So this week we move from Spielberg to Hitchcock, from E.T. to ‘The Birds’.
‘The Birds’ is a suspense classic, the almost mundane, everyday nature of the threat and the complete unpredictability of the attacks means you’re on the edge of your seat throughout. Of course, the effects haven’t stood up to the test of time, nevertheless the build up to the school attack with the slowly congregating crows in the playground is a scene which will forever remain a classic moment in cinema history.
What I love must about the film though is the lack of a satisfactory ending. We as a world love our closure, our explanations, somehow seeing a thriller come to some sort of satisfactory “happy” ending is a necessary part of an enjoyable viewing experience. But this is something ‘The Birds’ never gives us.
The attacks remain unexplained and therefore a continuing threat even after the credits roll. I remember the day after watching ‘The Birds’ for the first time going outside to hang up some washing. Whilst outside I started to hear increasing numbers of crows and seagulls nearby. And I became increasingly scared when the thought crossed my mind that the seagulls might be after more than just my Chips (because of course, we all know seagulls are notorious for stealing chips).
I wasn’t attacked in the end, but it goes to show that a little bit of unresolved tension goes a long way to making a memorable movie. Although, it seems J.T. and the Incredible H weren’t so lucky. Come back next week to see how they escape the horde of crows and see if they can’t Catch the Parrot!