Remember Bird Box (2018)? It was one of Netflix’s most popular films that year, even setting a record for most views in a week on the platform and leading people to try a stupid and dangerous viral challenge of imitating the film’s protagonist, played by Sandra Bullock, and going out blindfolded. Well, Netflix has released a spin-off recently, Bird Box Barcelona, and we are here to tell you all about it!
The new Bird Box Barcelona by Àlex Pastor and David Pastor, starring Mario Casas, takes us back to the post-apocalyptic world we found out about in 2018, but with a few extra elements this time. In this new adventure, set, as its name suggests, in Barcelona, we discover more details and secrets of this dystopian reality.
As shown in Bullock’s film, the planet has been invaded by strange creatures. When people look directly at them, they are struck by the urge to take their own lives immediately. For this reason, when the protagonists of both films go outside (they are not in danger indoors), they must always wear something to cover their eyes, leaving them blind to the world.
With top-notch acting, a compelling story, and all the other right ingredients that make a great horror film, Bird Box Barcelona presents a thrilling film experience that you shouldn’t miss. Is Bird Box Barcelona worth watching? Find out next! (Spoiler Alert)
Bird Box Barcelona vs Bird Box: Are They Different?
The premise of Bird Box Barcelona is connected to the original Bird Box in that it has the same invisible creature, and that the characters have to be blindfolded to survive.
Unlike the first film, the roles are reversed this time; as in Bird Box Barcelona, we are not following a mother but a father, Sebastian, as he fights for survival in post-apocalyptic Barcelona. Sebastian soon comes across a group of survivors, and in a completely unforeseen twist, he tries to make them look at the Bird Box franchise’s suicide-inducing creatures! The reason behind his doing is monstrous!
However, the spinoff of Bird Box is opposed to the original when it comes to the themes it deals with. The first film was focused on Malorie’s inner grief and solitude. Bird Box Barcelona is distinguished from the original by its unique perspective and deep exploration of the universe of the first instalment.
Unlike the main character in the original film, Sebastián, the lead character of Bird Box Barcelona, is one of a number of individuals who can stare at the vicious creatures and live! These individuals are referred to as “seers,” who turn out to be even more cunning than the creatures. The film ends with a cliffhanger, leaving us with some unanswered concerns and the possibility of a riskier sequel.
Besides that, one of the other differences between the two films is the timeframe; in the original film Bird Box, the story starts five years after the first creature assault, when Malorie sets out on a risky quest to save her two children. On the other hand, in Bird Box Barcelona, the events take place nine months after the first assaults, when Sebastián and his daughter Anna go exploring the streets of Barcelona in search of safety.
Furthermore, the setting of Bird Box Barcelona is definitely another feature that sets it apart. For instance, traversing Barcelona is more challenging because the city is considerably larger than the town and woodlands in the first film.
Bird Box Barcelona Review!
In Bird Box Barcelona, directors Alex and David Pastor present a story with a darker, grimmer tone, taking it more into horror film territory than sci-fi. The enemies are no longer simply the enigmatic beings who force people to commit hideous suicides but also the fanatical groups that emerge among the ruins of Barcelona and transform the pain into something far more macabre.
The beauty of Barcelona is shot from a completely different angle this time; the city’s well-known buildings and lively streets project a chilling feeling of despair rather than enchantment as usual. As the story progresses, Barcelona is seen to decay under the weight of global devastation. The city’s Gothic architecture vanishes, historic buildings and monuments are reduced to rubble, and the survivors must fight not only the invaders but also each other.
The cinematography of Bird Box Barcelona masterfully combines breathtaking scenery with an air of impending dread, successfully enveloping the audience’s interest in the protagonists’ fight for survival. The eerie, atmospheric end increases the suspense and gives each scene a sinister feel.
The Bird Box Barcelona‘s examination of trepidation and the unknown connects on a deeper level to inspire audiences to consider the limits of their own concerns and the lengths they would go to defend the people they love. Also, the film focuses on how people from different cultures are impacted by the entity and how they see it from a different angle. The directors’ inventive choices are to be praised here!
Moreover, one of the most striking features of Bird Box Barcelona is its interpretation of catastrophe. Instead of presenting it simply as an attack by unknown forces, it is seen through the eyes of an ideologised group led by Father Esteban, played by Leonardo Sbaraglia. For them, this end of the world is not an attack but a divine sign that must be interpreted and responded to in the best possible way.
