A Quiet Place scared the shit out of a lot of people. The idea of not being able to make a sound—indeed, of your entire existence being predicated on the inability to so much as drop a glass of water, lest you be ripped apart by giant monsters—is a horrifying one. So let’s apply that theory to your eyesight; unsettled yet?
That seems to be the guiding premise of Bird Box, the new horror film starring Sandra Bullock that’s headed to Netflix (and select theaters) in December. And while it’s obviously going to draw comparisons to the John Krasinski-helmed hit from earlier this year, Bird Box is actually based on a 2014 novel by Josh Malerman, lead singer of band The High Strung. The book was positively reviewed on this very site and earned a Bram Stoker Award nomination for best first novel, so the source material is sound. Bullock stars as a woman who is pregnant when a strange affliction begins to wipe out the earth’s population: After laying eyes upon an unknown force, people go crazy, killing those around them and themselves.
Soon enough, the post-apocalyptic reality of life is defined by Bullock, her children, and the small band of other survivors being unable to open their eyes out in the world, trying to survive whatever deadly force has caused this calamity. Taking place across several time periods, as the trailer depicts, Bullock’s character is eventually pushed to make a break for it, leading her blindfolded children to the hope of safety...somewhere. Danish director Susanne Bier picked up a Best Foreign Film Oscar for her (frankly not that great) 2011 drama In A Better World, and most recently directed Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper in the uneven Serena, (as well as the stylish if stilted TV miniseries The Night Manager), but this is her first time grappling with an explicit horror premise, so it’s anyone’s guess if she’ll rise to the occasion. Bird Box arrives in theaters and on Netflix December 21.