This honestly raises the question of to what end would a “creature” do this? Are they as mystical as the second film suggests? While we are obviously not meant to mistake them for angels like that movie’s poor Sebastián, but they certainly seem metaphysical in the way that Sebastián’s alleged daughter can appear to him and drive him toward luring other people to the creatures—even when there is no creature anywhere near Sebastián when he is having these visions. Additionally, if they were just aliens or animals, what kind of sustenance or power could they get from people hurting themselves?
Of course, as first Bird Box later revealed not everyone is fatally “allergic” to the creatures. Some select individuals are not driven to suicide after seeing them. Instead these select few become obsessed and captivated with the creatures, going so far as to urge the rest of the population to take off their blindfolds so they can witness the creatures’ beauty. In that film, a character named Gary (Tom Hollander) gives us some more clues about the kind of people who have this reaction to the creatures. According to Gary, “crazy” people or people who were institutionalized for one reason or another aren’t driven to suicide by the creatures. Gary doesn’t specify what “crazy” means. It’s unclear whether these individuals suffered from an illness like schizophrenia, or have no chemical imbalances in their brains at all but were rather “touched” by these creatures in some way prior to their arrival. Whoever or whatever these people are, it soon becomes clear that Gary is actually one of them.
It’s worth noting that Bird Box: Barcelona contradicts (or at least expands) on this idea. In the sequel, Sebastián was never “crazy.” He was a doting father who wanted to protect his child. However, there does seem to be something in specific personalities that help turn some folks into veritable “Renfields” for the creature. The priest who ultimately brings Sebastián before the creatures is also not “crazy,” but he has an air of zealotry about him before seeing the creatures. He wants to believe in “an age of miracles,” so the creatures appear to feed on that nature in him.
More curiously at the end of the movie, a doctor hypothesizes some folks are genetically predisposed to become enthralled by the Creature, and in this way they might be cured. Personally, we think this is unsatisfying sequel-bait and world building. In fact, the first film suggested something much more abstract, yet satisfyingly unsettling.
If you recall during the first film, Tom Hollander’s zealot (or “seer”) has an opportunity to reveal and lovingly caress drawings he’s sketched of the dark monsters. This, in fact, is the only visual representation the movie offers up of the creatures. Fittingly, no two drawings are the same. It is clear that these creatures are all different in appearance or shape shift to some degree. Still, the appearance of the creatures in Gary’s drawings all do have a consistent styling that offers an important clue as to what the creatures really are.
To be clear, there is no right answer as to “what are the Bird Box creatures?” But the drawings that Gary provides along with other clues makes it pretty clear what they were inspired by. The creatures of Bird Box are heavily influenced by the works of H.P. Lovecraft. Lovecraft is one of the American fathers of sci-fi/horror fiction. Lovecraft developed a dark style, focused on abominable monsters, that would come to be known as “Lovecraftian.”