Finding horror and unconscionable hostility in even the most tranquil of everyday subjects, Hitchcock’s genius mastertalents are again on full display cinematically — even if ~crawl-paced & talky to start. Nevertheless a bold, unique, & disturbing vision of aviary scares. 8/10.
Plot Synopsis: Melanie Daniels (Tippi Hedren) meets Mitch Brenner (Rod Taylor) in a San Francisco pet store and decides to follow him home. She brings with her the gift of two love birds and they strike up a romance. One day birds start attacking children at Mitch’s sisters party. A huge assault starts on the town by attacking birds.
*Possible spoilers ahead*
Positives: Disturbing aura created from the start with the opening credit sequence, Colorized really refreshing to see Hitchcock’s full vision and phenomenal cinematography like in the Pacific Coast Highway and scene with all the crows on the playground, snappy dialogue with well-written and rich characters, Tippi Hedren’s Melanie beautiful and well-acted, great acting all-around especially by Rod Taylor’s Mitch as well balancing and supporting Hedren, great horror scenes when the birds finally attack at the children’s birthday party and in the house (they certainly don’t hold back and attack with ferocity and speed making them fast and scarier with jumbled chaos), pace and movie picks up TREMENDOUSLY about an hour in (why does it take soooo long for anything exciting to happen though? Hitchcock messed up the first part of the movie – that coming from one of his biggest fans ever as it is crawl-paced and boring at the start), respectably different and ballsy taking a subject you can’t help but laugh at when you hear the name and subject in the horror section but delivering some respectably scary and dark scenes and consequences, SPECTACULAR second half that if anything is overwhelmingly fast-paced and exciting in contrast to the bizarrely and wildly uneventful and boring first half, magical and intricate scene direction by Hitchcock especially in the horror ones – brilliant, explores the mystery and horror of nature and if animals know some things humans don’t, unbelievable ending with Melanie’s death and psychological tear-down
Negatives: Sound editing flawed in parts as the bird sounds can overtake the conversation, EXTREMELY slow start – more so than any Hitchcock film I’ve seen (and I’m one of the biggest Hitchcock fans ever: Psycho one of my top 7 favorite films ever) – the entire first half of the movie literally nothing exciting or of consequence happens – just needlessly prolonged dialogue & over-characterization that modern movies get ripped to shreds for and it’s not right to just overlook even though the film finds its groove and itself in the 2nd half – focuses too much on talking and romance: could’ve been trimmed by ~30 min, wish they would’ve just ended it with Melanie dieing in the room + an explanation about why it’s happening – no finality & Melanie brought it but survives when others don’t?
Official CLC Score: 8/10