The ending to the original ‘Bird Box’ book is much darker than the Netflix film

Spoilers ahead!

We’ve been spoilt for choice with television viewing over the Christmas break. We’ve been gripped by psychological thriller You, we’ve rejoiced at the long awaited return of Luther and we were blessed with the surprise telly hit of the festive season in the form of documentary Bros: After The Screaming Stops’; but if there was one thing that got the internet talking, it was Netflix’s latest flick ‘Bird Box‘.

The apocalyptic drama starring Sandra Bullock as Malorie, a mother risking everything to get her kids to safety in a dystopian future, smashed Netflix records when it was viewed by over 45 million users in a week, and even spawned the ‘Bird Box Challenge’ (in which fans don a blindfold like the characters in the film and attempt to go about their lives as usual).

Throughout the film the characters wear blindfolds to prevent themselves looking at the villains, as once you see them (even through a camera) it causes insanity that leads to suicide.

Although – SPOILER ALERT – Malorie and the two children, Girl and Boy, find refuge in a community set up in an old school for the blind, the original ending to ‘Bird Box’ was much darker.

In the original book by Josh Malerman the ending is similar but with one major difference: when Malorie and her children find their way to the community, upon their arrival they find out that most of the population there have purposely blinded themselves and their children in order to survive. Grim, right?

The film’s directer Susanne Bier has explained why changed the ending from the original source. Speaking to Polygon she said: “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. 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…There is a hopeful note in certain values that I really appreciate it. And I thought that was hugely important.”

Well, we all like a happy ending. Especially when it means two five-year-old children aren’t purposely blinded…