Too soon? Film from ‘The Purge’ makers imagines COVID-23, 4th year of lockdown


Posted at Oct 30 2020 08:25 PM

‘Songbird’ imagines a world on its fourth year of coronavirus lockdown. YouTube: STX Films

MANILA — A sci-fi thriller from the producers of “The Quiet Place” and “The Purge” imagines a world on its fourth year of coronavirus lockdown, as seen in its trailer released on Friday.

In “Songbird,” whose trailer quickly made the rounds on social media, the latest mutation of the virus, COVID-23, has mutated yet again and now “attacks the brain tissue.”

The worldwide death toll has reached 110 million.

The dystopian setting has infected Americans “ripped from their homes and forced into quarantine camps known as Q-Zones, from which there is no escape.”

When a character’s health is confirmed to have an “anomaly” using a scanner, its warning says, “You must not attempt to leave your home, or you will be shot on sight.”

“Songbird’s” story centers on a courier, Nico (KJ Apa), who happens to be immune to the virus, as he races to reach his girlfriend, Sara (Sofia Carson), after she is believed to be infected, with lockdown enforcers quick to trace her.

The STX Films production is said to be the first feature film to be made during the pandemic in Los Angeles. Its release date has yet to be announced.

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With its sensitive subject — COVID-19 continues to claim lives and infect millions — “Songbird” received a flood of comments questioning its timing, particularly on its YouTube upload.

Mentioning the producer, one user commented: “Too soon, Michael Bay. Too soon.”

“I feel like I'm living in an Onion article, because it hasn't been a year and Michael Bay is already cashing in on the COVID-19 virus. Absolutely distasteful,” another said.

One viewer called the film, based on the trailer, “tasteless, inappropriate, [and] quite astonishingly stupid.”

Similarly, a comment that drew dozens of likes noted how “Songbird” can have a negative impact on people who might see it.

“Honestly this can be dangerous since there is still Covid panic,” the comment read. "Also it’s just in really bad taste, we don’t need more fear in a time that’s already so difficult for so many people. Kind of crazy that this was actually allowed to be made especially so soon.”

As of October 28, global coronavirus tally stands at 44.7 million cases and about 1.17 million deaths, according to a Reuters report.