by Zully Matul
Bird Box is an exciting film that offers suspense and horror. In this sci-fi film, based of Josh Malerman’s novel, two different time period are presented; such as, the last years after the world ended, and the initial days when everything fell apart. The film cuts between these two periods but spend most of its time in the flashback’s with Malorie. Though this is an exceptional film due to how the storyline is presented, what makes this film truly unique is the use of sound in editing.
Since this film usually takes place in the flashback with Malorie and the two children named “boy” and “girl” it is interesting to analyze just how sound is used in particular scenes. What makes Bird Box an interesting film to watch and truly observe is the sounds edits, and the idea that all the characters are blindfolded. This means that they must rely on their senses like sound to navigate to a safe place. All whilst going through mountains and eventually the dangerous river to get to School for the Blind.
In order to capture the essence of the mysterious entity that causes anyone who looks at it to die, sound is used to manipulate the audience’s focus. The sound produced in this film is very precise and uses a blend of supernatural elements and organic sounds that build uncertainty for the characters. While watching this film, one of the elements that stood out to me was the sound of panting throughout the film. This was very strategic because it gave a sense of urgency and fear that was portrayed through the characters and ultimately to the audience.
Sound is essential to a film because it tells the audience how to feel. Because of this, fear and tension were two of the emotions that were definitely expressed throughout. As I watched Bird Box, the scenes with the unseen monsters provoked fear because of the whispers inserted in the sound. The whispers were essential to the film because this was the way the people were convinced to kill themselves. Through the use of this unique sound the unseen monsters were able to capture victims. This sound doesn’t stop there. To add more elements to this particular sound, the whispers were combined with a swarm of bee sound. As I was examining this film the swarm of bee sound added a sense of threat as it was surrounding its victims. Bird box shows how powerful these scenes were by implementing creatives sounds to create an unseen monster. As sound is an essential part of this film, it should be good to discuss the many scenes that used great sound.
As I was re-watching this film the scene where the characters finally decide to go out of the house to get supplies was a great powerful scene where sound was used. Since all the characters are blindfolded the only thing that guided them was sound. In this scene the sound seemed to crescendo and surround the car when the presence came closer to the characters. The sound that was used resembled that of human and animal sounds. This was a way that the sound used made the viewers fear the unseen monsters.
Overall the sound in the scenes enhanced the film which truly made Bird Box unique. The last scene of Bird Box shows Malorie’s and the two kids attempt to get to the School for the Blind. This was an interesting scene because it was a screen that was intended to cause confusion for Malorie while she was on her way to a safe place. While Malorie and boy and girl were wearing a blindfold, they had to travel through the woods while not being able to sense where they are going.
As they approach the School for the Blind the unseen monsters go into full attack. The sound produced in this scene involved the monsters surrounding the characters with a loud terrifying sound in this climactic scene. This occurs as they chase the characters as they approach the door. The score used in this scene is important because it is a moment of desperation where Malorie pleas for the children’s life instead of her own. Through the sound choice, the audience can empathize with Malorie and her pain as she screams for help.
Bird Box is a great example of sound in film. What makes this film particularly unique is its emphasis on sound especially as the characters are blindfolded throughout. This film was very interesting to observe especially the way sound was portrayed to create the unseen monsters. This film had many different examples of the way sound could be used creatively such as the way that sound was implemented by using different sound combination such as a beehive and whispers. Overall this film taught me ways in which sound is perhaps one of the most important elements in a film.