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20 Thrilling Movies Like Bird Box You Need To See Next

It seemed like "Bird Box" was the topic of conversation back in December 2018, when the film dropped on Netflix. Sandra Bullock stars as Malorie, a visual artist living alone in the San Francisco Bay Area, who was pregnant when large swaths of people worldwide went crazy, committing mass suicide. After the first wave of suicides, the people who remain, like Malorie, are in a shelter near where they were when chaos erupted. They struggle to trust one another while scavenging for supplies.

The survivors quickly realize you can't look at these entities without going mad; so they learn to navigate without their vision to guide them. Five years after the world descended into chaos, Malorie was pushed to the brink. She is hunted by unseen monsters, afraid of the people who saw these monsters and weren't driven mad, because they already were, and she is running out of supplies and allies. Malorie — desperate to find safety for herself and the children she cares for — travels a dangerous stretch of river with two small children, hoping to find a sanctuary she isn't sure exists.

"Bird Box" is a layered thriller with a variety of themes and elements imagining what happens when society crumbles, and people are only motivated by fear and desperation. Perilous journeys, searching for other survivors and the safety found in numbers, are a common thread in many films featuring the aftermath of apocalyptic events. If you loved "Bird Box" we've got a list of films for you to check out next!

If you or anyone you know is having suicidal thoughts, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline​ at​ 1-800-273-TALK (8255)​.

The Thing (1982)

Director John Carpenter's classic sci-fi horror movie, "The Thing" stars Kurt Russell as an American scientist in Antarctica who discovers charred humanoid remains at a nearby Norwegian encampment. The investigation of the remains leads them to an excavation site near the Norwegian encampment. The scientists find something extraterrestrial that was buried deep in the ice before the Norwegian team dug it up. By the time the men realize they are under attack by an alien life-form, we understand there is no help from the outside.

The monster hides in plain sight under the guise of a colleague it killed. The very nature of this monster breeds mistrust and paranoia amongst the crew of this expedition, with no one knowing who they can trust. "A paranoia-choked atmosphere is the primary reason why 'The Thing' works as well as it does," said James Berardinelli on Reel Views. If you haven't seen this genre blending film yet, Rotten Tomatoes gives the film excellent ratings with critics and audiences, suggesting maybe it's time for you to see what some call the best sci-fi horror film of all time.

28 Days Later (2002)

When Jim (Cillian Murphy) awakes from a coma in a London hospital, he discovers the world has descended into chaos after a virus has turned people into violent zombies, in director Danny Boyle's "28 Weeks Later." After a group of survivors, including Selena (Naomie Harris) save Jim, they help him travel to his parent's home, where he discovers they have killed themselves. After meeting up with a cab driver named Frank (Brendan Gleeson) and his teenage daughter, Hannah (Megan Burns). This group of survivors travel in search of a rumored sanctuary near Manchester. This film not only revived the public's fascination with zombies, it reminded studios there is a commercial market for intelligent, thought provoking horror.

Like "Bird Box" this film preys on our mistrust of our fellow man, coupled with our need for community. Jim, much like Malorie, takes a perilous journey looking for sanctuary and hope, but in "28 Days Later" it is Selena who is the tough woman keeping kind-hearted Jim alive. The film has excellent ratings with critics and audiences on Rotten Tomatoes, and Roger Ebert called Boyle's film, "a tough, smart, ingenious movie that leads its characters into situations where everything depends on their (and our) understanding of human nature." If you haven't seen the film that kicked off the new millennium's fascination with zombies and the apocalypse, you can stream it on HBO Max.

Dawn of the Dead (2004)

Rotten Tomatoes gave "Dawn of the Dead" a "fresh" rating, but Zack Snyder's directorial debut and remake of the late George Romero's 1978 film is more popular with audiences than critics, with many critics feeling something was lost in translation. Roger Ebert explained this disconnect perfectly when he said, "From a technical point of view, the new 'Dawn' is slicker and more polished, and the acting is better, too ... although both films are mostly set inside a shopping mall, only Romero uses that as an occasion for satirical jabs at a consumer society." 

While the 2004 version is totally worth viewing, the 1978 version had stronger social commentary. Social satire is, after all, one of the most interesting facets of horror movies and sci-fi. Zombies symbolize humanity's violent, destructive and parasitic nature, suggesting we might be the monsters we should fear most. If you like "Bird Box" and are a fan of apocalyptic films, you probably want to check out both the 1978 and 2004 versions of "Dawn of the Dead."

