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Small Details You Missed In Bird Box Barcelona

Contains spoilers for "Bird Box Barcelona"

The following article also includes discussion of suicide and self-harm.

In 2018, Netflix released "Bird Box," a psychological horror movie starring Sandra Bullock, John Malkovich, and Trevantes Rhodes, set in a dreary post-apocalypse where unseen other-worldly creatures have ravaged the world by inducing mass suicides. Nobody knows where the creatures came from or even what they look like, because one look at them will drive you insane enough to end your own life, so survivors have learned to remain blindfolded outdoors. In addition to a rather unfortunate viral challenge, "Bird Box" became one of the most talked-about movies of the year.

Now, Netflix has released a sequel, the English- and Spanish-language horror film "Bird Box Barcelona." Taking place around the same time as the first movie, this follow-up is set in the titular Catalonian capital where we meet Sebastián (Mario Casas) and his daughter, Anna (Alejandra Howard), who have survived on their own. But not all is as it seems, and when Sebastián encounters another group of blindfolded survivors led by Claire (Georgina Campbell), he must grapple with whether to help them to stay alive. But "Bird Box Barcelona" is more than just a terrifying tale of tragedy and death, and there's a lot more going on than you may have noticed. Well, that's why we're here: to illuminate some of the small details you may have missed in "Bird Box Barcelona."

Are the creatures crashing planes in Barcelona?

Following a heartwarming opening scene where Sebastián and his daughter go rollerskating in an abandoned rink, the father and daughter are attacked by a band of roving blind thieves. Though their food is stolen, they get away unharmed, and when they leave the underground tunnel, the film treats viewers to an overhead drone shot of the city with lots to look at. As the camera moves, we see the wide-scale destruction that the arrival of the creatures has wrought, including crumbling rubble, collapsed buildings, and other smoking ruins.

But among the devastation is a curious sight that you might have missed: a crashed jumbo jet that has landed right in the middle of the city. What caused the plane to crash is never addressed, of course, as it's just a background detail to give added context to this strange apocalypse, but it does make us wonder exactly how it happened. Is it possible the creatures had found a way onto a passenger plane in the sky, and were able to induce the suicide of its pilot?

To this point, we've only seen the creatures on land, and at the conclusion of this sequel, it's implied that they cannot fly. But it's also possible that the creatures are much smarter and more strategic than we realize, capable of more complex planning than audiences may have given them credit for, acting on more than just instinct. If so, they could have been able to board planes before take-off to carry out larger, more vicious acts of destruction.

Anna's motives are more sinister than meets the eye

"Bird Box Barcelona" includes several major twists and revelations. The first comes early in the film when we see the victims of the creatures may actually be ascending to heaven when they die. It calls into question everything we knew, forcing audiences to wonder if the creatures could actually be heavenly angels. The biggest twist, however, is that Sebastián's daughter isn't real and is, in fact, one of the creatures — or at least a manifestation of them — using Sebastián to create more victims. This revelation changes the perspective of an early detail in the film.

In that opening sequence, after being brutally attacked by a gang of blind thieves, Sebastián considers retaliating when their backs are turned, but his daughter dissuades him. At the time, viewers may have thought that Anna was trying to protect her father, feeling the food — and vengeance — weren't worth risking their lives for. But once we know that Anna isn't real and is on the side of the creatures, her act of mercy takes on a sinister new meaning: Because the thieves are blind, no matter how hard she coaxed Sebastián to try, the attackers would never be able to see the creatures to become their next victims. Ghost Anna's only interest was in forcing humans to see the creatures so that they would violently end their own lives.

The death of Sebastián's wife has a strange parallel

Like the first "Bird Box," "Bird Box Barcelona" includes a series of flashbacks to when the creatures first arrived and society began to break down in a plague of mass suicides. This time, however, rather than showing a survivor in hiding, it chronicles the escape of Sebastián and his daughter Anna from the chaos, and a key part of this is the death of Sebastián's wife, Laura (Celia Freijeiro). Unlike many others, though, Laura isn't killed by taking her own life after seeing a creature but is caught in the violence that results from others seeing them. And in a callback to the previous film, her death parallels one we saw in "Bird Box."

