Minor spoilers ahead for Bird Box.
In Susanne Bier’s Bird Box, you never seen the monsters. Bier uses the camera itself more as the monster, and then hints at their presence, but you never get a good look at them, which is fair for a movie where if you look at the monsters, you go insane and kill yourself. There probably wasn’t a visual that could measure up to the reaction the monsters were supposed to create, so Bier wisely kept them off screen.
However, speaking with Bloody Disgusting [via /Film], screenwriter Eric Heisserer revealed that producers were kind of angling for showing the creatures, and they went so far as to create a kind of design and film a scene with them. It did not go well:
“It was a green man with a horrific baby face. It was snake-like, and I was like, ‘I don’t want to see it when it first happens. Just bring it into the room. We’ll shoot the scene.’ I turn and he’s like [growling at me.] It’s making me laugh. It was just a long fat baby.”
Presumably, the concept was some kind of creature with a baby face. That would take the film’s metaphor and make it horribly on the nose since the main fear of Sandra Bullock’s character, Mallory, is being a mother. You don’t need to have a long fat baby to hammer it home when that’s what the entire movie is about.
Thankfully, Bier decided against it. “It so easily becomes funny,” Bier said in the same interview. “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.”
What do you think about not showing the monsters in Bird Box? Do you think it could have worked with a different design? Sound off in the comments.