111 minutes, available on Netflix
The story: A mysterious force hypnotises anyone looking at it into committing suicide, and it has decimated the global population nine months after its invasion in the 2018 post-apocalyptic Netflix horror Bird Box.
The European spin-off Bird Box Barcelona will never equal the sensational meme-trending success of Bird Box, which is the fourth most-watched film on Netflix.
It does not have Sandra Bullock’s Hollywood star presence for one thing.
Making their way across the ruins of Barcelona in Spain in search of shelter and safety are now engineer Sebastian (Mario Casas) and his young daughter, Anna (Alejandra Howard).
But Sebastian, unlike Bullock’s heroine, is an unreliable protagonist who does not have good intentions: Why does he tell everyone he encounters he is alone when Anna is standing right beside him?
He proves a danger to his camp of blindfolded survivors, among them an English psychiatrist (Georgina Campbell).
This is the intriguing reversal in the expanded mythology written and directed by Spanish brothers David and Alex Pastor.
There are exciting set pieces. Nonetheless, the Pastors have done enough end-times thrillers – The Last Days (2013), in particular, won a clutch of awards – to recognise the sameness of the genre’s corpse-strewn wastelands.
Enter the Seers, a doomsday cult led by a sinister priest (Leonardo Sbaraglia). It has become the main threat, crusading for the powerful entities it believes to be mankind’s salvation.
The bleak tale warns of religious fanaticism where the original played on the maxim “see no evil”.
Whether monsters or seraphs, the unseen creatures are a creepy presence, their arrival heralded by a celestial choir.
Hot take: Remove those blindfolds and see the couple of effective twists. This ostensible sequel, though unnecessary, is at least no mere retread.