Thursday, September 13, 2012

THE BIRDS (1963) movie review


Birds, The (1963)
d. Hitchcock, Alfred

Following Tippi Hedren’s appearance at HHW (and discovering that my lovely femalien had never seen the former starlet’s most famous film), it was pretty much a no-brainer to program this classic, groundbreaking “nature strikes back” epic. Once again, we see what separates the Master of Suspense from the rest of the clubhouse – instead of a standard programmer about flocks of killer birds, Hitch spends the first hour developing Hedren and Rod Taylor’s engaging characters, as well as the impressive supporting cast, with only a single aviary attack toward the peak of said hour. When the unrelenting feathered mayhem finally explodes, we are deeply invested in the fate of the residents of Bodega Bay, the tension accented by the extraordinary visual effects and the lack of any background musical score. Another magic trick is while we never learn what sparks our winged friends’ rebellion, this proves more ominous than frustrating, more chilling than cop-out. An undeniable high point in the annals of eco-horror. Based on Daphne du Maurier's short story.

1 comment:

  1. Not to mention the at-the-time unheard of technique of ratcheting up the tension by having no musical score whatsoever. Just the sounds of the birds cawing.