Alfred Hitchcock’s “The Birds” is still terrifying

Hannah Smothers

For movie buffs, the month of October means one thing: 31 days of horror movies. With tons of horror flicks to choose from, The Daily Texan is going to be providing a daily horror recommendation. Whether you prefer ghosts, zombies or stark explorations of the human condition, we’ll be featuring horror films of all flavors. Check back every evening for the movie of the day. Next up: Alfred Hitchcock’s “The Birds.”

My taste in horror films never developed because at age 20, I still haven’t seen one all the way through. 

For clarification, the reason I haven’t seen a horror film all the way through because I am constantly covering my eyes and/or ears every time I am subjected to viewing one. When girls in middle school started having scandalous sleepovers that involved kissing lessons and scary movies, I was the first to fake sick and call my mom to come pick me up.

Eventually I had to grow up – which is to say that I got my drivers’ license and could no longer use my mother as an avoidance method. In order to appear mature and experienced, I suggested to a high school boyfriend that we watch “The Birds” together one evening. 

That was a mistake.

Foolishly I believed there could not possibly be anything truly terrifying about a bird-centered horror film that was released in 1963. Alfred Hitchcock is widely considered to be the “master of suspense” but, come on, it’s a movie about killer birds.

Forget all the evidence that proves normal birds would never act as erratically as they do in Hitchcock’s film. All “The Birds” did was make me look like an idiot in front of a boy and make me scared to go outside. 

What probably makes this film the most terrifying is the lack of orchestration in almost all of the action scenes. The movie is 120 minutes of bird sounds. Even a scene of innocent schoolchildren singing is eventually overshadowed by a flock of murderous crows.

“The Birds” is almost 100 percent to blame for my refusal to go to the Hancock Center H.E.B. after dusk because, in case you haven’t noticed, the entrance awning is absolutely filled with chirps. 

I gave horror films a shot. The scare factor of “The Birds” is laughable compared to modern horror flicks, but it still traumatized me.