Life & Culture

Bird Box: Barcelona review - All the usual post-apocalyptic fodder

This thriller focuses on a society overrun by scary creatures


Bird Box: Barcelona
Netflix | ★★★✩✩

Released by Netflix in late 2018, Susan Bier’s Bird Box gave birth to a million internet memes and much discourse about its bleak post-apocalyptic subject matter.

The film which starred Sandra Bullock and was adapted from Jewish musician, artist and novelist Josh Malerman, is now getting a European spin-off sequel by acclaimed Spanish directing duo Álex and David Pastor.

The action takes place in Barcelona a few months after mysterious entities led anyone who laid eyes on them to commit suicide. Survivor Sebastián (Mario Casas) and daughter Sofia (Naila Schuberth) join up with a group of strangers to escape the creatures and hopefully find safety. It soon transpires that all isn’t as it seems when Sebastián’s real intentions are soon revealed.

Struck down with doubt and continued search for redemption, Sebastián comes across another group of survivors, including a German girl separated from her mother during the initial attack and Claire (Georgina Campbell), a young British doctor left stranded in Barcelona during a work trip.

Armed with new information about a rumoured survivors camp on the other side of the city, the group battles against the creatures and a group of religious zealots who seem immune to the creatures' effects.

There is more than just a hint of similarity between Bird Box: Barcelona and the Pastor brothers' cult 2013 post-apocalyptic Sci-Fi thriller The Last Days which followed a man who must deal with the potential end of all humanity.

While Bird Box: Barcelona has none of the subtle bleakness of Brier's first film, the Pastors still manage to bring an interesting twist to Malerman's excellent original idea. 

It's all the usual post-apocalyptic fodder of quarrelling survivors and end of the seat suspense a la George A Romero, but there is nothing here sadly that we haven’t seen a million times before.

Fans of the first film will be glad to finally have some answers to the mystery behind the suicides, but sadly this isn’t a patch on the first movie.

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