Bird Box Director Defends The Film’s Controversial Ending

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Netflix is creating a good deal of buzz right now thanks to two titles that people simply can’t stop talking about.

The first is Black Mirror: Bandersnatch, an innovative experience that acts as a Choose Your Own Adventure story, allowing the viewer to control the plot and its central character, while also offering up a dark, twisted tale that has a few interesting surprises and turns.

Then there’s Bird Box, Susanne Bier’s adaptation of Josh Malerman’s novel that tells a post-apocalyptic story of a woman fighting to survive “after an ominous unseen presence drives most of society to suicide.” It’s a gripping, thrilling ride with some fantastic performances, but it’s also causing a bit of controversy due to its ending.

In the novel, when Malorie and the children reach their safe haven, they find that a lot of the people there have purposefully blinded themselves in order to survive and live a happy life, which is much darker than what we see in the film, where the haven is a home for the blind, which is why so many of them were able to survive.

Fans of the book have taken issue with the more optimistic conclusion, but according to Bier, she did this because she wasn’t interested in making an apocalyptic movie with a bleak ending.

“The movie is slightly more positive,” she told Polygon. “The movie is, in many aspects, different from the book, but it’s also very rooted in the book. The book also has a kind of positive ending and I would not have wanted to do an apocalyptic movie that didn’t have a hopeful ending. In a way, pretty much everything I’ve done has had some sort of a hopeful ending. 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.”

That’s fair enough, though we can also see why people are upset that such a change was made. It’s not necessarily a drastic one, but it does alter the impact of the ending quite a bit and perhaps Bier shouldn’t have been resistant to making an apocalyptic film with a bleak conclusion. But it is what it is and as a whole, Bird Box still works extremely well and will no doubt have people talking for a while longer.

Source: Polygon

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