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The Brood is undoubtedly the most personal movie Cronenberg ever made : we all know the film describes Cronenberg's vision of his own divorce (and the custody of his daughter Cassandra) ; at that time, his then-wife belonged to what he thought was a cult and he did kidnap his own daughter in order to protect her. Thus The Brood is full of rage, vengeance and death wish It is a truly frightening story and, in its own way, a candid vision of one's personal tragedy. It seems to be a tale from the Grimm brothers, and, at the same time, a reflection on the powerful link between body and spirit. The script is surprisingly complex and rich, even if, in the end, there is definitely something childish in the movie, but in a positive way: the childish belief that "thoughts can kill" only tempered by the final sequence, when we understand that this little girl, so cruelly abused, will eventually reproduce what her mother developed. The image of this mother (Samantha Eggar at her best, revealing her tortured body that evokes a Roman goddess) is one of the most terrifying one in world cinema. The Brood is a key to understand one of the Cronenberg's major themes: the uncanny How what is closest to us, family, mother, grandparents, might suddenly become the ultimate horror. What frightens us is not outlandish or alien, on the contrary, it's always part of our intimate universe (as in Videodrome).
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Another brilliant early David Cronenberg horror film, subtly stuffed with sexual obsessions and social criticism as it was also the case in "Shivers" and "Rabid", only the idea of this film is even more original and the tension is more overwhelming. "The Brood" quite often is a genuinely terrifying horror-highlight with grueling special effects as well as truly disturbing social themes. Cronenberg's own and intelligently written script once again focuses on humans' defining "inner-evil" (it's his hobby-horse) and blends real-life issues like child abuse and psychiatric patients with adorable low-budget horror topics such as mad scientists and eerie mutant killers. Nola Carveth is one of sinister Dr. Hal Raglan's "Psychoplasmics" patients that unleash their hatred through physical manifestations, like rashes or tumors. But Nola is an extreme case so her outbursts are also far more extreme than the other patients and she produces malicious dwarfs that kill everyone who comes near her husband and 5-year-old daughter Candy. The premise of "The Brood" sounds absurd and incredibly far-fetched but, believe me, it's alarmingly convincing and scary. Roger Ebert was wrong (again) when he claimed this is a boring waste of time. The guy simply doesn't know horror! The last 15 minutes are effectively nauseating, perhaps a little too controversial for some people, and the evil children are petrifying. What is it with little people that makes them so uncanny? "The Brood" is less gore than Cronenberg's previous two films (the aforementioned "Shivers" and Rabid") but the killings are nevertheless nasty and that one sequence inside the kindergarten classroom is more than enough to skyrocket the shock-value of this film. Horror/exploitation veteran Oliver Reed is sublime as the overly ambitious Dr. Raglan. Excellent stuff, David Cronenberg was (and still is) a genius filmmaker!
One of Cronenberg's best films! It has some moments that will stick with you for a while. When the brood first appears and the beatings begin, I was not only disturbed by them, but the way that their faces look was burned onto my brain. I once read that Cronenberg calls this film his KRAMER VS. KRAMER. I think that's very interesting. He's taken the pain that he went through in his own life and manifested it in the physical form of these creatures. I find this kind of creativity to be associated only with some of the more visionary contemporary filmmakers. Cronenberg is that, there is no question. Performances by the late great Oliver Reed, Samantha Eggar and Art Hindle are perfect for the film. It is scary and disturbing and should be seen by all horror film fans. I find it to be a sadly neglected classic.
David Cronenberg's "The Brood" is both frightening and shocking. A tale of psychological horror guaranteed to make even the most jaded horror fan recoil in disbelief. The plot in a nutshell - In the care of an eccentric therapist (Oliver Reed), a woman (Samantha Eggar) undergoes an experimental form of anger management; while parallel to her treatment are a serious of bizarre and questionable murders. At the heart of the story is her husband (Art Hindle), who is in desperate search of the truth behind the strange goings on. The film is especially visually appealing; with perfectly framed scenes, cold & stark cinematography, and classy looking 70's costume design. The special effects though minimal throughout the film, are both amazing and disturbing. Cronenberg masterfully stages the murders in a thrillingly suspenseful and brutally violent manner, effectively balancing the terror between what is seen and not seen. It is questionable if filmmakers in today's world would be bold enough to make this film. The eerie musical score by (now veteran) Howard Shore creates an extra degree of tension to the unfolding events. The performances are all convincing, and definitely above par for a horror movie. With a shocking final twist; this movie is not to be missed, a highly recommended 9/10!
A very personal film for Cronenberg who was going through a divorce during
the time of its making, The Brood has all the Cronenbergian motifs, plus
great characterisation and a great performance from all
Dr. Raglan (Oliver Reed) who is experimenting with metaphysical rage runs the Summerfree Institute. There he encourages his patience to indulge in allowing their inner anger to materialise in warts and blisters on their body. One of his patience is the demented Nola (Samantha Eggar) who has taken Raglan's therapy to the next stage. Her rage is apparently so potent that it results in The Brood, a savage group of dwarfs that emerge from the cysts on Nola's body. Unfortunately, Nola has another child, Candy and when her ex-husband, Frank (Art Hindle) finds that his wife is too unstable to look after their child he suppresses parental access. Nola goes even more insane and the brood ventures out to kill all those she believes have or may cause her harm. Although the carnage isn't excessively violent, the scene where Nola produces one of the dwarfs from a bloody sack and licks it clean leaves a nasty aftertaste.