Children of Men (2006)

"Children of Men" is set in the not so distant dystopian future of 2027. After two decades of decline in birth rates, women have become infertile. Because of war, infertility and economic strife, society has fallen apart and the world we know has devolved into a chaotic wasteland. The UK's government is hanging on by a thread, becoming a police state in reaction to the inundation of refugees. The Fishes, an extremist immigrant rights group lead by Julian (Julianne Moore) approaches Theo (Clive Owen), her ex-husband, to get papers for a refugee named Kee. After Theo discovers Kee is pregnant, he agrees to escort her to a sanctuary dedicated to curing infertility in the Azores.

Metacritic has given this film a "must-see" rating, and it was nominated for three Oscars (per IMDb). Dana Stevens of Slate said, "Alfonso Cuarón's dense, dark, and layered meditation on fertility, technology, immigration, war, love, and life itself may be the movie of the still-young millennium." Watching this 2006 film now, when 2027 is nearing, is an intense experience. There is a sense of relief because our world isn't what we see in the film, but we hear echoes of our own reality and reflections of our fears for the future in this bleak but brilliant film.

I Am Legend (2007)

In 2007, Will Smith became Robert Neville, a brilliant virologist with the US Army, and the only survivor of a manmade plague left in New York City. In "I Am Legend," scientists re-engineered the measles virus to cure cancer, but something went terribly wrong. The virus is highly infectious and lethal. Survivors are transformed into horrific vampiric creatures that decimate the world population. These creatures hunt Robert at night and sleep during the day, while he forages and scavenges with his dog. Robert is looking for other survivors in the ruins of New York and diligently trying to find a cure for the virus. Like "Bird Box," this film is about a person trying to survive the apocalypse, while being hunted by monsters.

"I Am Legend" was a hit, with big box-office numbers of $585,410,052 worldwide (per Box Office Mojo). But the film wasn't just a commercial success, critics liked it, too, praising the film and Smith's performance. Scott Foundas of The Village Voice, said, "It's this performance that fully affirms Smith as one of the great leading men of his generation." It is an excellent depiction of a brilliant mind holding on to a thread of hope amidst utter isolation. Just March 2022, Deadline reported Will Smith and Michael B. Jordan will star together in the sequel as co-producers of the project.

The Mist (2007)

After an intense storm, David (Thomas Jane), his son Billy (Nathan Gamble) and their neighbor, Brent (Andre Braugher), drive into their small Maine town, shopping for supplies in "The Mist," a film adapted from a Steven King novella. While in the grocery store, a thick fog blankets the town, making it impossible to see outside. A diverse group of residents take refuge in the store. After a resident runs in with a warning, they discover something sinister hides in the fog.

Tensions rise as they disagree about what they should do. Some insist on going outside to find help, only to lose their lives. While Mrs. Carmody (Marcia Gay Harden) preaches end-of-days, arguing for a sacrifice. Like "Bird Box" this film captures the fear we have, not only of monsters we can't see, but of each other. Mrs. Carmondy's religiosity stokes division, and soon the residents in the store are as afraid of each other as they are of the ominous fog.

The exploration of the two factions in the grocery store, one fundamental Christian and the other science-based, make for a terrific commentary on political divisions in our culture. While not as popular with critics as with audiences, some critics praised the surprising ending. Peter Hartlaub of The San Francisco Chronicle said, "the twists and turns are what elevate 'The Mist' from Roger Corman B-movie territory to something considerably more substantial."

The Road (2009)

The dying and depressing world we see in director John Hillcoat's post-apocalyptic survival film, "The Road" is a stark and haunting adaptation of Cormac McCarthy's Pulitzer-winning novel. Like "Bird Box," we follow a desperate parent on a perilous journey with their child, looking for refuge, and hope there is still a future for their child. Viggo Mortensen stars as a man who has lost his wife, Charlize Theron, traveling with their son (Kodi Smit-McPhee) south towards the coast, looking for somewhere it is still warm enough to survive. This film is a testament to the potent love of a father and the bond he shares with his child.

They encounter roving gangs along the roads, leading us to wonder if there is any room for humanity and empathy left in this bleak and dying world. As they travel, we see glimpses of their life before society collapsed, and the harsh time leading up to this last-ditch search for sanctuary. The bright, warm memories make us feel all this man and his son have lost. Shawn Levy, of The Oregonian, said the film "walks a tremendously daring and delicate line between inspiration and horror, and it does so not only in the events it depicts but in its very air and atmosphere." While the film is dark and chilling, it also carries an ember of hope.

