Monday, September 10, 2012
The Birds (1963) review
This film reminds everyone of how Hitchcock's direction always provides a handful of suspense. However, this work seems to be a little dated compared to some of his others.
PLOT:Wealthy Melanie Daniels (Tippi Hendren) and clever Mitch Brenner (Rod Taylor) are the two leads of this story. After Mitch humiliates Melanie in a bird store, they form a strange relationship in which Ms. Daniels decides to buy some love birds for Mitch's young daughter, for it is her birthday. She drives from San Fransisco down to Bodega Bay, where he lives. After she drops of the love birds, she is attacked by a gull heading back. She thinks nothing of it and gets help from Mitch; this is when she decides to stay in town for a day. She takes a spare room in the local school teacher (whom she met recently), Annie Hayworth's (Suzanne Pleshette) house. Things are going fine until the birds begin to attack the kids at the daughter's party. It all heads downhill from there, as the birds grow more and more violent, causing death and disaster. Why are they doing this and how can they be stopped? I'll leave you there. It's a good plot executed greatly.
ACTING:The acting in here is kind of dated, but even with that being said, it's still pretty great. The two best performances would have to be Rod Taylor as Mitch Brenner and Tippi Henderson as Melanie Daniels. They both acted very well with emotion and also had great chemistry as a sharp-witted couple. There really wasn't a lot of bad performances in this film. The other shiners would be Suzanne Pleshette as Annie Hayworth, Jessica Tandy as Lydia Brenner (Mitch's mother), Ethel Griffies as Mrs. Bundy, and Doreen Lang as the mother in the cafe. Each performance has a good bit of emotion packed into it. The only performance I didn't really like was Veronica Cartwright as Cathy Brenner (the daughter), but that is kind of forgivable, as she was a child in the '60s.
SCORE:There wasn't really any score to this film, which was actually a good thing since it didn't drown out any of the suspense or terror. I believe the sound of the birds flapping around and attacking acted as the score, and in that case, I loved it.
EFFECTS:The effects in here are pretty dated, but not too bad in some cases. The effects used for the birds themselves are pretty fake-looking and dated. Hitchcock still did a great job with what he had, but the effects of the creatures are pretty dated today. Yet, the effects used for the blood and corpses were pretty well done. It was bright and shocking, just as Hitchcock always does in his color horror films.
CAMERAWORK:The camera Hitchcock used to capture the film must have had a very unique quality to it, for every shot is vivid and definitive to his film history. He got some pretty good shots in here.
OTHER CONTENT:This Hitchcock film isn't the best he's done by far, but it's still pretty great. It's packed with suspense, shot with great direction, plenty of emotion and horror tactics. I specifically loved the suspense; each scene was measured carefully as to have had the right amount of suspense added. It didn't add too much, and it didn't add too less. We are reassured here of why they call Hitchcock the "King of Suspense". However, this film is quite dated nowadays. Time hasn't been the best to it, as some of the effects and such look extremely fake compared to nowadays work, and it just comes off as cheesy to the unappreciative fan. This film will either way remain pretty iconic among all horror lovers and Hitchcock fans.
OVERALL,a great Hitchcok horror with a great plot, great acting, no specific score, well done blood effects, unique camerawork, lots of suspense, great direction, plenty of horror tactics, and pretty iconic scenes, but the film is quite dated for it's fake-looking birds and a few cheesy aspects to it.