You might not think watching a gloomy post-apocalyptic thriller would be the way people would want to spend their precious time off during the winter holidays, but it’s still 2018, which means all the 2018 rules apply (read: there aren’t any). How else could you imagine closing out a year like this one, besides?
So, ever since Netflix’s Bird Box dropped, the internet has had a time discussing the Sandra Bullock-led dread-inducing drama. It’s not that the film’s plot is terribly confusing or overwrought; there are only a couple of loose threads that might get an audience scratching at scalps, like the fact that we never actually see what all the infected people see that devours them so. Otherwise, this is a pretty straight forward movie about an invisible alien invasion that causes people to self-destruct when they see … something. If you can avoid looking at the thing, and stay away from the mole people who are trying to force you to look at the thing, it’s fine.
It’s like A Quiet Place meets The Happening meets Invasion of the Body Snatchers, and it’s fine. And yet … no one can stop talking about it.
So, why, for such an un-revolutionary TV movie, is Bird Box commanding so much internet attention?
We have a theory. See, shortly after its release, Bird Box was just kind of there, and the people who watched it reacted with open curiosity.
Bird Box would’ve been dope if they didn’t end it without giving us some more background on what exactly was making people kill themselves.
— Instagram: AskTrillAC (@AskTrillAC) December 27, 2018
#BirdBox was good, confusing but good
— Loni 🏳️🌈 (@IamLoniRene) December 26, 2018
If that wasn’t tempting enough, that’s when a few key celebs started weighing in to make it even more of a must-watch.
I was absolutely riveted by BIRD BOX (Netflix). Don’t believe the lukewarm reviews, which may in part have been caused by reviewers’ ambivalence to the streaming platform, as opposed to theatrical releases.
— Stephen King (@StephenKing) December 20, 2018
I was taking a bit of a holiday break for family time but I just watched bird box and my whole heart is sore I need company is anyone there
— christine teigen (@chrissyteigen) December 27, 2018
People also started to chime in about how Bird Box adds to a recent cinematic trend about sense deprivation scares.
Hear no evil…(don’t breathe)
See no evil…(bird box)
Speak no evil…(A quiet place) pic.twitter.com/a445IJrAj7
— 🌹🌻Šüñ~Røśę🌹🌻 (@harmonylamaria) December 27, 2018
Pretty soon, like those delightful little birdies in the movie itself, everyone was tweeting about this pic, and the movie slowly began to dominate the internet conversation.
— Lisa 💜 (@Lasell_83) December 27, 2018
And, of course, not everybody has been terribly considerate about abiding the spoilers code, so if you wanted to avoid spoilers, you had to watch it before any more popped up on the feed. (Speaking of which, probably best to stop scrolling now if you haven’t already seen the movie, so consider this a SPOILER WARNING.)
I finally watched bird box so I can stop tryna avoid spoiling it with all the tweets on my tl pic.twitter.com/Wp3wSNVgzO
— Carolinasaurus Rex (@deaf_caro) December 27, 2018
Then the memes got going, and Bird Box watchers were enjoying an inside joke or two or twelve.
Bird Box (2018) pic.twitter.com/YjJPgYyJoc
— Cameron Ayers (@Cameron_Ayers1) December 27, 2018
These Birdbox meme’s is too much 😂😂😂😂😂 pic.twitter.com/9jK88K1lbv
— CeeSupa99 (@CeeeStar6) December 27, 2018
watches bird box once… pic.twitter.com/gHq2NOg3yA
— ana. (@__xoanaa) December 27, 2018
Me after watching Bird Box pic.twitter.com/tZddR6RX7j
— James Wisteria (@WisteriaJames) December 27, 2018
Birdbox: Do not look outside or you will die
— ben 🖤 (@BennySc87891356) December 27, 2018
After that, people started started watching the movie just to even understand what everyone was fussing about because the FOMO was starting to get to be too much.
If I don’t watch this bird box movie ASAP I’m gonna have an anxiety attack because all these memes are hella confusing
— ⛄️🎄 (@czarniak_sara) December 26, 2018
gonna watch Bird Box just to understand the memes… y’all won
— JuanPa (@jpbrammer) December 26, 2018
I watched Bird Box strictly because I was getting annoyed that I couldn’t understand all the memes people were posting
— Justin (@justin16almeida) December 26, 2018
Me pretending to see none of these bird box memes… pic.twitter.com/5iA7FAIe6Q
— Elvin. (@ElvinAdan_G) December 26, 2018
me relating to all the birdbox memes after being peer pressured into watching it pic.twitter.com/SMU5dBHEr9
— إ (@imxnns) December 26, 2018
Then, once this new wave of watchers tuned in, the whole cycle started up again. Just like those alien-demon-whatever voices that beckon our heroes to take off the blindfolds, Bird Box fans on Twitter have been summoning everyone else to peel off those blinders to see for themselves … with far less grave consequences than the characters on-screen, of course, but still.
Bird Box is available on Netflix.