Sunday, November 1, 2015

The Birds

Can anyone do suspense better than Alfred Hitchcock? (Answer: no.) Yes, there have been many imitators over the years (both during and after Hitchcock's time), but there can only be one master.

With The Birds, Hitchcock takes the work of an author he's adapted before (he had previously adapted Daphne du Maurier's Jamaica Inn and Rebecca) and makes it into something of her own. Many noted trademarks of Hitchcock's are present (the looming mother figure, the blonde damsel in distress) but at the same time, it feels different from his usual fare.

It starts off with a plot more likely to be found in your average Douglas Sirk production. It's not until about an hour in that the blood-thirsty birds become the main focus. Does that hinder the film's quality? Absolutely not. (On a different note, it's amusing to re-watch Psycho and noting the bird motifs knowing that The Birds would be Hitchcock's next project.)

Also, for a film made back in 1963, the special effects are quite good. Sure, there's the occasional shot that shows its age but for a film over fifty years old, you don't normally see special effects this, well, effective. (Honestly, you try finding something from the same time period with special effects that don't look like they cost a grand total of fifteen dollars.)

Stiff acting and dialogue aside, The Birds has some damn good scares. (Again, it's Hitchcock. No surprise there.)  Also, the lack of music so helps with the creepiness. Not a bad follow-up from Psycho.

My Rating: ****


  1. Not the biggest fan of this one. It's got some great moments, but doesn't quite come together for me as a classic. Hated the ending.

    1. Opinion about the ending aside, I have the same feelings about it too.


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