(Review originally written at 23 June 2010)

Thing with Hitchcock is that he basically never changed his style of film-making. He always kept using this certain '30's and '40's style of film-making, with long set-ups, lots of slow moments and old fashioned type of characters as well. This works for a lot of his movies, though not always too well for some of his later ones. This movie is one of his later ones and perhaps his only truly last great one.

Hitchcock was of course the master of suspense but he earned this title with the making of many great thrillers. He's movies often had an horror like atmosphere and build-up in it but they actually were never truly full-blood horror movies. The only movie that comes close to the horror genre as well was the much acclaimed movie "Psycho", which he made prior to this film. But even that movie is more of a thriller really, even though it heavily influenced the horror genre later on. With "The Birds" Hitchcock perhaps delivers his only truly real horror movie.

One of the things you also have to know about an Hitchcock movie is the less you know about it, the better the movie will probably be to you. Hithcock movies often start to head into one direction but then suddenly turn to a complete other. Just imaging going in watching this movie without knowing what will ever happen. The story and the suspense will work out far more suspenseful and surprising.

The movie has a bit of a simple story and concept to it. As often mentioned, the beginning is quite slow and the movie often takes its time to build the story, characters and its tensions. It's not slow in a boring in annoying way though, though I could imaging that it's not exactly just everyone's cup of tea.

Things start to happen pretty early on already, though it certainly is not until the movie its second halve that things really start to take off. The movie is suspenseful and mysterious but it's not until its second halve that the movie also starts to become tense in an horror type of way.

This movie is a real accomplishment with its special effects, in which it really seems like the birds are attacking people. Sure, some of the effects look outdated but you still have to give the movie lots of credit for being creative and some of the sequences are sill amazing and realistic looking. It's being a real original horror movie, not only with its creativity but concept as well.

Also quite fun to see Veronica Cartwright as a child in this. I had forgotten she was ever in this. It's a quite big early role for her, though it would still take years for her to finally definitively break through as an actress. Rod Taylor is a good classic hero and Tippi Hedren is the usual great looking Hitchcock blond.

A great original, creative and highly effective Hitchcock horror movie.


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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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