Bird box Barcelona is a post-apocalyptic horror film that was written and directed by Alex & David Pastor. Releasing in 2023 via Netflix, the film serves as a spin-off sequel to Bird Box (2018) which is based on the novel of the same name by Josh Malerman.
That’s right; there isn’t a Sandra Bullock in sight. Instead, we once again see that the world is plagued by mysterious entities that manipulate people’s negative emotions, turning some into “seers” but leading most people to commit suicide once they have seen an entity. A common prevention method is wearing a blindfold outdoors. In Barcelona, Sebastian and his daughter Anna travel together.
One day, Sebastian encounters a group of survivors, and tells them that as a former construction engineer he knows the location of generators that can provide light and heating. After telling Anna to hide until he can ascertain whether the group are good people, Sebastian joins the others in their shelter inside a bus hangar.
The next morning, with everyone asleep inside one of the buses, Sebastian drives it outside, eventually crashing the vehicle. Everyone is left without blindfolds and several are injured. Sebastian slowly leads each person to open their eyes, and upon witnessing the entities they commit suicide. Sebastian is revealed to be a seer, and is thus unaffected. Anna appears and congratulates Sebastian on having “saved” the people, urging him to find other “lost sheep”.
Sebastian encounters another group led by Rafa, who has two dogs. Others in the group include Claire, an English psychiatrist; and Sofia, a young German girl separated from her mother. Sofia shares information about a Castle, believed to be a safe refuge which can be reached by a gondola lift. Determined to reach there, the group embarks. Throughout the film, flashbacks serve as a way of showing Sebastian’s backstory and what exactly happened to him and Anna.
Will they make it to the gondola? Will Sebastian force them to “see” or maybe there’s a third option, check out Bird Box Barcelona to find out.
The original Bird Box had a fairly conclusive ending for the characters there; I can understand not continuing with them. Going to another part of the world to see how they’ve fared makes a lot of sense but does it pay off? Not really. Firstly, there is some expansion of the ideas presented in the original film which I did enjoy. Unfortunately, it isn’t quite enough to be completely satisfying. Many of the newly introduced possibilities further complicate matters towards a direction that is starting to feel a bit too complex for this type of thing.
The major aspect that I am referring to is the so called “seers” and the way in which they are handled here. Sebastian pretty much has free will over the actions which raise all sorts of questions. Some might like that but I’m not sure it’s completely necessary. Ultimately, Bird Box Barcelona left things further up in the air then they already were with the intention of maybe giving up some answers in another sequel that may never happen.
The characters are all fine, I don’t have any complaints. The acting is good but nothing all that special or memorable. There are good moments of tension but it does have a “been there done that” feel with most scenarios, there’s only so much you can do with this concept essentially. The production of the film as a whole is a highlight because it clearly has a budget. There are a number of visually impressive moments; it does feel like a step up from the original in that regard. Additionally, there are some enjoyably nasty and creative deaths so it isn’t a total loss. What’s frustrating to me is that this concept could be truly terrifying but it has been muddled by the desire for “mass appeal”.
I certainly don’t regret watching Bird Box Barcelona; it held my attention with some intrigue. The credits rolling made me realize that much of what I had seen was kind of pointless and a bit too similar to the original as well.
Bird Box Barcelona
The Final Score - 5/10