‘Bird Box’ originally had a much darker ending and it's so disturbing

28 December 2018, 12:56

Katie Louise Smith

By Katie Louise Smith

The film is based on Josh Malerman's novel of the same name, but the ending in the book was much darker than the optimistic ending of the Netflix version.

If you haven't seen Netflix's new horror movie Bird Box yet, then put your phone down, fire up your TV, laptop or whatever the hell you watch it on, watch it, have a little cry about the ending and then come back to this article for your much needed debrief.

Starring Sandra Bullock, Trevante Rhodes and Sarah Paulson (for like, five minutes), Bird Box has been gripping audiences since it was released on December 21. The film follows the story of Malorie (Bullock) who finds herself trapped in a house with several strangers after the world is plagued with weird monsters that make people kill themselves if they look directly at it.

'Bird Box' has a deleted scene that showed what the actual monster looks like

Countless memes have been shared, minds have been blown (yes, that really is Machine Gun Kelly) and now, behind the scenes secrets are beginning to spill. Those who have watched the film will know what happens at the end but it turns out that the ending we saw is not the same ending as the original novel, written by Josh Malerman. OH NO. The original ending of Bird Box was much darker and probably would have ruined your Christmas.

There will be spoilers ahead for the ending of Bird Box. If you haven't seen the film and don't wanna know what happens, put your blindfolds on NOW.

The original ending of Bird Box is much darker than the one in the Netflix movie
The original ending of Bird Box is much darker than the one in the Netflix movie. Picture: Netflix

The film ends with Malorie, Girl (later named Olympia *sobs*) and Boy (later named Tom *sobs again*) managing to reach a sanctuary after a long, gruelling and almost deadly journey down the river. As they come ashore, they're let into a haven where hundreds of people are living, safe from the mysterious creature that has been looming over the world.

Malorie soon discovers that the location is a home for the blind, where the residents were able to remain safe from the monster because they couldn't see it. The haven is also home to various other people who have managed to locate it, including Dr Lapham, Malorie's doctor who we meet at the beginning of the film.

The final scene shows a lush green sanctuary, full of birds, kids playing and people laughing. It ends on a message of hope and optimism and suggests that after all that trauma, Malorie and the kids have a bright future ahead of them.


However, while the original ending of the book is still quite optimistic, it's actually much much darker than what we see on screen. In Malerman's novel, Malorie and the kids make it to the safe place but inside, they find that everyone had forcefully blinded themselves in a bid to stay safe. Yeah, pretty dark, right? Imagine the film ending on that note after an hour and half of pure torment.

The decision to change the ending was made by director Susanne Bier, who defended her choice in an interview with PolygonConsidering that all her films end on a note of optimism, she said that didn't want to make a post-apocalyptic movie that didn't have a hopeful ending.

"The movie is slightly more positive. The movie is, in many aspects, different from the book, but it’s also very rooted in the book. The book also has a kind of positive ending and I would not have wanted to do an apocalyptic movie that didn’t have a hopeful ending. In a way, pretty much everything I’ve done has had some sort of a hopeful ending. I’m not particularly interested for the audience to leave, from the cinema or their own screen, with a kind of completely bleak point of view. That’s not really what I believe in."

Thank God she decided to change it, right? Can you imagine trying to go on with your life knowing that all those people took such drastic and sad measures to stay alive?