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birds-remakeThe Birds Remake Finally Given the Green Light.  One of the most loved of Alfred Hitchcock’s films is finally going to get a modern reboot. The Birds, which is often called one of his best films, is going to be given a modern film treatment by a Dutch director, Diederik Van Rooijen. Some industry insiders are puzzled by the choice because VanRooijen has not directed a major Hollywood film before and has only directed one other film, which was not an English language film. But it’s taken a long time for Universal Pictures to find the right director to tackle a remake of such an iconic film. Not too many directors want to take on the task of updating such a classic film.  The film has not yet been cast, probably because finding exactly the right woman to play Melanie Daniels is also going to be a long process. Originally when the film remake was announced there was a lot of interest in Naomi Watts playing the role made famous by Tippi Hedron in 1963 but that seems to have fallen through.

So many classic films are getting remakes now that it’s not a surprise that this horror classic is going to follow suit. But it’s not an easy job to remake a film that is widely regarded as one of Hitchcock’s best works. The Birds is still terrifying to audiences even though it was made 50 years ago. Hitchcock was the master of suspense and by the time he made this films, which was his 48th film, he knew exactly how to use suspense and storytelling to work audiences up to a fever pitch of fear. Even though the movie has nowhere the level of gore seen in modern horror movies it remains one of the scariest movies of all time.

In the film Melanie Daniels, the debut role for Tippi Hedron, goes to Bodega Bay California to try and reconnect with a bachelor she met in a pet store. During her stay in Bodega Bay she meets up with the man she was looking for, makes friends with a local schoolteacher who is his ex-girlfriend, and meets his mother and young sister. However the entire city seems to be under siege at the time by hordes of birds who attack people who venture out on the streets. They also try to break into houses by breaking windows and destroying roofs. The schoolteacher is eventually killed and Melanie and the others are repeatedly attacked. One of the most well known scenes in film history is a still from the movie that features Tippi Hedron hiding in a glass phone booth as the birds peck at the glass trying to get at her.

The most terrifying part of the film is the random violence from the birds. No one has any idea why they are attacking or what can be done to stop them. The idea of being randomly attacked is terrifying for most people since there is no way to prepare for or predict an attack. The film gives the impression that the birds are attacking because Melanie bought a pair of lovebirds and brought them to the home of the bachelor, who wanted a pair of lovebirds as a gift for his younger sister.  When the film was released audiences left the theatres afraid to shop at pet stores because of the possible repercussions.

If the remake of the film is done well it will be a great tribute to the original and a reminder that a great story can be interpreted many ways and still be powerful. If the remake is not done well the director will have to face a lot of criticism and comparison to the amazing Hitchcock, who managed to make more than 50 films in his career and gave the world some of the most impressive films in history. Any director would be nervous to take on such a remake of such an important film but audiences are very curious to see how Rooijen will reimagine the film. Even though the film has not yet been cast fans of horror movies and fans of Hitchcock’s films are already excited to see the remake of The Birds finally moving forward.

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