Editor’s Note: The following contains spoilers for Bird Box Barcelona. It’s been five years since Netflix’s Bird Box became one of the streamer’s biggest successes, kicking off a horror franchise set in the movie’s intriguing post-apocalyptic world. Now, Bird Box Barcelona asks fans to keep their eyelids peeled while a new group of survivors joins forces to escape the maddening creatures capable of making anyone who looks at them commit suicide.
Despite being set in the same universe as Sandra Bullock’s, Bird Box Barcelona is a whole different beast. Set in the streets of Barcelona, one of the largest cities in Spain, the spinoff makes the most of its urban scenario to amp up the paranoia. Furthermore, Bird Box Barcelona shows the world through the eyes of Sebastián (Mario Casas), a desperate father willing to do anything to reunite with his daughter, Anna (Alejandra Howard), including helping the creatures kill off the remaining human survivors. A lot is going on in Bird Box Barcelona. So, now that the movie is finally available, let’s break down its plot twists and explain what happens at the end.
What Is ‘Bird Box Barcelona’ About?
In the world of Bird Box, mysterious creatures pop up out of thin air, causing an epidemic of suicides all over the globe. After a while, people realized that these creatures messed up the brains of anyone looking at them, forcing their victims to end their lives. Some people, however, are turned into “seers” by the creatures, people immune to suicidal impulses but who nevertheless are pushed beyond sanity. That’s because, after seeing one of the creatures, these chosen people become enraged and their only goal is forcing other humans to open their eyes. The seers don’t act out of hate, though, as they genuinely believe they do what’s best for everyone.
As soon as the creatures began to wreak havoc on the planet, Sebastián worked as an engineer for an electricity company. Once his wife calls him, Sebastián realizes how chaotic the situation is and rushes to pick up their daughter at school. On his way to the Catholic school Anna attends, Sebastián witnesses dozens of suicides and realizes they are connected to people seeing mysterious creatures. So, after he rescues Anna, Sebastián instructs his daughter to keep her eyes closed while they return home.
Before they leave the school, Sebastián and Anna are confronted by the institution’s priest, who interprets the social unrest as evidence of the end of times. The priest is happy to be alive to witness the apocalypse and believes the Lord will save God’s chosen people. It’s an ominous encounter that foreshadows the tragedy to come. After crossing the city to get to their apartment, Sebastián watches as his wife is rammed by a car just as she finishes packing the family car so they can flee. After the tragic passing of his wife, Sebastián holes up in their apartment with Anna, doing what he can to keep her safe. A few weeks later, they find out the priest has become a seer and is convinced that the creatures are angels. Now, the priest leads a group of followers to hunt down survivors, drag them to the streets, and force people to look at the creatures.
What Happens to Anna in ‘Bird Box Barcelona’?
Sebastián and Anna manage to remain hidden a while longer. Sadly, on the girl’s eleventh birthday, Sebastián cheers his daughter by finding her a cake with candles. The glow of the candles alerts the seers of their presence, and they become victims of the deranged priest. Anna sees the creature first, jumping off a building right after. While trying to save his daughter, Sebastián also faces the creatures. However, instead of committing suicide, Sebastián becomes a seer himself. The creatures appear before Sebastián as angels and make him have visions of his dead daughter. After this fateful encounter, Sebastián is convinced that the creatures are on Earth to free human souls from pain and that every person who’s exposed to the truth will be released. Furthermore, Anna’s specter tells Sebastián that by forcing other people to see the light, he can buy his way into paradise, where he can meet his wife and daughter again. Because of that, Bird Box Barcelona is a unique take on the franchise, as we follow the story of a villain so blinded by faith that he kills innocent people.
Why Does Sebastián Have a Change of Heart?
For most of Bird Box Barcelona’s runtime, Sebastián infiltrates a group of survivors, trying to find the perfect moment to make them see the angels. Sebastián manages to become part of the group thanks to Sofia (Naila Schuberth), a German girl who doesn’t speak English or Spanish. Since Sebastián used German as a work tool before the apocalypse, he can translate the girl’s words, revealing to the whole group that the military uses Barcelona’s famous Montjuïc castle as a shelter. The castle is atop a hill, guarded by walls, and only accessible with a gondola. As such, the army manages to keep it monster-free. Sofia was going to the castle with her mother before they were separated in the chaos. With the promise of a place to live where they no longer need to be afraid, the survivors begin their pilgrimage to Montjuïc.
During their dangerous journey, the survivors cross creatures and seers. Their chances of survival were slim from the beginning, but since Sebastián is constantly sabotaging their gear and leading them into danger, the survivors are killed one by one. At the movie’s end, Sebastián only has Sofia and Chloe (Georgina Campbell), an English woman who takes care of her. By then, Sebastián has a change of heart, putting himself in harm’s way to protect Sofia from other seers. As he spends time with the survivors, Sebastián realizes the creatures have the power to appear and sound like other people. The creatures often exploit each person’s trauma, pretending to be their loved ones. That forces Sebastián to question his visions until he realizes Anna’s specter is just another trick the creatures are playing to make him do their dirty deeds. Furthermore, since Sofia is a helpless child who reminds Sebastián of Anna, he finally realizes that he should be aiding the living instead of just following empty promises of eternal life. Sebastián still believes in God at the end of Bird Box Barcelona, but he finally accepts the creatures are evil and that the Lord wouldn’t want him to make other people suffer.
What Happens at the End of ‘Bird Box Barcelona’?
When they get to the gondola that leads to the castle, Sebastián stays behind to hold off the priest and his seers. Meanwhile, Chloe climbs the gondola tower with Sofia. Sebastián’s final test of faith comes when the creatures disguise the priest as Anna. Sebastián sees through the creature’s deception and kills the priest. Sebastián also dies during the confrontation, at least knowing that his final breath was given to save lives instead of taking them. At the gondola tower, Chloe is forced to take her blindfolds off to guide Sofia through the decaying stairs. At the top of the gondola tower, Chloe realizes their trip might have been in vain since the equipment levers don’t seem to work anymore. To make matters worse, a creature follows Chloe up the tower. Chloe uses a bell to ask for help, hoping the people in the castle will hear it ringing. The people at the castle eventually turn the gondola on, giving Chloe and Sofia a way to escape. It could be a happy ending, but the castle might not be as safe as they imagined.
Will ‘Bird Box Barcelona’ Have a Sequel?
After they arrive at the castle, Chloe and Sofia realize the fortress is being used to grow food and keep people safe. Sofia also reunites with her mother, who survived after all. Chloe is taken to an interrogation room, as the castle officers want to ensure she’s not one of the seers. It’s a reasonable measure, but when a doctor comes to take Chloe’s blood, she realizes something else is going on. As it turns out, the castle is used to perform experiments and study the mysterious disease. As the doctor tells Chloe, a cure might be hiding in the seers’ blood, as it seems every seer had their DNA altered by trauma or grief. So, since these people are immune to the suicidal effect of facing a creature, the people at the castle are trying to develop a vaccine.
While it all might sound like humanity has hopes for the future, the scientific studies at the castle are only possible because they have captured a creature. Before the movie ends, scientists send a cage with rats into a dark chamber, where the monster is being kept. Meanwhile, a seer strapped to a bed begs to see the creature as people take samples of his blood. Keeping a creature caged so close to one of the last human settlements on Earth is dangerous. And sooner or later, that choice might lead to tragedy, hopefully in another horror-infused sequel that keeps exploring the creatures’ mythology.
Bird Box Barcelona is currently available on Netflix.