What makes a good thrilling horror movie? Makeup, special effects? You know in your heart a guy with a head full of pins or burn scars, fedora and razor-like fingers are professional movie makeup at its very best so you can assure yourself it isn't real and you're actually safe while fishing for your house keys in the dark.

Special effects? Meh... they can depict almost anything especially nowadays with the aid of computers.

What makes a movie scare the beejeezus out of you is when the writer or movie maker takes ordinary everyday objects and infuses some abnormal animate behavior into them.

Steven King likes to make inanimate objects come to life, a coke machine that fires cans at and through you, vehicles that seemingly have a psychotic murderous mind of their own. The fright is in the malicious change of the ordinary into the extraordinarily fatal.

But Mr. King was probably writing odd stories as a sophomore for his high school paper when the real king of horror Alfred Hitchcock was frightening the world with something benign we see around us just about every day, birds.

Alfred J Hitchcock Productions - The Birds

An old hand at thrillers, with 1963's The Birds, Hitchcock and female lead Tippy Hedren added horror to the thriller genre' and scared a whole nation while increasing national sales of BB guns and 12 gauge shotguns.

In the film a woman (Hedren) visits her boyfriend in northern California at a bay town, when suddenly the birds (whom humans have lived in harmony with for over 10,000 years) begin attacking citizens en masse at random, plucking their eyes out in graphic early 60s special effects. The birds are killing people and no one knows why.

It surely made me take notice of my upper surroundings anytime I went outdoors and, I began to keep a very close eye on the family parakeet as well. There is a sister-in-law in my family, retired now, who is still frightened of birds and will go indoors in the evening as soon as they start gathering and squawking in nearby trees and power lines for the night.

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Life Imitates Art Again

Now comes reports out of a tiny Connecticut town where the humans are suffering from a sudden spate of attacks from hawks. The Hawks are swooping out of the sky and clawing people in the head in Fairfield, specifically along Old Mill Road, Sycamore Lane and Henry Street.

A hawk, by the way, is a bird of prey, attacking from the sky (duh) suddenly, quietly and without warning. They're omnivores. They'll eat meat, vegetables, whatever they can catch out of a stream or they can nip off the little dangly part of your ear for a chewy snack.

Animal control officers have no explanation but are trying to capture some of the Hawks to relocate them.

They're probably also waiting for someone out of view of this nightmare-come-to-life to yell "cut".