Episode List & Notes

Here you can find all the best horror movies ever made (so far), along with a brief description of what was discussed.

Please note: the descriptions began with episode 45 – Saw with Laura Haase.

Episode 50 – The Birds with Lacey Smith

This week on the Best Little Horror House in Philly, we’re putting the “murder” in “murder of crows” because bird enthusiast and rescue volunteer Lacey Smith is here to talk about 1963’s The Birds from master of suspense Alfred Hitchcock!
First we talk about Lacey’s “spark bird” and what got her into birding, before discussing my distrust of birds writ large – which means this episode has all angles covered.

After learning more about Lacey, we talk about Hitchcock himself, and his mistreatment of stars like Tippi Hedren after they rejected his harassing advances.

We get into the film itself next, in particular discussing the technical filmmaking prowess on display. Tippi Hedren as Melanie Daniels the merry prankster immediately wins our hearts, and we also discuss why seagulls are the perfect villains – but that the diversity of tactics on display from the different species of birds is both smart and realistic.

We also get into the nature of backstory and how Melanie is able to develop as a character instead of a caricature, and how the first really shocking bit of violence is halfway through – shocking not only for the time period, but also, the way they let the placidity of the town build and build, only to finally shatter it deep into the movie. The movies immaculate pacing and the impressive use of diegetic sound instead of score to keep you in the world is also mentioned here.

 Then Lacey and I relate the movie to today – the relevance of the different perspectives (especially the denial) in the restaurant scene and the prophecies of doom seem particularly ominous with the pandemic going on and how people look for something to blame. The movie also relates to today in Hitchcock’s undeniable influence on slashers, between Psycho and The Birds utilizing the “crazy” prophet of doom.

We warn people to beware the bird war! How would we react in a real-world situation where birds were attacking? Why are crows the last bird you should mess with? Then we wrap up by discussing the scale of the movie expanding at the last moment and getting another scare out of that, plus the growth of characters throughout.