Let’s start the year with something that’s been bugging me for a few days. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy a good hype when it comes to movies, as long as it’s justified. In the case of “Bird Box”, Netflix’s latest apocalyptic thriller starring Sandra Bullock, the hype isn’t justified at all. As I start my 9th year on this humble blog, I have to accept the fact that “meme culture” is alive and well on social media, something that didn’t even exist when I started writing back in 2010 (or maybe it did but not as aggressive as today). Anyway I’m drifting. What I’m trying to say is that I didn’t see “Bird Box” upon its release. So I had to endure a week full of memes on Twitter, hyping up the movie and calling it “the next big thing”. Eventually I saw the movie and it’s not bad by any means. But it isn’t great either. I guess you could call it a cross between M. Night Shyamalan’s misfire “The Happening” and last year’s terrific “A Quiet Place”. In the latter, if you made a sound, you died. In “Bird Box”, if you open your eyes, a mysterious entity will take your life. Sandra Bullock plays a devoted mother who has to lead her two children down a treacherous river to get to a safe sanctuary. In between, we get flashbacks of how things started, leading up to this very moment. It’s an intriguing idea for sure, fueled by a good performance by Bullock. But unlike “A Quiet Place”, which kept the element of surprise alive, this one plays its cards much too early and never truly rises above the routine. As someone who’s been watching apocalyptic films for as long as I can remember, I wasn’t blown away by “Bird Box” as I didn’t find myself invested in the story as much as I should. Which brings me back to this: why were we bombarded by all these memes as soon as the movie was released on Netflix? Call it a smart marketing strategy (and it paid off) or simply call it spam, there’s no denying that it got us talking about this film. But will it stand the test of time? I don’t think so. It has a few solid ideas here and there, but “A Quiet Place” did it better as it kept me intrigued from start to finish. “Bird Box” simply didn’t.