Into the Forest (2015)

Director Patricia Rozema adapted the screenplay for "Into the Forest" from a novel by Jean Hegland. Starring Elliot Page and Evan Rachel Wood as two sisters, Nell and Eva, they must rely on each other and the forest around their remote cabin for survival after the world plunges into chaos after a massive power outage, and their father's death. The battery-powered radio they have remains silent, and the power does not come back on, leaving them uncertain what is happening outside their rural community.

Despite their isolation, they are not safe from intrusions from the outside world, and it becomes clear, diminishing resources aren't their only concern, as they must contend with aggression and lawlessness. "Into the Forest" doesn't have any monsters. It shows a realistic breakdown in society after a power outage and failure of communication systems. What this film has in common with "Bird Box" are the pressing needs for survival, and how people navigate this and are changed by their desperation. Critic Peter Sobczynski called the film "a strong, smart and moving end-of-the-world drama that is further bolstered by strong performances," adding that director Rozema, "creates a quiet but palpable sense of menace regarding the world outside the house" (per Roger Ebert).

10 Cloverfield Lane (2016)

"10 Cloverfield Lane" is a creepy psychological thriller that keeps you guessing to the very end. It stars John Goodman, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, and John Gallagher Jr. as three people living in a bunker together after a cataclysmic event. The only problem? Michelle (Winstead) woke up in the bunker after being injured in a car accident and isn't sure Howard (Goodman), the survivalist who built the bunker with Emmett's help (Gallagher), is telling her the truth about what is outside. The tension in this film ratchets up to unbearable levels as Michelle tries to discover the truth.

Michele K. Short of Rolling Stone, said Goodman, "plays it for every tingling note of mirth and menace. You can't take your eyes off him." Goodman's performance is anxiety inducing perfection, but his co-stars performances shouldn't be dismissed, as they are stellar, too. Rotten Tomatoes gave the film an excellent "fresh" rating and we agree. Like "Bird Box," this film is about how sometimes we might fear the people we are trapped with more than the unknown. If you liked "Bird Box," director Dan Trachtenberg's "10 Cloverfield Lane" is an unpredictable, claustrophobic, must-see movie!

Here Alone (2016)

"Here Alone" follows Ann (Lucy Walters) , a young woman who once had a husband and daughter. After a pandemic transforms people into zombies, decimating the population and destroying the fabric of society, Ann lives by herself in the wilderness. She survives by forging the land and scavenging from abandoned houses in the area. After Ann has been on her own for sometime, she comes upon a teenage girl, Olivia (Gina Piersanti) and an injured man, Chris (Adam David Thompson). Ann finds it difficult to trust them, but she helps nurse Chris back to health, despite her reservations.

Through heart-wrenching flashbacks, we learn what happened to Ann's husband and baby. Tatiana Criane of The Village Voice, said, "Although writer David Ebeltoft's post-apocalyptic story feels familiar at times (reminiscent of parts of Stephen King's 'The Stand'), the scenery and Blackhurst's direction make 'Here Alone' a verdant, suspenseful treat." While the monsters in this film were once human, much like "Bird Box," survivors have come to fear their own kind as much as the monsters.

Hush (2016)

While on the surface, the 2016 film "Hush" is a different beast than "Bird Box," they share a common thread that contributes to the intensity of both films. In "Bird Box" Malorie must navigate without the use of her sight, and this intensifies our already palpable fear. In "Hush" Maddie (Kate Siegel) is a hearing-impaired, mute writer who navigates the world and life without sound. When a man wearing a creepy mask targets her in the remote cabin where she lives, her inability to hear makes this thriller suspenseful.

Rotten Tomatoes gives the film an excellent "fresh" rating, and we think it is an effective twist on the home invasion genre, benefiting greatly from the cat-and-mouse game this killer wants to play with Maddie. Benjamin Lee with The Guardian called the film "a sharp, finely tuned thriller that goes down familiar paths but with flair and skill." If you are intrigued, you can stream the film tonight on Netflix, but we suggest you lock all the doors before you press play.

Cargo (2017)

Every once in a while you go into a film expecting the standard fare of post-apocalyptic zombie movies that have become the rage over the last 20 years, but instead, at the end of the film you're crying while saying something like, "that was beautiful." When watching "Cargo" prepare yourself for the latter scenario. The film opens with a husband, Andy (Martin Freeman) and wife, Kay (Susie Porter) living on a houseboat with their infant daughter, Rosie, after a zombie virus has decimated Australia.

