The progression of Bird Box jumps back and forth from present day Malorie with her two kids to five years prior, when the unseen presence starts disrupting her overall peaceful life. In jumps to the past, the viewer sees the world from Malorie’s perspective and she converses with the other survivors in the house. As a viewer, most of the characters in the house are not wholly relatable before being quickly killed off. How did the survivors make it for five years? What happened to basically everyone, the rest of the world? It’s hinted that they are killed, but do I assume they are all just dead? Bird Box left a few loose ends, but the character development isn’t so bad. We get short snippets of old man Douglas’s and Greg the owner of the home’s life based on Malorie’s conversations with them. Even though Malorie is the central character, I found some of the other characters like Charlie and Olympia interesting, but they are left with almost nothing. Speaking of which, the children seem to act as a metaphor to the now isolated world. Being born at the beginning of the unseen force’s emergence into the North American continent, Girl and Boy have very little knowledge of the world other than how to survive and stories told to them. Given what little they have, their personality is almost nonexistent.
Overall, Bird Box tries to bring home the message of emotional maturity when everything else has fallen apart. It is suspenseful and unnerving, especially because the post-apocalyptic threat is not something the survivors can shoot to kill. Overall, character development was lacking but the setting and Malorie provided a nice balance to that.