On July 14, one of the most interesting premieres of this month was released on the Netflix service – the post-apocalyptic horror film “Birdbox: Barcelona”. It is a spin-off of the 2018 film starring Sandra Bullock, which at the time became the most watched movie on streaming. In the review below, we tell you what the authors have prepared for the audience this time.
“Bird Box Barcelona” / Bird Box Barcelona
Genre post-apocalyptic horror, thriller
Directed by David Pastor, Alex Pastor
Starring Mario Casas, Georgina Campbell, Diego Calva, Alejandra Howard, Leonardo Sbaraglia
Release year 2023
In 2018, the horror movie “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 with “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 clearly 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 Anna, 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 tape looks like an average zombie horror, showing the escape of the survivors. And when the camera rises sharply upwards, showing the city mutilated by the apocalypse and the scale of the disaster, it reminds one of 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 similar “Carriers” with Chris Pine and “Epidemic”, where the action also took place in Barcelona, and humanity was gripped by total agoraphobia.
Subsequently, the story picks up speed and offers several unexpected twists, which, firstly, makes you forget about “Dwelling of 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 already be called a small victory for the Pastors.
Suspense is also added by appropriate flashbacks, which interrupt the main story painlessly for the last one and show tense scenes of the beginning of the end of the world. At these moments, “Barcelona” looks as exciting as possible: the glorious city is literally drowning in panic and chaos, and the main characters are precisely at the epicenter of this horror.
The further development of events, when the viewer already knows some details concerning 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 delight 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 becomes clear that the creators no longer have any trump cards. Not a trace remains of the initial fervor, and then the film maneuvers into the plane of a banal post-apocalyptic survival thriller with a predictable plot.
That is why it is very unfortunate that the screenwriters did not have enough courage or ingenuity to sustain the story at the initial pace and not stop surprising the viewer.
So, “Birdbox: Barcelona” managed 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 also a plot line in the story with a religious cult headed 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 too without revelations. The monotonous desire of the creatures to deceive the characters is annoying (count how many times the phrase “Claire, you left me” will be heard).
Meanwhile, it is worth noting that against the background 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.
Pros: exciting fast-paced opening, interesting follow-up (but up to a certain point), spectacular opening scenes of the apocalypse, a small expansion of the mythology of the original film Cons: a frank reduction in the pace of the narrative and creative ingenuity in the second half, which causes events to become predictable and drastically reduces the level of audience engagement , no stars of the caliber of Sandra Bullock or John Malkovich Conclusion:
“Birdbox: Barcelona” will one hundred percent have both fans and haters, as happened with the first film. But this is a worthy project, from which one should not expect too much