‘Bird Box’ (Netflix official trailer)
In “Bird Box,” viewers never get to see the monster that tries to drive Sandra Bullock to suicidal insanity. She avoids making deadly eye contact with it by wearing that now-infamous blindfold.
But we’ve seen the monster. And it’s OK to look. Really.
Turns out, he’s a big baby.
Special effects company SFX Atlas posted photos on Instagram of the monster that was purposefully left to languish on the proverbial cutting room floor of the Netflix hit. The photos have since been deleted, but movie fans grabbed them before they disappeared and shared them on social media.
“The unseen creature from Bird Box created at @knb_efx that was sadly cut from the final film,” the post read. “Andy Bergholtz @andy_bergholtz sculpted and pre-painted the prosthetics. Stephen Prouty @proutyfx went to set and applied the makeup on actor Dirk Rogers @thehalloweendirk.”
Bullock described the monster in an interview last month with Blood-Disgusting horror movie website. “It was a green man with a horrific baby face,” she said. “It was snake-like, and I was like, ‘I don’t want to see it when it first happens. Just bring it into the room. We’ll shoot the scene.’
“I turn and he’s like this (growling at me). It’s making me laugh. It was just a long fat baby.”
Laughter wasn’t exactly what the filmmakers were after.
“We actually shot that and spent a lot of energy on, but every time I saw it, I was like this is not going to be tense. It’s just going to be funny,” director Susanne Bier told Bloody-Disgusting.
Ultimately, filmmakers decided to leave the monster to every viewer’s imagination.
After the photos were revealed, TV Guide wrote that “it’s not hard to see why the filmmakers decided to let the movie ride without ever revealing the visage of the villain that threw the world into madness.”
Put TV Guide in the “not impressed” category.
“This guy ... looks more like the kind of generic hobgoblin that might belong in an entirely different kind of movie, like The Descent or some moody ‘90s Stephen King horror like Storm of the Century,” it wrote.
“Certainly, it doesn’t fit with the tone and narrative framework of Bird Box, so whoever made the decision to nix it made the right call and, frankly, that decision alone may have been the difference in making the movie the mini-pop culture phenom it has become.”
Horror enthusiast Jacob Dressler, writing for ScreenGeek, proclaimed that “it’s not that bad of a creature design.”
“While the creatures in Bird Box are supposed to take upon the fear of whoever sees them, the design itself would’ve been pretty cool for a Hills Have Eyes scenario,” he wrote.
“Either way, I don’t think the idea of showing the monsters is that bad. They just could’ve put a little more effort into something more creative. Maybe throw in some David Cronenberg styled body horror, that’d give a nice twist on the concept.”
Meanwhile, Netflix is busy warning people away from the #BirdBoxChallenge bubbling up on social media. Not hard to figure out how that one goes - try to perform an everyday task while blindfolded.
Stop that, says Netflix.