Self-possessed, wealthy Melanie is in a San Francisco bird shop to pick up a mynah bird for her aunt, and is taken in by a minor practical joke at the hands of a mysterious stranger. Irritated and intrigued, Melanie tracks down the identity of the stranger and follows him to his family home in Bodega Bay, a quiet town hours north of the city. In the midst of perpetrating a practical joke of her own, Melanie is on her way back to town in a small boat when a seagull attacks, drawing blood. This attack is only the first of many, and the attacks increase in volume and ferocity until the entire town is under siege.
This was my first time seeing The Birds and I was relieved to discover that it is a bona fide horror movie (I was afraid it might be more thriller-ish). I loved the scenery, the slow buildup, the constant presence of birds whether overtly menacing or not, the special effects, the lack of a typical soundtrack, the absence of explanation for the birds' behavior, the humorous touches. I was impressed by the body count and presence of blood and gore. Overall the movie was well cast (woohoo, Veronica Cartwright!) and well acted (Tippi Hedrin did better than I expected, especially toward the end of the movie). Some of the dialogue rang false to me; partly it may have been that early 1960s style of talking, but it did take me out of the movie a bit. Another reason I couldn't grant a 5th star: I wasn't scared at all during the movie, nor creeped out afterwards.
Even worse, Mr. AC did not watch this with me, so don't hold your breath waiting for the haiku review... though come to think of it, I'd like to see that one too!