Regardless of these phenomenal characteristics, it was challenging for the audiences to connect with the characters since the film lost important opportunities to clarify their motivations and past events. Even the protagonist’s past was obscured, depriving the viewer of a solid basis to understand why and how the character got to be the “chosen” one.
Why You Should Watch Bird Box Barcelona?
Besides the well-knit story and that thrilling atmosphere that would take you on an adventure, there are so many reasons why you should definitely consider watching Bird Box Barcelona.
The Well-Written Characters
The concentration on the human element among the pandemonium differentiates Bird Box Barcelona from other thrillers. Bird Box Barcelona investigates human nature amid harsh conditions, exploring themes of sacrifice, atonement, and the resilience of the human spirit, in addition to the multi-cultural characters who don’t all speak the same language.
While some characters are intelligent, others commit foolish mistakes that result in their demise. Additionally, you could see their human side—or, at least, something human—in the way they interact with and defend one another, oblivious to the fact that the real danger is among them.
Sebastián is a former engineer and religious man who lost his wife and his daughter, Anna. His grief is a key factor in his transition from a peaceful follower of a man-made religion to a violent follower of an alien-based faith.
Claire is a psychiatrist who looks after a little German girl in the group. Like Sebastián, she is filled with remorse and sadness over the loss of her family, her brother in particular. She is the first person, thanks to her outstanding intellect, who gets suspicious of Sebastián and devises clever strategies for surviving.
Isabel and Roberto are a married couple who are going through a nasty divorce. Isabel used to be a history teacher, which explains her extensive knowledge of the city. When the group chooses to relocate from their subterranean camp to Montjuïc Castle, the value of her knowledge is abundantly evident.
Octavio is extremely intelligent, has a degree in physics, and has theories about quantum entities and the “observer effect.” Octavio is smart with a high educational background, but while his intelligence might have helped him with education, it didn’t help him much with survival!
Rafa is an ex-soldier who now trains dogs. He welcomes the concept of altering the hiding spot because he is aware of the advantages and security that Montjuïc Castle provides. However, he never made it to the castle since he was the first member of the group to die.
Sofia is a young German girl whose whole world was shattered when the monsters first appeared while she was on a holiday with her mother, leading the mother and daughter to separate. The smart creatures use this to their advantage and try to allure Sofia to take off her blindfold by imitating her mother’s voice.
The Brilliant Cast
One of Bird Box Barcelona’s strongest forte, in addition to the deceitful and thrilling narrative, is the outstanding performance of the actors, which exceeded expectations—starting with the superb Mario Casas.
Mario Casas is a well-known actor born on 12 June 1986 in A Coruña, Galicia. He is renowned for his captivating on-screen presence and attractiveness. Known for his charisma and versatility, he has excelled in both film and television; his career includes hit films like Las Brujas de Zugarramurdi (Witching & Bitching) (2013), Palmeras en la Nieve (Palm Trees in the Snow) (2015), and Contratiempo (The Invisible Guest) (2016).
With these titles and more under his belt, Casas managed to be one of the most famous actors in Spanish cinema recently. In Bird Box Barcelona, he delivered one of his greatest performances as he brought the character Sebastián to life.
The character is one of the “seers” who posed a genuine threat to the group he joined. He somehow aids the creatures in continuing to harm people, even though they were responsible for the deaths of his wife and daughter. This adds a great deal of intricacy to his personality, which Casas skilfully delivers throughout the film.
There is also Georgina Campbell, who played Claire; she was the only member of the group who escaped Sebastián’s manipulation and was one of the survivors. Georgina’s acting was exceptional.
But that’s not something new for her; Campbell’s talent to represent nuanced, empathetic characters has always stood out. Her repertoire includes TV shows like Flowers (2016) and an episode of the hit show Black Mirror. There are also the films King Arthur: Legend of the Sword (2017) and Barbarian (2022).
Last but not least is the characteristic Mexican actor Diego Calva. Diego played Octavio, whose naive trust in other people caused his death. The Mexican rising star’s portrayal of the character was flawless.
To sum up, Bird Box Barcelona is a thrilling treat that cleverly presents a blend of fear, suspense, and deception, creating a strong effect on the audience with its potent performances, breathtaking visuals, and compelling plot.