Cronenberg has long been associated with fear of biological change, but is surprising that not many have picked up on his fascination, or dread of organisations. There's the Starliner Towers (Shivers), Keloid Clinic (Rabid), Summerfree Institute (The Brood), ConSec (Scanners), Spectacular Optical (Videodrome), Bartok Industries (The Fly), The Mantle Clinic (Dead Ringers), PildrImage Manufacturers (eXsistenZ).
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The Brood is one of director David Cronenberg's best excursions into the realm of biological horror. The Brood is an examination of emotions (rage in particular) and how one psychiatrist allows his patients to release this rage. Once released, the emotion manifests itself in the form of warts, blisters, and boils on their bodies. But Dr. Raglan's star patient Nola has taken this therapy to the next level. Her emotions bring forth `children of rage' which do her unconscious bidding. This is not good news for her husband, Frank, and first child, Candy. Nor is it good news for anyone who has ever wronged her. This movie scared the hell out of me. One scene in particular outshines every gruesome act ever filmed. Nola has just revealed that the Brood are indeed born from her rage and her body. She bites open a womblike sac, pulls out her newest blood-soaked child, and licks the little beast clean. It's like a bad car wreck. You don't want to be seeing it, yet you can't turn away. My eyes were the largest they've been in quite some time. Cronenberg also got some great performances out of his cast. Oliver Reed and Samantha Eggar really shine here in their doctor/patient roles of Raglan and Nola. I also identified very much with our hero played by Art Hindle. He's doing whatever he can to stay sane when his entire world is crumbling around him. He just wants to protect his daughter-which brings up my next point. The Brood is also a metaphor for divorce. The mother and father, when you shed all the horror, are having a custody battle for Candy. It is these two themes, divorce and rage, that are the heart of the flick and puts it three steps above the usual genre fair. The film hints that Nola was beaten by her mother at a young age and, in return, Nola may have beaten her own child. The cycle of violence has continued here. And there may not be an end in sight because Cronenberg closes the film with a shot of Candy's arm, covered in the same warts. I am beyond impressed with this film. Cronenberg (pre-1988) is one of the top filmmakers of the genre.
The Brood (1979) was a film made by the master of psychobabble clinical
horror David Cronenberg. He's the master of this genre, one that he
created during the 70's. A genre that's in a class all by itself. The
Brood is another one of his cinematic works that delivers the goods. He
creates a thinking man's scare film. Like most of his other works,
Cronenberg uses psychosis and the medical community to base a terror
that only man can create.
Art Hindle stars as a man who's wife (Samantha Egger) is having a multitude of emotional problems. Whilst under the care of a mad genius psychiatrist (Brilliantly portrayed by Oliver Reed who shows a lot of restraint) using a radical form of therapy for his patients. Like all mad geniuses, not everything goes according to plan (or does it). The doctor creates something in his star patient that he ultimately regrets. It has to be seen to be believed!
One weird film. I enjoyed this one very much. What I like about Cronenberg is that he rarely creates truly good or bad characters (well the films that he has completely control over). Everyone has a motive no matter if it's right or wrong. That's what I like about him, he makes you think!
The film was restored a couple of years ago on D.V.D. It's the original uncut version and it is even creepier than the U.S. theatrical release. Check it out!
Highly recommended, but not for everyone.
David Cronenberg has always possessed a flair for unique and disturbing
visions infused with the trimmings of a genre that can be best referred to
as "biohorror." "The Brood," his tale of hideous mutant children who do the
bidding of mentally disturbed Nola (Samantha Eggar) under the care of
new-wave psychiatrist Dr. Raglan (Oliver Reed, with a quietly sophisticated
Peter Cushing sensibility), is buffered by fine performances that veer away
from camp. In a way, one of Cronenberg's achievements is writing such
outlandish material and making it entirely convincing and visceral, as
opposed to merely settling on B-movie cheesiness, which I admire. As is the
case with most Cronenberg films, here 'reality' is made the most atypical
place where man can reside, and the clever script is always one careful step
ahead of the audience.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Early horror classic from director David Cronenberg remains one of his
most intelligent and utterly shocking films!
Troubled woman under experimental therapy begins to manifest her rage in the form of violent, mutant children that menace her husband and young daughter.
David Cronenberg has long been known as a director with a love of the bizarre and The Brood ranks high on the cinematic weirdness scale. Yet from this eerie tale comes a very real-life message of the destructiveness of child abuse. Story-wise this film is a true gripper, with plenty of suspense and some down right nightmarish scenes. The plot builds to a finale that is terrifically intense; the final revelations being quite chilling. Cronenberg's direction is well-polished creating a haunting atmosphere and the special makeup FX are unforgettably good. The violence however is occasionally graphic so it's not for all tastes. In short, The Brood isn't for the squeamish.
The performances are excellent. The late Oliver Reed is splendidly sinister as the odd psychotherapist. Samantha Eggar does a haunting performance as the disturbed mother of 'the brood'. Art Hindle is good as always as Eggar's understandably worried husband. The supporting cast is also good.
For horror fans, The Brood is a must-see classic. It's certainly a frightening journey that won't be forgotten. One of Cronenberg's greatest films!
*** 1/2 out of ****
"The Brood" is one of the best horror movies ever made.Oliver Reed is really memorable as a Dr Hal Raglan who preaches the radical therapy of psychoplasmics which encourages patient's bodies to manifest their suppressed angers.The script is very intelligent,and there are several really creepy scenes.The gore is pretty mild-the scene where Samantha Eggar opens her gown to reveal the sores and baby sac attached to her body and then proceeds to bite into the sack and lick the bloody afterbirth off the baby,is actually the most disgusting bit!All in all if you haven't checked this one yet,try to find it!Higly recommended.10 out of 10!
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