The Sandra Bullock-fronted thriller is about a mysterious presence roaming the Earth, and anyone who stares directly at it is somehow driven to commit suicide. The survivors of the initial outbreak figure out how to make it through: they have to roam around wearing blindfolds. It’s a great, incredibly dramatic element of the film – but surely it was difficult to shoot?
In a new interview, director Susanne Bier has recalled how it was all put together.
“They were wearing blindfolds, and Sandra Bullock was hitting trees, hitting the cameras and, at one point, getting a proper wound,” she told Radio Times.
“But she had trained with somebody who teaches blind people how to navigate – how to, through sound, figure out distances – so she had training in how to move around without looking.
“Still, with the speed and everything, it was kind of nerve-wracking, but we wanted it to have a feeling of being very real. Which it did.”
She added: “I don’t think it necessarily takes longer, but it puts pretty huge strain on one’s sense of harmony or one’s calm.
“The steady cam operator had to start with Sandra every day kind of moving around, anticipating her next move and trying to be out of the way. But it was pretty exciting.”
In the same interview, Bier had explained why we never see the horrifying monsters.
“The creatures mess with your mind; they tap into your deepest fear. And, because they tap into your deepest fear, we can’t ever see them, because that deepest fear is going to be different whoever you are,” she reasoned.
“For me, the most exciting point in any thriller has always been that point right before you see the monster, right before you see the villain. That has always been the most frightening, and I wanted the whole movie to have that atmosphere.
“To be completely honest, every time I see a monster in a movie I kind of go, ‘Is that all?’”
Bird Box, which is based on a novel, also stars Sarah Paulson, John Malkovich and Trevante Rhodes.
Bird Box is now streaming on Netflix.