The Birds Review
The plot couldn’t be more simple: birds are attacking the town of Bodega Bay for no reason. But the subtle questions that arise from this basic plot elevate The Birds to a chilling and classic film. The Birds reminds me of The Blair Witch Project. Both use unresolved stories to make the viewer draw their own conclusions. It’s the basic idea that what we don’t see is always scarier than what’s actually there. It goes back to being afraid of the dark.
As I mentioned in my review of The Blair Witch Project, I find the scariest endings the ones that don’t necessarily make sense. We don’t need to know everything and it’s often more effective to leave some plot lines unresolved.
One thing that The Birds does well is complicating the plot with interesting characters. There’s something a little strange about Melanie, and the fact that she brings those love birds to Bodega Bay raises all sorts of questions as to what that means in the larger scope of the movie. Furthermore, the unusually-close relationship between Mitch and his mother creates this strange sort of love triangle between Mitch, his mother, and Melanie.
Perhaps my favorite scene of The Birds is the attack on the gas station and diner. I love when a hysterical woman confronts Melanie and blames her for the bird attacks. She explains that the whole thing started when Melanie arrived in Bodega Bay. This again complicates the plot and makes the viewer wonder if Melanie is in some way responsible. She couldn’t have cause this… right? It adds a supernatural element to an already creepy plot.
However, my biggest complaint with The Birds is its painfully slow start. If you can get passed the first hour, the film quickly gains momentum and never slows down. You just have to push through that first hour, I swear.
While the end of The Birds can feel a bit unresolved, I find it highly effective. It’s best not to know the cause of the attacks or what the future holds. We’re simply left with a startling image, both beautiful and terrifying.