Bird Box Is the First Great Monster Movie About This Poisonous Invention

Screenshot: NetflixHave you watched the new Netflix movie Bird Box starring Sandra Bullock yet? It’s been divisive, with some people saying they love it and other people claiming that they hate it. But I absolutely loved it, and I have a theory about one of the most difficult questions of the entire movie: What are the monsters, exactly?First, this is your chance to abandon this article if you haven’t seen the movie yet. I loved it and it reminded me of some fantastic 1990s limited TV-series adaptations from Stephen King like The Stand and The Langoliers. And if you want to see it with unspoiled eyes, go ahead and do that now.Again, this is your last chance to abandon this article, because there are major spoilers ahead. Last chance…Screenshot: NetflixOkay. Are the spoiler-phobics gone? Let’s get started.The monsters of Bird Box are social media. Seriously.Think of Bird Box as a new entry into the old-fashioned 1950s monster movie genre, but instead of the midcentury fears about the Cold War, nuclear weapons, and communism we’re exploring the New Cold War and fears of what social media is doing to our brains. By putting on the blindfolds, the characters of Bird Box are protected from the monsters, which are actually the influences of social media.Films like The Thing From Another World (1951), Invasion of the Body Snatchers (both the 1956 and 1978 versions), The Blob (1958), The Day of the Triffids (1962), and Them! (1954), are ostensibly monster movies—but they’re actually about the fear of communists infiltrating America, even though the movies don’t talk about the Soviet Union explicitly. The monsters of those old movies were stand-ins, just as the unseen monsters of Bird Box are stand-ins for one of our greatest fears today, the poisonous influence of social media.I know you might be thinking that I’m only seeing what I want to see in the movie—that the monsters are just a thing that I’m forced to think about every single day,

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