What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this film isn't dirty, gory, or any of the other things parents fear from brutal modern horror flicks, however some of the scenes, particularly the one where off-screen birds attack and wound screaming children on a playground, are downright disturbing. Most of the fear is derived from suspense.
What's the story?
In an age when special effects just aren't so special, the matte paintings and animation that create the attack scenes in THE BIRDS are admittedly both tame and lame. Yet this classic shocker is still unnerving, laced with shots that haunt you after you've switched off the TV. Melanie Daniels (Tippi Hedren, a textbook example of Hitch's cool blondes) impulsively follows a bachelor Mitch Brenner (Rod Taylor) up to his hometown, Bodega Bay, for a weekend jaunt. But things go quickly awry as thousands of crows, gulls, sparrows, and other birds flock over Bodega Bay and relentlessly attack, and even kill, its residents.
Is it any good?
THE BIRDS is quite talky and slow; the film runs for a good 45 minutes or so before anything the slightest bit odd happens. But once the birds get going this is a real nail-biter. The birds attack at first with no warning, felling kids at an outdoor birthday party. Before long, they have trapped Melanie and Mitch's little sister and mother (Veronica Cartwright and Jessica Tandy, respectively) in the Brenner home, and it seems nothing can stop them from drilling and pecking their way in by the thousands. Although it sounds silly, in this movie, it's not.
Parents should know that this film is an excellent choice for families who love horror films. This might seem a bit tame for kids weaned on slasher flicks, but once they get they get into it, you might find them screaming for their teddy bears.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about respecting animals and their habitats. Why do the birds attack humans?
Hitchcock is considered the master of suspense, never showing violence, but always implying it. Do you find movies scarier with or without onscreen gore?