by: Michael Hall
While some might call “classic” movies boring, Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds is a gripping thriller about the mystery of overly-aggressive birds terrorizing a small, coastal town in California by the name of Bodega Bay. Despite being one of the best horror movies for its time, does it still hold up?
While many horror villains are generic with simple slasher villains or an ancient evil, The Birds takes simple, everyday animals and turns them into a pack of vicious beasts. Having birds as the antagonists makes many different situations possible, from the birds attacking the whole town to terrorizing a family in a house.
The Birds has a memorable plot that makes it feel like less of a horror movie and more like a drama. It starts out with socialite Melanie Daniels chasing Mitch Brenner to his weekend retreat, trying to win his love. While chasing him, she learns about Mitch’s past and about his mother. Eventually, the horror aspect of the movie takes over. During a party for Mitch’s daughter, a flock of seagulls attack the party. When Mitch’s mother goes to ask about her chicken feed, she finds the vendor dead, his eyes pecked out, and surrounded by dead birds. Eventually, the birds terrorize the town and force everyone to flee.
The Birds is arguably one of the best Hitchcock movies of all time. But, is it still relevant compared to today’s horror movies? In my opinion, yes. Instead of being comprised of jump scares and a vague plot with no direction, The Birds does a good job balancing its plot and its horror moments. Without a doubt, The Birds is one of the best horror movies of all time.