When Kay dies, infecting Andy, he has 48 hours to find someone he can trust to care for Rosie. Andy's time is running out when he crosses paths with an adolescent Aborigine girl, Thoomi (Simone Landers), who is grieving the death of her father. They travel together, hoping to find her family before Andy succumbs to the transformation. Rotten Tomatoes gave this emotionally resonant film a "fresh" rating, and we couldn't agree more. Jamie Righetti of IndieWire said the film "manages to elevate itself above 'The Walking Dead' ennui."

It Comes At Night (2017)

Writer/director Trey Edward Shults might not be working with a fresh concept in "It Comes At Night" by depicting a family, Paul (Joel Edgerton), his wife Sarah (Carmen Ejogo) and their son Travis (Kelvin Harrison Jr.), living in isolation after a deadly contagion has decimated the world population, but the suspense he creates bringing a second family into their home is excellent. The Hollywood Reporter called the film "a minimalist deep dive into apocalyptic horror."

Like "Bird Box" strangers, two families must shelter together from the threat outside the walls of their refuge. Their mistrust and paranoia complicates matters, making the threat within the walls as palpable as the dangers outside. When Will (Christopher Abbott), Kim (Riley Keough), and Andrew (Griffin Robert Faulkner) move into the house, the tenuous order Paul has created through strict rules falls apart.

Rotten Tomatoes gave the film a "certified fresh" rating, and Empire said, "Edgerton, who also produced, gives one of his best performances here without being at all showy." "It Comes at Night" hits all the right notes, keeping you on the edge of the seat, using what we can see as effectively as what we cannot to create unbearable suspense.

The Ravenous (2017)

The French language 2017 film "The Ravenous" is set in rural Quebec after a virus turns locals into zombies. We don't see the first days of the descent into chaos as society crumbles; instead we catch up with the survivors after they have already adopted a kill-or-be-killed attitude, setting off on their own after losing their loved ones to the virus. This small group of survivors band together for one last push to a bunker beyond the woods, hoping to find sanctuary and salvation. What is so striking and eerie about the film is how silent it is, emphasizing not only the character's isolation but also the loss of lives.

The landscape is devoid of life until you come upon a group of zombies staring up at a tower of kitchen chairs or toys they have stacked into the wide-open sky. Joe Leydon, with Variety, said, "it's doubtful that any previous movie or TV drama about the voracious undead has deserved the label of 'contemplative' as much as writer-director Robin Aubert's [2017 film.]" If you are looking for a more thoughtful, artistic take on the zombie apocalypse, you can stream "The Ravenous" on Netflix tonight.

Annihilation (2018)

When Lena's (Natalie Portman) husband who is presumed dead, Kane (Oscar Isaac), returns sick from a secret mission, she agrees to go into the field with a team to discover what happened to him, in writer/director Alex Garland's film, "Annihilation." As a biologist and former soldier, Lena is a perfect addition to the team being assembled to explore a restricted area of the coastal U.S. called "the shimmer. "Like "Bird Box" this film has mysterious entities that defy our reality, but in "Annihilation" the team is headed straight for the monsters, rather than running away.

With this fantastic ensemble cast including Jennifer Jason Leigh, Tessa Thompson and Gina Rodriguez, and visually arresting special effects and cinematography, "Annihilation" has the tech savvy of sci-fi, but the emotional resonance of drama. The female-dominated cast also brings a fresh dynamic to the sci-fi genre that has been dominated by male energy and perspectives. Jason Bailey at FlavorWire called the film, "strange, and brainy," admitting "some audiences aren't going to get it." But plenty of critics liked it on Rotten Tomatoes, where it was "certified fresh."

Hold the Dark (2018)

In "Hold the Dark," Russel Core (Jeffrey Wright), an expert on wolf behavior, travels to a remote village in Alaska to help when a young mother, Medora (Riley Keough), who writes telling him her young son, Bailey, and other children have been taken by wolves. When Russel (Wright) begins his investigation, after talking to locals and observing the wolves, he comes to believe there is something sinister at play in this forgotten town in Alaska. Once Bailey's father, Vernon (Alexander Skarsgård), arrives home from his deployment in Iraq after being injured, the suspense builds to an explosive, albeit confounding, violent climax.

