Sunday, 9 February 2014

Film Review: The Birds

The Birds (1963) 119min

(Figure 1: The Birds Poster)

Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds is one of the most famous horror and suspense films of the 20th century. The story begins with a young lady known as Melanie Daniels, who later meets Mitch Brenner at a local pet store after his flirtatious request for two love birds for his young sisters birthday. After her delivery of the birds, Melanie soon becomes the soul intention of what seems to be random but vicious bird attacks over the next few days; however the attacks become more renowned and suspicious as the jealousy of a mother continues.

(Figure 3: Melanie in Green)

In many occasions throughout the film, Mitch's mother, Lydia, seems to become increasingly jealous of Melanie as she forms a close relationship with Mitch. As the New York Times says in their film review; “The birds concentrating their fury upon a house in which a possessive and jealous mother hovers anxiously over her son is so obvious and fascinating.” (Crowther, 1983) This emotion is clearly seen by the way the females in the film greet and communicate with one and other. There is a sense of rivalry and disclosure between Melanine and Lydia the Hitchcock has put across extremely well in terms of cinematography and wardrobe. "(…) the explosive outburst of maternal superego trying to prevent a sexual relationship between Mitch and Melanie." (Simmons, 2010) This animosity is emphasized on we associate colour. Melanie is always seen wearing green whenever she encounters Mitch and his mother. It is the colour of envy, jealousy and wealth, (Seen in Figure 2).

(Figure 4: The Birds Attacking School Children)
(Figure 5: 28 Weeks Later Poster)

Aside from the meanings of love and hatred between family, The Birds also has similar connections to that of other 'Outbreak' films; such as the 28 Days/Weeks Later Franchise. As The Guardian states in their review; ''(...) everyone is confused, ruffled on the brink of flight. Here is a film that provides no answers and no escape." (Brooks, 2012) It is that of 'no escape' that is most common in post apocalyptic movies that we see today. The Birds had set the trend of terror to step outside your own door.


Simmons (2010) The Birds Film Review URL At:

Illustration List:

Fig. 1. Birds Poster (1963) From: The Birds Directed by: Alfred Hitchcock [Poster] United States. Universal Pictures. URL At: (Accessed on 09.02.2014)

Fig. 2. Melanie in Green (1963) From: The Birds Directed by: Alfred Hitchcock [Film Still] United States. Universal Pictures. URL At: (Accessed on 09.02.2014)

Fig. 3. The Birds Attacking School Children (1963) From: The Birds Directed by: Alfred Hitchcock [Film Still] United States. Universal Pictures. URL At: (Accessed on 09.02.2014)

Fig. 4. 28 Weeks Later Poster (2007) From: 28 Weeks Later Directed by: Juan Carlos Fresnadillo [Poster] United Kingdom. 20th Century Fox. URL At: (Accessed on 09.02.2014)

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