Netflix's latest thriller, Bird Box, dropped on Netflix last Friday and while fans and critics both generally had positive reactions to the Sandra Bullock starrer -- even if it did prompt some fans to be terrified to look outside -- there was another common reaction. People immediately began comparing Bird Box to A Quiet Place, with some calling it an outright rip-off of the John Krasinski film.
Note: there may be spoilers for Bird Box (as well as A Quiet Place if you haven't seen that yet) beyond this point.
It's easy to see why audiences might think that. In A Quiet Place, humanity -- the family specifically follows the experiences of one family in particular -- clings to survival after sightless creatures of unknown origin have wiped out most of Earth's living population as the nearly-indestructible beings hunt an attack based on sound. This prompts the remaining survivors to live in near silence.
In comparison, Bird Box sees humanity clinging to survive after an invasion of another sort, a mysterious entity if seen take the form of their victim's worst fears, prompting them to commit suicide -- often violently. Those who have not yet succumbed to the entity wear blindfolds when outside and block off the windows when indoors to prevent themselves from seeing the entity. Like A Quiet Place, Bird Box follows one family in particular as they struggle to exist in this new world, specifically as they attempt to make it to a sanctuary safe from the threat.
Sounds similar, just with the problematic sense swapped out, but there's a problem with the claims that Bird Box ripped off A Quiet Place, a big on. Despite being released after A Quiet Place, the film is actually based on a book released nearly five years ago. The novel Bird Box, written by Josh Malerman was released on March 27, 2014 in the United Kingdom and a few months later on May 13, 2014 in the United States. The film rights to Malerman's novel were optioned by Universal Studios in 2013 even before the book's release, with Eric Heisserer in talks to adapt the book to film in 2015. This means that if anything, one could argue that it's A Quiet Place that is a rip-off of the Bird Box novel -- though in reality it's more accurate to say that the two stories simply share the common thread of human beings having to adapt and survive in a world where the status quo has been horribly disrupted.
You know, a dystopia.
Of course, not everyone who has seen Bird Box is aware of its literary history and took to Twitter to express their "rip-off" concerns. Reactions ranged from simple questioning to straight accusation while a few acknowledged that the two films were not connected by such lifting of ideas. A few even noted that, if people had concerns then they may want to take a second look at A Quiet Place as that film has plot elements very similar to a novel itself -- Tim Lebbon's 2015 work The Silence.
What do you think? Check out the reactions to the Bird Box and A Quiet Place similarities below and let us know your take in the comments.
Bird Box THE MOST BLATANT ripoff of a movie I’ve seen in a while.— Sinn Sage (@sinnsage) December 23, 2018
They already made that movie! It was called A Quiet Place!it was about monsters&sense of hearing!
Oh what a brilliant idea,let’s make monsters sight based instead oooooo we’re Hollywood we’re fucking brilliant ??
Movie Buffs: Bird Box is a ripoff of A Quiet Place.
Bookworms: ? You know the book BB is adapted from came out in 2013, right? ?— Dayanara Ryelle 虎 (@DayaRyelle) December 23, 2018
Bird Box is such a blatant ripoff of A Quiet Place and it makes me irrationally upset— Tad Desai (@taddesai94) December 18, 2018
My biggest issue with so many people calling Bird Box a ripoff of A Quiet Place (aside from BB being released 4 years before AQP) is that AQP is 100% a ripoff of Tim Lebbon's novel The Silence. Change the setting, keep everything else and it's literally just The Silence.— J (@jmustdie666) December 23, 2018
BirdBox was a mix between a ripoff of the happening a ripoff of the mist and a ripoff of a quiet place— sleighleigh? (@kspizzle) December 23, 2018
Is it just me or does Birdbox seem like a ripoff of A Quiet Place?— Jennifer Maxwell (@Jen_Maxwell97) December 23, 2018
"Stay silent. Stay alert. Stay blindfolded." I was ready to cast #BirdBox aside as A Quiet Place ripoff. What I found was harrowing & tense movie.1 of #SandraBullock's best roles in a long time. If the 2 kids don't pull at your heart strings check to see if you have a pulse. pic.twitter.com/0GJayXxj44— A Mind On Fire (@AMindOnFire) December 22, 2018