If you haven’t seen Bird Box, the latest global movie phenomenon from Netflix, then congratulations, you must be the last person in America.
The online streaming giant confirmed the news that 45 million subscribers tuned in to watch the horror film starring Sandra Bullock in the first seven days it was released.
While the accuracy of those numbers is hotly debated, the number of online jokes about the film, including the blindfolded "Bird Box challenge," suggest that an awful lot of people have seen it.
Reactions to the movie have generally been positive, but one mystery irked fans after it was over: the haunting presence at the heart of the film, which makes anyone who looks at it commit suicide, is never actually shown on camera.
While we get a glimpse of drawings made by a character who saw the "monsters," for the most part they were left up to our imagination.
Warning: in case you didn't notice, we're about to seriously spoil parts of Bird Box.
This week, special effects artist Andy Berholtz finally gave fans a glimpse of what at least one of the monsters from the film was meant to look like, with tantalizing behind-the-scenes details of a deleted scene featuring the creature.
Berholtz, a sculptor, says he made "three or four variations" of a monster that was meant to be seen by Sandra Bullock’s character in the film.
He also suggests that the "fatal 'vision'" each character sees would be different. In the case of Sandra Bullock’s pregnant character, Malorie, the monster apparently looked like a "demonic baby creature."
His description - and photos of his work - back up an interview with Bullock where she claimed the monster was a "snake-like, green man with a horrific baby face."
Berholz says the actress was confusing an actor’s green costume, used for modeling computer generated effects, with the monster’s actual look.
While the scene featuring his creation was cut from the final movie, Berholtz says he’s actually glad that his work was left on the editing room floor.
"In the end, I actually really liked the movie and think it was better off NOT showing the makeup," he wrote. "Kudos to the director for sticking to her guns on that one."
Frustratingly, this may not actually solve the monster mystery, since Berholtz also says the scene featuring his makeup was meant to be a "dream/nightmare sequence."
Eric Heisserer, the movie’s screenwriter, agrees that leaving the monster up to our imaginations was a good choice.
"There was a time when one of the producers was like, 'No, you have to see something at some point' and forced me to write essentially a nightmare sequence where Malorie experiences one in that house,'" he revealed.
That was the scene that was eventually shot with the baby makeup, although Heisserer seems glad it was cut out.
Susanne Bier, the movie’s director, also thinks keeping the movie’s biggest threat off screen worked to her advantage.
"Everybody's deepest fear is going to be different from the other person," she explained.
"I think to suddenly take upon a concrete shape in order to illustrate that becomes weak. Where the conceit is really strong, then trying to illustrate it is kind of almost meaningless. So it would have been the wrong decision."