Book to Movie Adaptation Review: Bird Box by Josh Malerman

Bird Box

By: Josh Malerman

Originally Published: March 27, 2014 by Ecco

305 pages

ISBN: 9780062259677

Genre: Horror/Thriller

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

There is something outside that should not be seen. Once someone looks at it they are driven to violence. No one knows where it came from or what it is. 

Malorie and her two children have been living in an abandoned house on the river, and when the children turned four she decided that they were going to finally get somewhere safe. It is twenty miles down the river in a rowboat…blindfolded. Luckily, the children have been trained to listen for what is out there to help guide Malorie. There is something following them though. 

Then we jump back in time to when it all started, before any of the children were born. She ends up in a house with multiple people who end up helping her, but some cannot be trusted. I guess I should also mention that there is a love interest, Tom. 

I finished the book, and watched the movie in the same day. All of the events from the book were fresh in my memory. I’m not going to say that the book is always better than the movie, but in this instance I’m saying it. I give the movie a two star rating, and that is being very generous of me. It gave me The Happening vibes, which is a movie starring Mark Wahlberg. That is one of the worst movies I have ever watched. Bird Box is a step up, I guess. 

On a brighter note: There are actual birds involved in this book/movie! I wasn’t expecting that. Get excited!

There are name changes from the book to the movie. I am not a fan of that. I get that it’s an adaptation, but still! I want a movie to be so similar to a book that I have the same feelings about it. Is that legal to do? I’m not sure what the rules are when adapting a book into a movie. The acting in the movie was very subpar. I know that the dialogue in the book isn’t brilliant, but I don’t find that to be much of an excuse. I didn’t feel connected like I did when I was reading the book. I understand how this is probably someone’s favorite movie, but I just found it to be a crowd-pleaser. They added in everything that is trendy now and days. Nothing about it screamed “thinking outside of the (bird) box.” No pun intended, but also pun intended. 

The endings weren’t exactly the same. Which is okay, and I kind of figured Hollywood would change it up a bit anyway. I wanted the in-depth explanation that was in the book. I wanted the connection between the characters that was in the book. Am I asking for too much? Am I being harsh? I’m just giving my honest opinion, so don’t come after me.  

The book wasn’t as amazing as a lot of people made it out to be, but it was good. Overall, I wanted answers, and I didn’t really get any. That’s mostly the reason why I docked it a star. The ending is very open to interpretation. The whole book, I’m assuming, means something deeper than what it actually is. I like my books to have deeper meanings, but I spent so much of high school thinking about what a book means, that I don’t want to do that all the time. I guess that just makes me a lazy reader. That’s fine. 

I will admit that the characters in the novel were very hard to distinguish from one another. If you asked me everyone’s name in the novel I couldn’t give it to you. I’m terrible with names when it comes to a large group of people. Obviously, there are the main characters that stick out to me right away. The characters were definitely hard to love, but you also understood why they acted the way they did. It is an odd feeling, especially in a book like this, to understand a character that has messed up morals. 

To sum everything up: I hated the movie and thoroughly enjoyed the novel. Thank you, and goodnight. 

If you’re thinking about letting Bird Box into your life, please start with the book! 

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