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.
Malorie Makes An Impossible Decision About Raising Her ChildrenPhoto: Ranker
We don't see much of Boy and Girl's infancy in the film version of Bird Box - they are born, and then the narrative jumps ahead five years, revealing that Tom and Malorie have been raising the children in seclusion. In Josh Malerman's novel, however, Tom perishes in the house after Don - acting on Gary's orders - lets the monsters in, leaving Malorie to raise the children on her own.
The horror of bringing up two children in this post-apocalyptic nightmare is palpable, and Malorie finds value in a harsh bit of advice she received from Don early in her pregnancy: she should forcibly remove the children's eyesight to ensure their safety.
Malorie nearly follows through, grabbing a can of paint thinner she knows will damage Girl's eyes.Is this scene intense?
Tom's Daughter Couldn't Take The New WorldPhoto: Ranker
All we learn about Tom in Netflix's Bird Box is that he's a veteran of the conflict in Iraq, he worked construction before the apocalypse, and he had experience with kids via his sister, who had three children and a fourth on the way.
In Josh Malerman's novel, however, Tom's backstory is a bit different. He tells Malorie he had a daughter who, even at her young age, saw the world wasn't "fair" and became increasingly despondent with the apocalypse looming outside their covered windows. Then one morning, Tom woke to a terrible sight.Is this scene intense?
A Dog Succumbs To The CreaturesPhoto: 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.Is this scene intense?
The School For The Blind Has A Dark HistoryPhoto: 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.Is this scene intense?