I Can’t Stop Laughing at the Description of the Bird Box Monster We Almost Got to See
Continuing our day of Thank Heavens No One Listened to Those Producers news, there is apparently a deleted scene in Netflix’s Bird Box that would have changed the entire movie, and not for the better.
Without getting into spoilers, Bird Box centers on a mysterious force which causes people to kill themselves once they see it. What follows is basically A Quiet Place but with talking, as characters, led by Sandra Bullock, take pains not to see the entity that’s causing this mayhem. And since they never see it, we never see it. That choice increases the tension for audiences, and it’s also led to some interesting theories about what invisible force the monster represents, from social media to racism.
Except according to an article at Bloody Disgusting, we almost got a very different movie—one in which we see the monster. And it sounds beyond terrible.
Screenwriter Eric Heisserer explains, “There was a time when one of the producers was like, ‘No, you have to see something at some point’ and forced me to write essentially a nightmare sequence where Malorie experiences one in that house.”
And what exactly did the monster look like? Bullock describes: “It was a green man with a horrific baby face.”
She went on, “It was snake-like, and I was like, ‘I don’t want to see it when it first happens. Just bring it into the room. We’ll shoot the scene.’ I turn and he’s like this [growling at me.] It’s making me laugh. It was just a long fat baby.”
“It so easily becomes funny,” added director Susanne Bier. “We actually shot that and spent a lot of energy on, but every time I saw it, I was like this is not going to be tense. It’s just going to be funny. At first, Sandy was like, ‘I don’t want to see it’ because she thought it was scary. Then it was like, ‘Don’t show it to me because [I’ll laugh].’ Every time I did it, I was like, ‘Shit, that’s a different film.’”
Bier explained why seeing the monster at all “would have been the wrong decision.”
“Whatever those beings are,” she said, “they tap into your deepest fear. Everybody’s deepest fear is going to be different from the other person. I think to suddenly take upon a concrete shape in order to illustrate that becomes weak. Where the conceit is really strong, then trying to illustrate it is kind of almost meaningless.”
Watching the movie, I got the impression that the “beings” didn’t look the same to any two people. It makes sense to hear that they’re a person’s worst fear. And what I’m seeing in my head after hearing about that original monster concept—basically, this:
Well, I don’t think that’s anyone’s worst fear. Unless your worst fear is dying from laughter.
(via Pajiba, image: Netflix)
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