We all fear the unknown, things we fail to understand, and monsters we cannot see. The universe of Bird Box introduces one such entity on screen that has the power to psychologically manipulate people’s behavior and compel them to kill themselves. It is implied in the film that these monsters remind us of our greatest regrets with voices and visions. The weak-hearted people who fail to stand against it have no other option but to kill themselves in order to silence the voices in their heads. Or maybe they lose their will to live, which triggers self-harming tendencies. In all the possible scenarios, the invisible creature plays with people’s and animals’ minds. In Bird Box Barcelona, even a pet dog became violent after an encounter with the entity, thereby suggesting that the creatures have an effect on the animals as well.
While the first film in the franchise gave us only a handful of details about these entities, the second one sheds more light on their actions and behaviors. The spin-off film takes place some seven months before the outbreak, while the first film revolved around the events that happened five years after the creature was first spotted. Hence, it can be implied that the Spanish film is closer to the origins of the entity. First things first, the creatures infect people through visions, which is why the people with blindfolds on or the blind people are not affected by their presence. However, the ones with the blindfolds hear the voices in their heads, which generally belong to their loved ones with whom they have a deep emotional connection. For example, Claire used to hear the voice of her brother Jack, or Jojo, who was clinically depressed and had killed himself. It was certain that Claire was emotionally attached to her brother and felt guilty because she was not there with him during his death. The creature somehow got into her brain and tried to manipulate her through Jojo’s voice so that she would give up and end up having the same fate as her brother. Additionally, the film suggests that the creature has no interest in blind people or people who have lost their vision because the creature cannot manipulate them if they cannot see it.
Bird Box Barcelona also introduced us to a third kind of people called seers, who have developed immunity against these creatures. An army doctor at the end of the film explains to Claire that, in some rare cases, extreme forms of violence, abuse, and grief can alter people’s DNA. Such conditions introduce a chemical marker or an epigenetic alteration of the DNA that makes these people immune.
In the Bird Box universe, the creature wasn’t able to manipulate the seers into inflicting self-harm because they had already been through more than their fair share of grief, trauma, or violence. For example, Sebastian had lost his wife as soon as the creatures were first spotted in the city. The only human connection that Sebastian was left with was his daughter, Anna. He did everything in his power to protect her until a gray-bearded man named Esteban found them. Esteban forced Anna to open her eyes on the terrace. She was infected by the monster and jumped off the terrace, killing herself instantly. Sebastian, on the other hand, was struck with immense pain and grief, because of which he lost his mind. Moments later, when he witnessed the creature with his eyes, it couldn’t manipulate Sebastian to kill himself. Perhaps it manifested itself and took Anna’s form, which is why Sebastian kept imagining his daughter’s presence throughout the film. But what was the goal here? The entity, without a doubt, wanted a complete annihilation of humanity, which was why, through Anna, it directed Sebastian to kill all those humans who were hiding, and thus, he carried out the task blindly until he met Claire and Sofia and finally had an awakening.
It can be believed that all the seers are not devoted to the creature itself because the monster has no actual form. Instead, they are devoted to the person or image it creates in their minds to manipulate them. In the case of Sebastian, it was Anna. For the other seers, it might’ve been the image of someone they loved, which was used to manipulate them. A character in the film discussed the same theory: these creatures might be quantum beings whose physical states are constantly changing. They could perhaps infiltrate our minds and recognize our fear, thereby taking the form of the things we fear the most. For example, some people saw them as demons, while others saw them as aliens. Or maybe it could be someone they knew—their loved one. The creature might know which image would influence their target the most, which is why they presented them with a vision that they wanted to see. Whatever form they might’ve taken, it is implied throughout the series that these creatures have mass and presence, as they cast a shadow upon items, and a gush of wind could be experienced upon their arrival. It can even be an alien species like the Yautja (from the Predator franchise) that landed on Earth to capture the planet.
The ending of Bird Box Barcelona hints towards a third theory, which may or may not be correct. We believe that the creature can also be a mishandled biological weapon. The refugee camp at Montjuic Fort reveals that the army is conducting an experiment on the Seers and the monster that they had locked in a vault. The most confusing thing about the entire setup is how the army could even manage to capture the creature if no one could see or touch it. How did they even safeguard themselves against its mind-manipulation abilities? Well, we can assume that the army has advanced technological equipment ranging from motion-sensor traps, trackers, drones, UV filter goggles, and whatnot.
What if the army knew the means to stop or capture these monsters, but they multiplied in vast numbers like the zombies? Thus, they were forced to create a vaccine instead of going on a hunt for each of these creatures. Speaking of zombies, we have already witnessed numerous cases in films and television where scientific experiments are conducted to create a biological weapon that would help a country win a war without sending its soldiers to the battlefield. Can this entity be one of those? It might have been their plan to send one creature on enemy soil, where it would drive everyone crazy and suicidal, thereby wiping out the entire population in months or probably weeks.
We cannot say anything with certainty until the third film in the franchise comes out, which will probably shed more light on the origins of these monsters. However, if Bird Box Barcelona suggests that these things can be captured, then we have already come a long way. Also, the army is trying to replicate the chemical marker found in the seers to create a vaccine. But all seers, as far as we know, have either lost their minds or have hallucinations, thereby becoming puppets of the entity. We can entertain the possibility that these chemical markers could be a reason why they lost their minds.
The film doesn’t explicitly explain the side effects of this immunity. As witnessed in the film, most of the seers developed it after losing their minds and continuing to hallucinate where the entity takes different forms. Can it mean that they still see the monster? Or is it just that they won’t kill themselves, but they will kill other people? Like the zombies, they recognize those who are like them and those whom they should attack. So, even if the vaccine is created, chances are that people will still be able to see the monster in some form or another, like the seers. And if the monsters were able to manipulate the seers, then we can speculate that they will be able to manipulate the vaccinated people as well. It was only Sebastian who had been able to successfully resist the creatures’ will at the end of the film. The question here is: will others be as strong-minded as he proved himself to be? What if the end game was to create a bomb that would kill these creatures on a global level so that people could come out of the bird boxes and normalcy is restored? Hopefully, the next installment will bring the answers that we are eagerly looking for, and we hope it is a satisfactory one.