The Birds (1963)

Alright, we’re going back in time to the 60s for this one. The Alfred Hitchcock classic “The Birds”. For the uninitiated, the synopsis :

A wealthy San Francisco socialite pursues a potential boyfriend to a small Northern California town that slowly takes a turn for the bizarre when birds of all kinds suddenly begin to attack people there in increasing numbers and with increasing viciousness.

Yeah, that first part, about pursuing a potential boyfriend… I had totally and completely forgotten about that, and it’s the first 40 minutes of the movie. The movie is around 2 hours long, and really takes it time setting up the suspense, and the will-they-won’t-they relationship. If I’m being totally honest, that is one of the short comings of the movie. It’s way longer than it needs to be.

“HOW DARE YOU BESMIRCH A CLASSIC OF CINEMAAAAAAAAA” – you, reading that.

Shut up.

The movie is good, but for a movie about killer birds, nearly 45 minutes of this main actress meeting a strange man in a bird shop, stalking him to his home, and somehow integrating into his family is just sort of… not totally necessary. That’s all I’m saying.

That being said, this movie is a bonafide classic and has aged surprisingly well given when it was released. The actors turn in great, if not charmingly old-timey performances and the effects are actually pretty good.

There is a great scene where a woman finds a man in his home after having his eyes pecked out and it’s honestly such a great effect, and a scary shot. As well, the entire sequence at the school is really quite frightening and builds tension really well.

It’s definitely one of those movies that led to homage, after homage, and reference after reference and you can see  the trickle down it had in horror movies to this day.

I hadn’t seen this movie in so many years, probably since I was a teenager, and I honestly totally forgot about the beginning of this movie. It’s not as thought it’s bad, it just feels like a different movie than the second half. It does set up the characters, and situate you in the world, but it definitely almost spends just too much time on it.

It’s definitely one of those movies that everyone should see. Also, it’s a good one to show to young horror-fans as it’s not gratuitous or unbearably violent, and it’s actually frightening.

Should be one that everyone sees though, stop watching Birdemic: Shock and Terror for the laughs, and watch an actual movie. That’s all I can say really.

Another one for the list of classics.

FINAL GRADE  : B+ 

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