Bird Box Barcelona is Netflix’s newest movie, a spin-off to the wildly successful 2018 post-apocalyptic film Bird Box starring Sandra Bullock. It makes sense that Netflix would try to expand the original’s lore since Bird Box is among the most popular Netflix originals and played a crucial role in building the streamer’s reputation as a genuine competitor in the motion picture space.
Mario Casas stars as Sebastián, a man looking to survive after a mysterious and unseen force decimates the Earth’s population. Roaming the desolated streets of Barcelona, Sebastián and his daughter join forces with several characters on their way to the old military fortress of Montjuïc, where a supposed shelter is located.
The path of the righteous man
Bird Box Barcelona reveals its shocking twist early on: Sebastián is not actually the hero but the misguided antagonist. His daughter Anna isn’t alive; she’s a figment of his imagination, and he is being manipulated by the creatures who prey on his guilt and grief. Sebastián deceives other survivors, lying about knowing the location of a generator to infiltrate their ranks. When they’re most vulnerable, he exposes them to the creatures he believes are angels.
Sebastián joins a group of survivors: two young men, Rafa and Octavio; a young woman, Claire; a married couple, Isabel and Roberto; and a young German girl, Sofia. He earns the group’s trust by translating Sofia’s words: the girl got separated from her mother, who supposedly traveled to a secret refuge in the military fortress of Montjuïc.
Deciding it’s their best shot at long-term survival, the group ventures into the ravaged Barcelona streets on their way to Montjuïc, guided by their two German Shepherds. Along the way, Sebastián orchestrates Rafa and Octavio’s deaths and leaves Isabel and Roberto to die on the streets, guided by his daughter’s otherworldly voice.
However, he soon sees beyond the creature’s deception, especially as he bonds with Sofia and Claire. After Octavio’s death, Sebastián understands his daughter isn’t really there, and the creatures aren’t really angels. When Claire discovers he’s behind the group’s deaths, she attempts to leave with Sofia before being ambushed by a cult-like group responsible for Anna’s death.
Realizing he must make a choice, Sebastián drives Claire and Sofia to the ferry that’ll take them to Montjuïc, using the car to block the entrance and allowing them to escape. He then stays behind to fight the cult and its leader while Claire and Sofia reach the top.
How does Bird Box Barcelona end?
Because of his past deeds, the film had to redeem Sebastián. Thus, he tragically dies while fighting the cult, finally finding some sense of peace. Meanwhile, Claire and Sofia reach the ferry and, after a tense moment of uncertainty, ring the bell that lets the survivors in the fortress know about their presence. Avoiding the creatures by mere seconds, they jump into the ferry cart and reach Montjuïc. Sofia is reunited with her mother, while Claire is taken for questioning and examination.
While drawing blood from her, a soldier reveals to Claire that human DNA can alter under extreme situations; feelings of stress, violence, or grief can lead to substantial changes. The soldier further claims these changes might be the key to understanding and ultimately immunizing humanity against the creatures. They are studying the cult members, referred to only as Seers, to understand their ability to see the creatures without self-harming, believing it to be due to an alteration in their DNA.
The final scene shows the military’s experiments with a captured creature. Two soldiers use animals and test their resistance against the creature; a captured Seer witnesses everything while strapped to a chair, begging to see the creature locked inside a vault. The soldiers reveal their efforts have resulted in a 48-second tolerance to the creature and are attempting to reach the one-minute mark. However, the experiment is unsuccessful, indicating humanity has a long way to go before becoming immune to the threat.
Bird Box Barcelona is now streaming on Netflix.