When Laura reunites with Sebastián and Anna, they're preparing to leave the city by car. In the rush to leave, she is tragically struck by a speeding vehicle and killed on impact as Sebastián is forced to watch helplessly. "Bird Box" fans will remember how this shocking death mirrors the equally surprising death of Malorie's (Sandra Bullock) sister, Jessica (Sarah Paulson) in the first film. Jessica saw one of the creatures and exited her vehicle to stand in the path of an oncoming truck, which also killed her instantly as her loved one watched. Though their circumstances are different, the deaths strike an identical tone and happen in similar ways, and we can't believe that it's a coincidence. Laura's death closely mirrors Jessica's and is similarly an emotional gut punch that drives the movie's main character for the rest of the story.

If you or someone you know is struggling or in crisis, help is available. Call or text 988 or chat 988lifeline.org.

Not all birds are immune to the creatures

The meaning behind the title of "Bird Box" may be easy to forget because of what a phenomenon it became and what a small role the box actually played in the story. As many will no doubt recall, though, it refers to the shoe box held by Marjorie in the first movie, which kept several small birds that the survivors eventually realized could act as an early warning system for the creatures. When the demonic entities were near, the birds would squawk, so the survivors began keeping birds as a kind of alarm. At the end of that film, birds are even used atop the school for the blind, and some have wondered if birds are immune to the effects of the creatures.

"Bird Box Barcelona," however, seems to suggest that at least not all birds are immune to the power of the creatures, as we see in the film's dramatic climax. While Claire and Sofia are attempting to escape by climbing a tower leading to a sky tram system, the gulls in the air begin to squawk uncontrollably. But it's not just that they make noise because we also see them flying headlong into the windows of the tower, killing themselves. While it's certainly possible these collisions are accidental — birds have been known to be confused by glass in real life — it very well could be that they've witnessed the creatures and have succumbed to the same suicidal urges the creatures cause in humans.

How the creatures affect other animals

The 2018 film "Bird Box" doesn't teach us much about how the creatures work, but we did learn a few important things: When people see them, they go mad and are driven to end their own lives. We also learned that birds can sense the creature's presence and that when they arrive, there's an otherworldly wind that accompanies them that levitates small debris around them. What we didn't know is how far their killer influence extended, and in "Bird Box Barcelona," we learn that it goes beyond humans to animals, too.

Our first hint of this is the arrival of a group of survivors in blindfolds who use a pack of dogs to help steer them. But even these dogs are blindfolded, which tells us that even canines can be affected by seeing the creatures. In fact, at one point later in the film, one of the mutt's blindfolds falls off. A close-up shot of the pup's face reveals that just like people, canine eyes are altered too, with the same fractured, distorted pattern across their pupils. Whether it's all dogs or just the two we see, it seems that perhaps dogs aren't driven to suicide, as they merely stand beside their human companions once they've seen the creatures.

However, like the human Seers — people who have witnessed the creatures and have become instruments of their will — it's possible these two dogs will also help lead humans astray to create more victims. But it could also be that dogs are simply not affected in the same way as humans are.

Rafa's dogs' names have hidden meaning

In "Bird Box Barcelona," the dogs' names have more meaning than you might realize. Listen closely and you'll hear that the two dogs are named Dimas and Jonas. It may initially seem like any other pair of names a person might give their pet hounds. But Jonas, or Jonah, is a prophet famous for his conflict with a giant sea creature, which bears obvious relevance for a film in which the characters are in a life-or-death struggle against invisible monsters.

Dimas, meanwhile, is the name of two religious figures. The first, Demas, is a friend to Paul in the New Testament who eventually forsakes the teachings of Christ and abandons Paul — and the name could relate to Sebastián's crisis of faith throughout the film, as he's conflicted about his role as a Seer for the creatures and eventually forsakes them to save his new friends. The other religious figure Dimas relates to is Saint Dismas, the Penitent Thief — known in Spanish and Portuguese as Dimas — who was present at the Crucifixion. While Dimas the dog doesn't appear to be any kind of betrayer or thief, the religious figure is also similar to Sebastián — a Seer, liar, and murderer who seeks redemption.

