Monday, October 27, 2008

31 Days of Horror: The Birds

October 27, 2008: The Birds
Alfred Hitchcock had just delivered us one of the best movies in cinematic history, Psycho and he followed it up with this thrilling and edge of your seat tale about killer birds in The Birds.
What I love about the birds is how Hitchcock puts together tones of painstaking morality and dark humor to have it all come together as a thriller that begins as a light hearted comedy and finds itself ending as an apocalyptic parable.
The movie stars the mother of Melanie Griffith, Tippi Hedren, in her first role in a film, which would lead her onto a career as a leading lady.
The story begins with Melanie Daniels (Hedren), who is a wealthy woman who has just given up her life as a party girl. She enjoys a brief flirtation with a lawyer by the name Mitch Brenner (Rod Taylor) in a San Francisco pet shop. She enjoyed his company so much that she decides to follow him to his Bodega Bay home. (I guess stalking wasn’t a big deal back then.)
The upside of her following a man she hardly knows is that she’s bringing his sister a birthday gift - she bought her two lovebirds.
Before any of the major events happen, we see Melanie getting attacked by a seagull. I mean it’s something small, but I always found it eerie and a kind of Hitchcock way of giving us a taste on what we can expect.
Melanie and Mitch quickly start up a romance, but Melanie has to contend with his possessive mother and boarding at his ex-girlfriend’s house.
Strange events soon start occur, during a birthday party for Mitch’s younger sister. We see a flock of birds attack the children, but no one seems to pay much attention. They really pass it off as something random.
Little do they know that this event was only the beginning of massive aerial assaults on the residents of the town. Flocks of birds start to wreck havoc in a serious of events that no one can explain.
I did some research on the Internet and found out that this movie was loosely based off of a Daphne du Maurier story and a Santa Monica newspaper account, “Seabird Invasion Hits Coastal Homes”.
The movie was originally released in 1963 and still holds up in my opinion. My favorite scenes in this movie, and without giving too much away, would be the scene where the children from the school house are being chased down the road by a flock of menacing birds, which are pecking them. The other scene is the very end, I won’t describe it, but I think it’s an epic shot of just endless terror.
If you haven’t seen The Birds, then I strongly suggest seeing it. I mean I strongly suggest seeing all the movies I put on 31 Days of Horror.

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