORN= Cobra obviously." AMT
This topic is... oh Village Idiot. Carry on then.--Havok

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Re: The Bird Box- What are they? Spoilers

Post by Knife » 2019-02-16 11:32am

They are a Mcguffin. The movie is a Zombie movie without Zombies. You could have the same movie with a mysterious virus that enters the body through the eyes.

That said, was interesting and fun, once.
They say, "the tree of liberty must be watered with the blood of tyrants and patriots." I suppose it never occurred to them that they are the tyrants, not the patriots. Those weapons are not being used to fight some kind of tyranny; they are bringing them to an event where people are getting together to talk. -Mike Wong

But as far as board culture in general, I do think that young male overaggression is a contributing factor to the general atmosphere of hostility. It's not SOS and the Mess throwing hand grenades all over the forum- Red

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