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They're coming! They won't hurt you. As a matter of fact, it's a beautiful thing, friend.
~ An insane follower of the Creatures to Tom.

The Creatures a​re the main antagonists of the 2014 novel Bird Box by Josh Malerman and its 2018 film adaptation of the same name. They are malevolent, unseen beings who cause humans who look at them to go insane and suicidal.

Description

The origin, motives, intent and appearance of the Creatures are unknown. Their physical presence involves a shadowy wind that blows and sweeps over leaves where they pass. Charlie, a store clerk, theorizes that they are demons capable of assuming the appearance of a target's worst fears. Although this is never confirmed, it is shown that they have the ability to produce human voices to its mesmerized victims. The damage they inflict is not biological, but rather mental.

Any human who looks at the Creatures immediately suffers from severe psychological damage, apparently entering a trance evidenced by the victim's eyes turning grey. This drives the victims to commit suicide by any means available. Other affected, seemingly those already suffering from mental instability, come to revere the Creatures in an almost holy manner, referring to them as "Beautiful" and helping them in hunting down other humans, usually by persuading them to look at the Creatures.

Spread

Creatures Distribution

Distribution of the Creatures at a given time

At some time, the Creatures began appearing in Russia. They eventually spread via Alaska towards the western coast of North America. A map shows that, at some point, they were present as well in Japan, the Korean Peninsula, much of the Middle East, almost all of Europe, northern Africa, Peru and Colombia, and southern Greenland.

Victims

In the movie, a total of 6 named characters are seen possessed by the Creatures by looking at them and eventually kill themselves. In order, those were:

  • 1. Jessica, when driving with Malorie
  • 2. Greg, when looking at security cameras
  • 3. Charlie, after he stopped his possessed co-worker from affecting the group
  • 4. Olympia, by running towards the window and jumping out of it
  • 5. Cheryl, by stabbing herself with a pair of scissors
  • 6. Tom, by killing himself when fighting a group of possessed humans

The only main characters who never see the Creatures are Malorie, her children, Lucy, Felix and Douglas, although they were all tempted at some point.

Members

  • Alien invaders trying to wipe out humanity by using our own weak minds
  • Friendly aliens trying to contact humans without knowing that their presence drives us mad
  • Beings from another dimension accidentally transporting to our own
  • Demons, especially in a biblical context
  • Biological warfare – insanity caused by weapons for warfare goals or terrorism
  • Mass hysteria – a massive panic caused by simple suggestion that there is danger

Goals

  • Depression – how the truth about the world can depress people
  • Racism – how white people pretend racism doesn't exist
  • Social media – how it makes people unaware of important events
  • Mental illnesses – how sane people see the mentally ill
  • The difficulties of parenthood
  • Peoples' greatest fears and their hesitation in facing them

Theories

There are several theories about what the Creatures are and represent.[1][2][3]

Trivia

Creature beta

Design of the Creatures as they would look to Malorie

  • Originally, the Creatures were going to have a physical form in the movie. They would look differently for each person and Malorie would see them as beings with withered, bald, baby-like heads. There were even doll models for Malorie's vision of the Creatures, but the idea was dropped because Sandra Bullock found them too ridiculous.

References

  1. https://www.ranker.com/list/bird-box-creature-theories/christopher-shultz
  2. https://www.thisisinsider.com/bird-box-meaning-2019-1#it-could-all-be-an-allegory-for-the-careless-way-in-which-some-people-tend-to-deal-with-mental-health-issues-4
  3. https://nerdist.com/article/5-theories-about-the-creatures-in-bird-box/
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