Auto navigation evolves in Bird Box Barcelona

Living in a world where deadly creatures stalk the streets day and night, capable of forcing suicide on all who gaze upon them, survivors have had to find clever ways of moving about the world. Since the creatures don't seem to be able to attack them physically, survivors have mostly taken to wearing blindfolds when outdoors and using jury-rigged systems to get around without sight. Sometimes this means a system of strings to use as a way of finding one's path. In the first "Bird Box," Marjorie and her friends even blacked out car windows and used a GPS navigation system to guide their vehicle.

In "Bird Box Barcelona," Sebastián has actually taken that idea of a GPS-guided vehicle to another level. Here, he uses his cell phone's map to guide him with walking directions and ties it into his earbuds so that he can walk while entirely blindfolded. Granted, this is in the earliest days of the apocalypse, when power and recharging devices don't seem to be much of an issue, so that could explain why nobody else is seen using this method later in the movie. We didn't see Sebastián experiment with a camera system like BD Wong's Greg did in the first movie, and that's a good thing too, because the method didn't work, inducing Greg to end his own life when he saw the creature on a screen.

If you or someone you know is struggling or in crisis, help is available. Call or text 988 or chat 988lifeline.org.

Roberto holds some seriously racist views

Despite being a Spanish-language film, the cast of characters in "Bird Box Barcelona" is surprisingly multi-ethnic. In addition to the British-born Claire (Georgina Campbell) and the young German girl Sofia (Naila Schuberth), the group of survivors in the film also includes Octavio (Diego Calva), a Mexican immigrant and pizza delivery man, and his presence in the group isn't as welcome as it seems at first. That's because the oldest member of the survivors is Roberto (Gonzalo de Castro), who is openly hateful of Mexicans and Octavio in particular.

We first lean of Roberto's dislike of immigrants shortly after Sebastián joins the group. It's a moment that's quick and not given much focus, but it comes when Roberto makes a remark about Octavio's home country when they put a decision up to vote. Snidely wondering if they actually allow voting in Mexico, Octavio reacts with disgust at his bigoted attitude, but that's not the end of Roberto's feelings on the subject. Later, when they're holed up in another location, Octavio reveals that in his home country, he was once a physics professor. This is something that touches a nerve with Roberto, who mocks his degree as worthless, being from Mexico, and presumes he must have bribed officials to get it.

Sadly, this kind of prejudice against Latinos in Spain is not confined to the fictional world of "Bird Box Barcelona." In 2023, a report was published that sees evidence of rising rates of intolerance, discrimination, and institutional racism against Latinos in Spain that some have blamed on far-right agitators.

Angels and loved ones aren't the only way the creatures lure their victims

"Bird Box Barcelona" does more than just tell a new story in the same world as the first movie. In addition to this gripping tale of survival and grief, "Barcelona" also greatly expands on the mythology and offers up some interesting insight into the creatures that have effectively destroyed the world. One of the things we learn is how they can manipulate survivors into becoming recruiters, or Seers. They can also create illusions, like Sebastián's daughter.

Their powers aren't limited to long-lost loved ones, as we also discover that the creatures prey on deeply held beliefs of all kinds. For Sebastián, this also leads him to believe that the creatures are heavenly angels of God, sent to Earth to save the souls of sinners. For others, it can be something else entirely, and in one scene, we get a brief mention of an alternative form they've taken: aliens from outer space.

During an encounter with a survivor who's been strung up — presumably by the Seers — we hear his incoherent ramblings of what he believed the creatures were. Instead of angels, as Sebastián believed, this survivor saw extraterrestrials who he believed had arrived on Earth in starships that had traveled hundreds of light years. Though we still don't know exactly what the creatures are — interdimensional monsters, demonic entities, or aliens — "Barcelona" shows us more regarding how they can manipulate the human mind and the various theories about where they came from.