• Graveyard Shift

Things From The 'Bird Box' Book That Were Too Intense For The Screen

List RulesVote up the passages that send chills down your spine.

Netflix's original film Bird Box is a bona fide cultural phenomenon. Based on the equally successful book of the same name by Josh Malerman, the movie - which stars Sandra Bullock, Sarah Paulson, Trevante Rhodes, and John Malkovich - has spurred numerous memes, fan theories, and an ill-advised blindfolded "challenge." 

The post-apocalyptic film centers on Malorie, who must shepherd her two kids down a dangerous river toward a sanctuary with enough food and supplies to last them several years. She must do so completely blindfolded, as there are creatures lurking about that, if looked at, can drive a person mad. The story also features flashbacks to five years prior, detailing Malorie and a band of other survivors' attempts at learning as much as they can about the monsters causing chaos outside their walls.

Malerman's novel follows much the same narrative path, though there are several scenes within the pages that were too intense for the adaptation.

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  • 5

    The School For The Blind Has A Dark History

    Photo: Ranker

    In the film, Malorie's arrival at the Jane Tucker School for the Blind signals the end of her physically and emotionally tumultuous journey. She has shepherded the children to a sanctuary where they can live safely, and Malorie can finally rest. It's a fitting and hopeful end to a tense and nerve-wracking narrative.

    The novel ends much the same way, with one exception: the school once mandated a grisly rule for the survivors staying there. While Rick, the group's leader, insists they no longer condone this practice, it's a sobering reminder that, no matter how bright their future may look, the difficult choices made along the way still reverberate. 

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    Victims Of The Monsters Are Dangerous Toward Others As Well

    Photo: Ranker

    Throughout the film adaptation of Bird Box, we see several characters take their own lives after seeing the monsters; this is the signature effect these entities have on people. In the source material, however, those infected by the creatures also harm others, as Josh Malerman outlines early in the novel.

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  • 7

    A Dog Succumbs To The Creatures

    Photo: Ranker

    In Susanne Bier's Netflix adaptation of Bird Box, we never really find out how other animals react upon seeing the creatures. Are they just as susceptible to the madness the monsters instill in humans, or are they immune?

    While the film doesn't address this question, Josh Malerman does. The answer leads to one of the most heartbreaking scenes in the novel. Following the destruction of their sanctuary, Malorie takes a dog trained to help guide the housemates while on supply runs - quite literally, they hope to use "seeing eye dogs." As Malorie blindly searches for gear, the dog, Victor, sees one of the creatures.

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  • 8

    Birds Are Not Immune To The Creatures

    Photo: Ranker

    In both the book and film, the characters use birds as an early warning system against the presence of the creatures. The animals can sense when the monsters are near, and chirp madly. Ostensibly, in the film, birds are immune to the madness generated by the creatures. They are left uncovered in their cage and survive the monsters' siege on the house toward the end of the film.

    This is not the case in the novel, however. In one terrifying scene involving "warring" birds in the sky, we learn the threat the creatures can pose.

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