Thursday, February 4, 2016

Birds: An Under Utilized Scare Tactic In Film

"A parrot walks into a bar and asks for a scotch on the rocks, after knocking back the drink, he ask for the same again. This is also downed in one gulp, and he points his wing at the empty glass. This time the barman ask for some payment, to which the parrot replies - put it on my bill"

If you didn't find that funny, then you probably don't enjoy birds. 
Congratulations, you fall into the 85% of American's who don't enjoy birds as well. To most, birds are a nuisance, inferior vertebrate that poop all over everything and ruin crops. The worst part about birds is that they are in a way, "above" us, soaring over us in places that we can't reach without the aid planes, or jetpacks, or even ladders. This fear of inadequacy hunts us to our core, and it is this exact fear that has produced some of the scariest movies in Hollywood.

The Birds (1963)
Alfred Hitchcock 
A perfect example of the aeronautical capabilities of birds combined with a human's natural fear of birds. Alfred Hitchcock was able to capitalize on this fear in his film The Birds. A film about a wealthy San Francisco socialite who goes to pursue a potential boyfriend to a small town in Northern California when things take a bizarre turn after birds of all kinds suddenly begin to attack people.

Pterodactyl (2005)
Mark L. Lester

Another prime example of being spooked by birds. Mark L. Lester takes things to a whole new level when he introduces the Pterodactyl, the scariest kind of bird, to the silver screen. Nothing is scarier than a bird that eats meat, especially a BIG bird. Lester sends shivers up his audiences' spine with this horror about a dormant volcano deep in the Turkish forest that holds within it a deadly secret, that being a perfectly preserved nest of pterodactyl eggs ready to hatch

Both movies pushed the boundaries of horror and what it means to truly be scared. To this day, I am still waiting for the next Pterodactyl, a chance for me to really be taken out of my element, a chance to be chilled to the bone.

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