Netflix's new trailer for Bird Box opens close on Sandra Bullock’s face as she embarks on an urgent, drill sergeant-like speech. “Listen to me — I’m only gonna say this once: We are going on a trip now; it’s going to be rough,” she begins, and as she barks out her list of high-stakes, life-or-death orders, the camera pans out to reveal the audience: her two small children, standing quietly in the foyer.
The new, five-minute preview for Netflix’s newest foray into horror starts near the end and then flashes back to the beginning, contrasting the family’s post-apocalyptic death race in the here-and-now with the strange, earlier events that depopulated the world. There’s a threat out there, one that alters the mind of anyone who sees it — and it causes people to take their own lives the minute they’ve been exposed.
If you’ve seen The Happening or A Quiet Place, Bird Box appears to be crossing up those two movies’ themes — an unseen force that compels people to hurt themselves, and messing with one of your five senses in order to avoid it.
The new clip comes just one day ahead of Bird Box’s arrival at Netflix, giving us an on-screen look at how the premise has been teased so far: a mysterious, invisible being is exposing people to the sight of their worst nightmares, and it causes them to immediately go off the rails. That means single mom Malorie (Bullock) and her kids can’t make it to safety unless they’re wearing blindfolds — a scary proposition, as the trailer effectively shows.
Director Susanne Bier has said she approached Bird Box as a thriller instead of a horror movie, but if the preview’s anything to go by, there’s a gripping malaise of psychological horror underpinning every step these survivors take.
Starring Bullock alongside John Malkovich, BD Wong, Sarah Paulson, Lil Rel Howery, and Jacki Weaver, Bird Box stalks onto Netflix on Dec. 21.