The link between "Hold the Dark" and "Bird Box" is tenuous, but both films excel at expressing how humans are often as terrifying as the monsters we fear. David Fear with Rolling Stone, called the film, "An extraordinary high-pulp potboiler, one that mixes elements of indigenous mysticism, Greek tragedy and rural revenge flicks." It seems from the scores on Rotten Tomatoes that critics liked the film more than audiences, but you can decide for yourself by streaming it on Netflix tonight. Just make sure you don't need to go out in the dark afterward.

How it Ends (2018)

When the power is knocked out, amid whispers of an undisclosed but massive event happening on the west coast, Will (Theo James) is visiting his girlfriend Sam's (Kat Graham) parents in Chicago, planning to ask for their blessing of marriage. After flights are canceled and phone lines are down, Will and Tom (Forest Whitaker), Sam's father, agree to drive together from Chicago to Seattle to rescue pregnant Sam, in director David M. Rosenthal's "How it Ends." While the catastrophic event on the west coast is ominous yet vague, the real threat in this post-apocalyptic action movie are the people Will and Tom encounter along their journey.

We've got to be honest, this film didn't get the best ratings with critics or audiences. However, "How it Ends" is visually arresting and, as you might expect, Whitaker turns in an impressive performance, with the daily dot, saying "Whitaker's desperate humanity keeps you invested." If you want to check out the film for yourself, you can stream it on Netflix.

A Quiet Place (2018)

John Krasinski's directorial debut, "A Quiet Place" is the spiritual sister of "Bird Box." The film stars John Krasinski and Emily Blunt as a married couple, Lee and Evelyn Abbott, who are doing their best to keep their children alive after mysterious monsters that hunt by sound have invaded their world. The Abbott's have an advantage in this new world of devastation: their daughter is hearing-impaired, and because of this, they can communicate in silence. Despite this edge, every day, human activities have become perilous. The scene where Evelyn tries to silently give birth is harrowing, and the suspense in this film is off the charts.

Metacritic declared it a "must-see" movie, while on Rotten Tomatoes, the film is "certified fresh." You won't be disappointed by this intense film. We can say confidently, it is better than "Bird Box" — and better than a lot of films envisioning the end of our civilization. The parallels between this film with "Bird Box" are unavoidable. Where impaired vision escalated the anxiety of "Bird Box," the necessity for silence intensifies the tension in this film. As The Guardian said, "Each audible breath, each creak, adds a needle stab of anxiety to the story." If you love this film as much as we think you will, remember there's a sequel!

The Silence (2019)

The 2019 film "The Silence" is like if "A Quiet Place" and "Apostle" had a love child. Much like Krasinski's 2018 hit, monsters who hunt by sound have toppled civilization, but in this film they resemble pterodactyls. The story centers on a family with a teenage daughter, Ally (Kiernan Shipka), who lost her hearing a few years ago. They have left their home looking for sanctuary, but what they find instead of safety is a manipulative cult intent upon using Ally for their own purposes. Much like "Bird Box," this film centers on a family traveling through hostile environments, while looking for a safe place to live after monsters have torn apart their lives.

"The Silence" didn't get great reviews with critics, but it has an excellent cast led by Stanley Tucci as Ally's father and Miranda Otto as his wife Kelly, with Bill MacLellan as the creepy cult leader. Brian Tallerico of RogerEbert.com, said, "Even the always-welcome Stanley Tucci can't add any flair." We think that's a little harsh, even if "The Silence" isn't all that original, it isn't a knock-off of another film. If you're looking for an end-of-the world popcorn flick, you can stream it on Netflix tonight.

The Invisible Man (2020)

Although our last selection is a departure from the end-of-days theme we've been running with, it has a common thread with "Bird Box." In "The Invisible Man" Cecilia (Elisabeth Moss) escapes her controlling, rich and abusive boyfriend, Adrian Griffin (Oliver Jackson-Cohen), but she doesn't experience the feelings of relief one might expect. After Adrian kills himself and leaves her his fortune, Cecilia becomes convinced he is still alive, and she is being stalked by a man no one can see.

Not knowing if Cecilia is insane keeps the audience temporarily off balance, but after a series of creepy experiences, we believe Cecilia. Not being able to see her tormentor intensifies the suspense in this bite-your-nails thriller. Rotten Tomatoes has given "The Invisible Man" a near-perfect "certified fresh" rating. But, this film isn't just cheap thrills. It explores the struggle to heal and move on from an abusive relationship by weaponizing the hyper-vigilance victims of domestic abuse often experience after leaving.

If you or someone you know is dealing with domestic abuse, you can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1−800−799−7233. You can also find more information, resources, and support at their website.