To the delight of Wal-Mart and Dollar Tree employees everywhere, blindfold sales have skyrocketed in the past few months. T-shirts have been torn, cloth cut—blinders have been made. This is thanks to Netflix’s 2018 film Bird Box (A Quiet Place‘s cooler, less compelling younger brother); a critical “eh” yet cultural phenomenon based on the novel of the same name by author Josh Malerman.
Their stories revolve around the character of Malorie, a woman who enjoys sailing and running through the woods blindfolded—while tripping over branches and shrubbery. Well, not really. Characters in this post-apocalyptic world use a blindfold to avoid the enticing/suicide inducing visions of the eldritch—invisible creatures that now haunt the Earth. Viewers of the film seemed to admire those trained to function without eyesight…. The resulting #BirdBoxChallenge sparked an onslaught of chaos as people attempted to complete tasks blindfolded. It got so bad that one woman even crashed her car! We reported this story months ago so if you want more information regarding the incident, click here!
Netflix had to issue a warning:
Regardless, some of the less-harmful memes (arguably the 21st century’s greatest societal contribution), as always, have been spectacular.
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When Malerman’s novel came out in 2014, it received a warm reception from the literary community; although, the cultural impact it had was nowhere near that of the car crash, and Will Smith’s genie trashing social media whirlwind. Malerman’s novel probably was overlooked by some—The Happening and The Road were released around the same time with similar apocalyptic themes. It seemed that in 2014, frantic adults ran around with their eyes closed in every movie theater and on every page.
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A sequel to the 2014 novel entitled Malorie (Sandra Bullock’s titular character) has been confirmed with a release date of October 1st, 2019. In an interview with Esquire, Malerman not only reiterated confirmation of his upcoming sequel but offered up a few other details:
“In the time between Bird Box coming out and the time since I’ve been writing Malorie, I’ve been asked a ton of times: people want to know what happened with Boy and Girl. But as much as I care about Boy and Girl, this isn’t their story. The Bird Box world is Malorie’s story, and I wanted to know more about her. I wanted to get to know her even better.”
The story is set to take place eight years after the ending of Bird Box; it’s worth noting that the book and film differed upon their conclusions. The film ends on a hopeful note—Malorie, Boy, and Girl safely make it to a school for the blind where the two children finally receive proper names. In the book, however, the three find a greenhouse community where everyone has blinded themselves on purpose. So yeah, that’s a bit more brutal and less convenient than the film. The novel’s ending will undoubtedly influence the sequel’s plot—and it will be interesting to see how the inevitable film adaptation differs. I’m sure the subsequent online debauchery will make up for any shortcomings in storytelling.
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