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Meagan Hoffman, Editor-in-Chief

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Netflix has done it again as its newest original film Bird Box is driving people crazy. Within a matter of days viewers went “nuts” over it. 

Directed by Susanne Bier, the film follows Malorie (Sandra Bullock), an aspiring artist who chooses isolation from the world over socializing. Her sister Jess (Sarah Paulson) is the only outsider with whom Malorie associates.

The film wastes little time with exposition. Within the first five minutes, news reports display images of people in Russia committing mass suicide to due an unknown cause. Not phased by the horrific headline, Malorie (who is pregnant) and Jess continue to the OB/GYN for a checkup. On their way home, the women experience mayhem in the streets as this strange epidemic reaches America. 

Unfortunately, Jess quickly succumbs to the “creatures.” Her eyes change form and she purposely crashes the SUV. Both survive, but Jess quickly throws herself in front of a garbage truck to end her misery.

Alone, pregnant, and scared, Malorie shuffles into a house where she then gives birth and eventually resides for years as chaos continues around the world. The other residents of the house share with Malorie that the only way to avoid being taken over by the “creatures” is to wear a blindfold when outside, or to stay indoors with the blinds shut.

After supplies run low over the next five years, Malorie and her two children must travel on a dangerous river to a safer shelter. Will Malorie and the children be able to make it through the journey blindfolded?

Much terror is derived from obstructed views. When Malorie is forced to wear her blue cloth blindfold, the camera shows her perspective by only showing a blue cloth. This claustrophobic vision makes viewers feel as if they are a part of the plot.

The ability to relate to the characters makes the movie seem realistic to the viewer, as if we too must find our way in this new blind world. The director includes the audience in the character’s suffering, which, ironically, makes the viewing experience more enjoyable.

Adding to the suspense, the actual “creatures” are never shown. The inability to see the feared entities adds an entirely new level of thrill and fright. This technique allows each viewer to dig into the darkest parts of their imagination to picture the terrifying “creatures” overpowering people’s minds. As people’s own worst fears take shape, the plot becomes even more intense.

Within one week of its Dec. 13 released, Netflix claimed over 45 million accounts had signed in to watch this new chilling hit. Soon after, viewers have taken to all social media platforms to spread comical joy of the movie through memes.

As talk about the movie continues to circulate, the Bird Box challenge has become the latest fad among viewers. The challenge consists of people blindfolding themselves and attempting to perform simple tasks, such as going upstairs or cooking dinner. The videos documenting these failed tasks are then uploaded to social media platforms, subsequently going viral. 

While this comical and entertaining challenge is a positive spin on such a heavy movie, Netflix is begging people to please stop as injuries have been reported.

Thrilling is an understatement for this movie. The emotional appeal of watching Malorie struggle and horrific blindfolded scenes tug at the heart strings of viewers, making it even more addicting.