Netflix’s Bird Box was a resounding success, with the streaming service claiming more than 45 million account holders ditched their blindfolds to check out the film that had so many people chirping over the winter holidays. Nielsen data put it more around 26 million viewers in its first week, but still: there were a lot of eyes on the Sandra Bullock thriller. But whether you think the movie was derivative of previous sense-quashing thrillers like A Quiet Placeor not (note: the book came out long before that movie), Bird Box was still quite effective at drawing an audience.
No doubt, part of that intrigue is owed to the fact that the movie was shrouded in mystery since we never actually see the things that are driving everyone across the harm themselves.
They didn’t show us the monsters in bird box for a reason. We all would have killed ourselves. Duh. #birdboxmemes
— Ethan (@ethan_fite) January 7, 2019
That detail made Bird Box an immediate must-see so that everyone on Twitter could weigh in on what exactly just happened in it and get ahead of the many spoilery memes that were flitting about online.
As it turns out, though, Bird Box may have been a very different movie if not for a creative choice to keep the killer presence off-screen, because a behind-the-scenes shot of the design for the movie’s would-be monster has been unveiled, and, well, take a look for yourself.
SFX Atlas shared a shot of the ditched monster mask after the movie’s debut and quoted the original artist to say that he was (understandably) dismayed by not seeing his work included in the final product. With no disrespect to him, of course, it’s not hard to see why the filmmakers decided to let the movie ride without ever revealing the visage of the villain that threw the world into madness.
After all, Bird Box presents its havoc-wreaking force as something utterly magnificent and terrible to behold, an image that can at once make a person throw themselves in front of a bus and inspire a select few others to mercilessly track down whoever hadn’t looked at it, too. Including children!
This guy, on the other hand, looks more like the kind of generic hobgoblin that might belong in an entirely different kind of movie, like The Descent or some moody ’90s Stephen King horror like Storm of the Century. Certainly, it doesn’t fit with the tone and narrative framework of Bird Box, so whoever made the decision to nix it made the right call and, frankly, that decision alone may have been the difference in making the movie the mini-pop culture phenom it has become.