The Birds – A Film Review by Daniel Prinn – Ahhhh, scary birds!

The Birds

Release Date: May 30, 1963

Director: Alfred Hitchcock

Stars: Rod Taylor, Tippi Hedren, Suzanne Pleshette

Runtime: 119 min

Tagline: Suspense and shock beyond anything you have seen or imagined!

It’s a pretty good Hitchcock horror/suspense film.

A wealthy San Francisco woman follows a potential boyfriend to a small North Californian town where things soon start to turn nightmarish after birds of all kinds attack the small town with increasing numbers and drastic viciousness.

It really is suspenseful, but some of it can get a little ridiculous and is laughable at times, when it isn’t supposed to be. It’s somewhat flawed and was probably much scarier in its day and has some very intense sequences. It really is an original piece of work, and has such an effectively simple plot.

It’s generally memorable, and is a really great Hitchcock experience, but I don’t think I’ll return to it soon. Hedren delivers a good performance, as well of a performance she could give while being attacked by birds. The character development is actually very efficient, and they are generally likeable; and unlike the horror film characters of today (where for the annoying characters, you either wish they get killed off, cheer for their deaths and they eventually laugh your asses off when they get killed), you may actually be upset if a character here were butchered off by some hungry birds.

While some of the birds and sets feel so fake they took away from my enjoyment a little, the performances feel pretty genuine. I wouldn’t hate a remake of this one, as maybe they could throw in some better effects, and maybe even make it scarier with a modern touch.

Watch it if you like old suspense films, it isn’t a waste of time at all. It isn’t my favourite Hitchcock film, but really is quite an enjoyable experience.

 80/100

Advertisements

Marnie – A Film review by Daniel Prinn — I think I used the words ‘interesting’ and ‘fascinating’ a bit too much here..

Marnie

Release Date: July 22, 1964

Director: Alfred Hitchcock

Stars: Tippi Hedren, Sean Connery, Diane Baker

Runtime: 130 min

Tagline: From Alfred Hitchcock with sex and suspense.

I guess Hitchcock liked watching Hedren get attacked by birds so much, he just had to cast her in another flick. It’s a good decision though, as she’s a pretty good actress.

 Marnie is a habitual kleptomaniac with multiple psychological problems (like an extremely odd fear of the colour red, thunder, and being touched) who has just picked a new town to hit. After she steals some money from the safe in a suspenseful scene, she gets caught by Mark, a wealthy man high up in the corporation, who marries Marnie in order to try to delve into her life and help her confront and resolve her psychological problems.

For a Hitchcock flick, it isn’t as suspenseful as one would expect but nonetheless, it is extremely fascinating. It does have its fair share of suspenseful scenes, but they are quite far from each other, and it can be entertaining, but the best word to describe this flick is either interesting or fascinating.

I never got bored but it really was quite lengthy for not a completely entertaining ride. Mark’s obsession with Marnie and how he treated her like a caged animal was a little peculiar, I think he’s aspiring to be a psychologist, but he really is a little troubled himself seemingly.  It’s actually a really good character study, and is pretty thought-provoking. It’s a real treat for those movie-goers with an interest for the human mind. It’s not a film I’ll rush back to any time soon, or may even watch again, but it’s a very intriguing one-time-experience that mostly kept me glued to the screen, and there’s not anything I regret seeing. It could have been shorter in length and is probably one of Hitchcock’s weakest films, but it really is interesting and isn’t bad at all. Some of the sets are extremely artificial in a very obvious way that made me criticize it, and that is probably one of its biggest flaws.

The film stars Tippi Hedren who delivers a really good performance, Sean Connery who delivers a great one, Diane Baker and Martin Gabel.

It’s generally one of Hitchcock’s weaker attempts, but it’s a good experience that should be seen. Respecters of fascinating films, character studies, old time cinema and Hitchcock generally, should really check this one out. It really does blend aspects of romance, mystery, thrills and some suspense very well  together, with some very fine leading performances and an interesting finale.

75/100