On July 14, one of the most interesting premieres of this month was released on the Netflix service – the post-apocalyptic horror Bird Box: Barcelona. It’s a spin-off of the 2018 film starring Sandra Bullock, which became a top streaming hit at the time. Below in the review, we tell you what the authors have prepared for the audience this time.
“Bird Box Barcelona” / Bird Box Barcelona
Genre post-apocalyptic horror, thriller
Directors David Pastor, Alex Pastor
In roles Mario Casas, Georgina Campbell, Diego Calva, Alejandra Howard, Leonardo Sbaraglia
Graduation year 2023
In 2018, the horror “Birdbox”, the plot of which is based on the novel of the same name by Josh Malerman, made a lot of noise and became a hit on Netflix. Observers compared the project to “The Road”, “The Phenomenon” and the then relevant “A Quiet Place” by John Krasinski. The premiere was a real movie event with a record number of views, which was reported by the surely satisfied representatives of the streaming service.
As you know from the original film, the world was taken over by mysterious chimeras, looking at which people immediately want to jump off the roof of a high-rise building or throw themselves under a train. The events of “Barcelona” begin already in the post-apocalyptic world, when those who survived are forced to hide and go outside only with blindfolds on their eyes. In the center of the plot are Sebastian and his daughter Hanna, who are trying to survive in a terrible reality, where mortal danger awaits at every corner.
This is probably all that an interested viewer should know before watching, so as not to stumble upon spoilers and spoil the viewing.
In the first few minutes, the film looks like an average zombie horror, showing the escape of the survivors. And when the camera goes up sharply, showing the city mutilated by the apocalypse and the scale of the disaster, it generally resembles the beginning of one of the parts of Resident Evil with Jovovich.
But this is not surprising, considering that the local authors, brothers Alex and David Pastor, once staged the thematically close “Carriers” with Chris Pine and “Epidemic”, where the action also took place in Barcelona, and humanity was gripped by total agoraphobia.
Then the story takes a high turn and offers several unexpected twists, which, firstly, makes you forget about “Resident Evil”, and secondly, hopes for something really cool. At the initial stage of the film, it is possible to qualitatively play with the audience’s expectations and not to live up to them, and this can be called a small victory for Pastors.
Add suspense and flashbacks that interrupt the main story painlessly for the last and show tense scenes of the beginning of the end of the world. At these moments, “Barcelona” looks as exciting as possible: the famous city is literally drowning in panic and chaos, and the main characters are at the epicenter of this horror.
The further development of events, when the viewer already knows some details of the main character, also looks interesting. With this knowledge, you look at the situation with different eyes, but even here there is enough intrigue to stick to the screen and watch with interest what is happening on the screen.
Somewhere from the middle of the timeline, the set rhythm begins to noticeably slow down, and at the same time it turns out that the creators no longer have any trump cards. Not a trace remains of the initial drive, and then the film maneuvers into the plane of a banal post-apocalyptic survival thriller with a predictable plot.
That is why it is extremely unfortunate that the screenwriters lacked either the courage or the ingenuity to sustain the story at the initial pace and not stop surprising the viewer.
“Birdbox: Barcelona” was able to somewhat expand the mythology of the original film and at one point even tried to explain from a science-fiction point of view how chimeras affect a person. But these guesses are too fleeting to give any adequate answers.
There is a story and storyline with a religious cult led by a false prophet. She has no depth, because she fulfills a purely functional need of the script and exists to antagonize the main characters.
The theme of faith can be traced between the lines, but here there are no revelations. Annoying sensations are caused by the monotonous desire of the creatures to deceive the characters (consider how many times the phrase “Claire, you left me” will be heard).
In the meantime, it’s worth noting that against the backdrop of a lot of frivolous Netflix nonsense, “Barcelona” looks good and definitely deserves one viewing. At least you don’t want to blindfold yourself with a cloth while watching the film. Well, almost not.
exciting rapid start, interesting development of events (but up to a certain point), spectacular scenes of the beginning of the apocalypse, a small expansion of the mythology of the original film
a frank decrease in the pace of the story and creative ingenuity in the second half, which entails the predictability of events and drastically reduces the level of audience involvement, the absence of stars of the caliber of Sandra Bullock or John Malkovich
Birdcage: Barcelona will absolutely have both fans and haters, just like the first film. But this is an interesting project, from which one should not expect too much