The Birds ★★★★

Hitchcock's penchant for building suspense is summed up very well in The Birds. The movie gives us time to learn about the characters and slowly leads us to the "birdemic" to come.

When those attacks come, they are ruthless and terrifyingly chaotic. The fact that the sounds of the birds are the film's only score (there's no musical score) heightens the tension tenfold.

It's hard to believe this was Tippi Hedren's first role as well. She has a strong and commanding presence that's exemplified early in the movie when she meets Mitch (Rod Taylor) and is coy with him.

The violence is surprising and varied throughout the movie. The movie puts many people in danger, including children, and it was effective for me every time. Seeing characters in hysterics in the aftermath of attacks just brought the tension home for me.

I'm not a film student or anything. But I can see what I interpret is The Birds' influence on a multitude of films that came after it. Bodega Bay conjured thoughts of Amity Island in Jaws, for example. What amazes me about Hitchcock's work here is that it's influential and wonderfully executed, yet, on paper, the premise is really ludicrous. But somehow Hitchcock molds it into a tense and realistic thriller.