Julian Edwards, Sandra Bullock and Vivien Lyra Blair in "Bird Box" (Netflix)

"Bird Box" monster revealed: Special effects artist shares the creature that was cut from the film

Let's just say the "Bird Box" monster is like nothing anyone could've predicted


Zack Sharf
January 8, 2019 10:30PM (UTC)
This article originally appeared on IndieWire.
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Netflix’s word-of-mouth hit “Bird Box” makes a definitive choice not to show the monsters at the center of the film’s plot. The script, written by “Arrival” scribe Eric Heisserer, is adapted from Josh Malerman’s novel and takes place in a world where an unseen entity forces people who look at it to see their worst fear and kill themselves. Heisserer previously let it slip the film had shot and cut a scene where one monster is depicted on screen, and now the film’s special effects artist, Andy Bergholtz, has given everyone a chance to see the monster in the flesh.

“We had the unique pleasure of designing a creepy makeup for the film, although the scene ultimately ended up on the cutting room floor,” Bergholtz wrote in an Instagram post accompanying designs of the monster. “Keep in mind, the fatal ‘vision’ that each character saw would most likely be different for each person (you’ll understand if you’ve seen the film), and this makeup appeared in a cut ‘dream/nightmare sequence’ with Sandra Bullock’s character.”

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Read more IndieWire: ‘Bird Box’ Originally Showed the Monsters, but Scene Was Cut Because They Looked So Ridiculous

Bergholtz’s post confirms there was not just one design for what the monsters would look like and instead they would shape shift depending on the character’s worst fear. “Considering her pregnant state and emotional arc in the movie,” the artist writes, “the producers felt Sandra’s nightmare would have something to do with a twisted, demonic baby creature attacking her (that’s as much as I could gather about the context of the scene anyway).”

Bullock told Bloody Disgusting last month it was hard to shoot the scene with the physical monster because the design ended up being too ridiculous. The actress described the monster as “a green man with a horrific baby face,” which isn’t far off from the photos below. Heisserer said he was encouraged by the studio to write a scene showing the monster, but knew it wasn’t going to work. In his words, the monster looked like a “long fat baby.”

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“We actually shot that and spent a lot of energy on, but every time I saw it, I was like this is not going to be tense,” director Susanne Bier told Bloody Disgusting. “It’s just going to be funny. At first, Sandy was like, ‘I don’t want to see it’ because she thought it was scary. Then it was like, ‘Don’t show it to me because [I’ll laugh].’ Every time I did it, I was like, ‘Shit, that’s a different film.’”

Bier ultimately made the call to cut the scene from the movie, saying not seeing the monster made for an overall scarier experience as it forced the viewer to project their own worst fears into the movie. Bergholtz agrees, writing, “I actually really liked the movie and think it was better off not showing the makeup. Kudos to the director for sticking to her guns on that one.”

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Check out the “Bird Box” monster designs below. The movie is now streaming on Netflix. Bergholtz’s other recent credits include “A Quite Place,” “Stranger Things,” and “Alita: Battle Angel.”

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Zack Sharf

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