An honest review: Bird Box, Film

I wanted to take the time to sit down and write something for the readers about a pretty thrilling tale that has caught a lot of publicity in the recent week or two that has been featured on Netflix. If you guessed it, you guessed right, I am here today to talk about the thriller film: Bird Box.

Now, to start, I gotta admit that as a lover of literature, I am a little disappointed in myself for not doing my full amount of research on the story to know that this was originally written as a novel by Josh Malerman. I don’t know about everyone else out there who might stumble across my posting here, but I am usually a member of the group that prefers to read a book before I see a movie made in its image. HOWEVER that was not the case this time, but that fact has so far not tipped the tide of my opinion of the film so far.

I am not going to sit here and give you all a super long synopsis of the story because chances are if you are reading this you already know bits and pieces, if not all, of the story based on either watching the trailer online or from perhaps actually watching the movie. But for those of you here who may have absolutely no idea what I am talking about: listen up.

Bird Box is a horror/psychological thriller in which main character Malorie finds herself thrust into an apocalyptic scenario that, quite frankly, I find to be absolutely terrifying. The story centers around an unseen force that is wiping people off the face of the earth (not literally) via means of suicide. Yeah, you read that right. Anyone who lays their eyes on whatever these creatures are is driven mad, or into sadness, and begin to take their own lives. Pretty quickly all characters learn that the only way to survive is to simply not look at the creatures. Problem is, they seem to be everywhere. Unless they are safely inside the abandoned house they inhabit where their windows are covered they must wear a blindfold at all times. Fast forward five years and pretty much everyone in their group is gone apart from Malorie and two children. The area they are staying in is no longer safe (no, I won’t tell you why because no one likes spoilers) and the time has come for them to move on. Malorie had previously gained knowledge of a possible sanctuary where they might be safe but the issue was getting there safely. Long story short, viewers find themselves observing Malorie and the children riding in a row boat down a river for days, blind folded. To top this off they are being stalked by various dangers.

Now that we have that out of the way… let me just say…this movie has caught a lot of negative remarks on Facebook. My own newsfeed is currently littered with joke memes and videos made at the movies expense. It is because of this fact that I did not sit down to watch this movie as soon as it came out as most everyone else on my friend’s list had. I was assuming the movie would be terrible, because who makes fun of something that is obviously a killer film? The answer: apparently everyone.

Guys. This movie was not a joke as I had thought it would be. Where as many people criticized Sandra Bullock (who stars in the film, by the way) for being far too serious in her roles or stating that she does better in comedy films, I thought her performance was compelling and as a fan of hers ever since seeing Miss Congeniality YEARS ago I was thrilled to see her star in a role of this caliber.

If you are looking for a film to watch that will keep you engaged and you can get down with watching a thriller, I highly recommend giving it a view. Hop on over to Netflix. Most viewers are going to be satisfied with what they are watching, and despite the crazy negative reviews that the movie appears to be receiving on social media, Netflix’s reported over 45 million account views as of yesterday (a record breaking number for the company apparently) would suggest otherwise.

If you have already seen the film and are like me, meaning you were probably left with some questions that need answers, chances are you are going to be doing exactly what I am going to when I am finished writing this post: navigating straight to my Kindle app and purchasing the ebook. This is not to say that the movie was not thorough enough with the details as it is entirely possible to miss a thing or two during the first viewing of a film. However, more often than not I find that there simply is no better telling of a story than from the author themselves.

Thank you for reading! Now go! GO WATCH THE MOVIE! or buy the book. Whichever. ❤

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Editing as you write…

In the vast amount of research I have done on the issue of writing a book there is one item that has stood out to me above all others: editing the work. Now, I have heard it each and every which way thanks to the multitude of booktubers that I follow on YouTube. Some writers find it best that they edit their own work while others would have you believe that this idea is absolutely foolish and the only way you should go about it is to hire an editor to read your book and edit it for you.

I am on the fence in this category. I find the fear of putting my book into the hands of someone else before it is ready to be published absolutely terrifying. That being said, I also know that there are bound to be issues let behind in the body of my work that need to be fixed in order to make the story flow harmoniously. So where can that balance be found?

I’m going to say that this is a question best left to the writers in question, because we are all different as far as our writing techniques are concerned. For instance, I personally wrote two chapters and found the task of reading over what I had written to be rather daunting. Word choice had to be redone, items had to be changed, next thing I know I have to delete something out of the middle of the next chapter because it just doesn’t make sense to the sequence of events happening even so early on. This is an idea that I am sure will be extremely frustrating if I left the editing to happen once the book is finished.

Once I realized this, I went through this small phase of doubt in my writing ability. I felt that this was a sign that my ideas for this novel were not going to go as I had wanted them to. In the end, I have found that so far into book one in the series that I have been spinning (mostly in my head and brainstorming notebook) the best approach has been for me to edit as I write.

I accomplish this by working one chapter at a time, only moving onto the next chapter once I am satisfied with what I have written so far. This allows me to go back and think critically about the word choices I have utilized as well as reevaluate the sequence of events so that overall the concepts that I have written will make more sense to the readers who might be so inclined to pick out my book among the millions already on the market.

This is not something that will totally eliminate the need for further editing, but it is something that will save a lot of time, money, and headaches in the long run as there is less chance of having to go back into the story and completely rework a major theme that is spread along the length of the novel. There may even be the option of forgoing hiring an editor on a large scale and choosing to utilize beta readers for the book (ALSO AN EXTREMELY IMPORTANT CONCEPT) that I plan to discuss on a later date as the argument of beta readers versus a professional editor is its own beast.

Who knows? Only time will tell, and as time will most definitely tell: writing a novel is not a once size fits all scenario. What works for one writer will not work for another. I am not exempt from this nor is any other aspiring author.

Thank you for reading. I hope that any tips I have to offer will help you in your own journey!