The Birds is loosely based on the short story by Daphne du Maurier, of the same title. If you haven't read the short story, I highly recommend it, it's absolutely fantastic. Much more terrifying than the film. The only things the short story and film seem to have in common is the basic idea that the birds have gone crazy, gathered in huge amounts, and are attacking the humans.
Now the short story is exactly that....short. So I suspect when writing a screenplay they felt it necessary to add some of the usual suspects, a love story, a new set of characters we were meant to feel for. Unfortunately, at least for those of us who tweeted through the movie on Friday, we didn't feel anything for the characters and the set-up felt unrealistic and almost annoying.
I've been thinking about this and I think part of the problem is that the movie is very long...two hours. And with the added dimension of these characters there's just not enough tension. In the short story, there's almost no relief from the constant feeling of the birds pecking and the swishing of wings. Their attack feels constant, terrifying, unavoidable. It's everywhere and has affected the entire nation, maybe even world, as opposed to just one small town.
In any case, I have to admit to feeling bored during the film. This movie really scared me when I was little, especially the scene when they find the old man with his eyes pecked out, but I'm not sure this one has withstood the test of time quite as well. I had a hard time feeling sympathy for the characters.
I've long been hearing there will be a remake of The Birds, but I have no idea if it's moved forward. I would be interested in a version of the film that goes back to the source material and tries to recreate that incredible feeling tension and fear. Skip the love story that doesn't make sense!
Perhaps if you loved the movie a bit more than me, and are looking for that extra special gift you might give this Barbie doll more thought....
What are your thoughts?