Film Review: The Brood (1979)

Release Date: May 25th, 1979
Directed by: David Cronenberg
Written by: David Cronenberg
Music by: Howard Shore
Cast: Oliver Reed, Samantha Eggar, Art Hindle

Mutual Productions, Elgin International Films, Canadian Film Development Corporation, New World Pictures, 92 Minutes

Review:

“They’re her children. More exactly, they’re the children of her rage.” – Dr. Hal Raglan

The Brood is one of my favorite David Cronenberg movies and the one where I think everything really clicked for him, as a director.

Man, the atmosphere is thick in this movie. Honestly, the picture just broods over you, as you watch it and while that pun is slightly intended, I don’t think that effect was specifically intended by Cronenberg. He just created such a gripping thriller that’s ridiculously creepy to the point that it sort of squeezes you, as the plot unfolds with dark twists and reveals that get increasingly more fucked up as the plot progresses to its insane and powerful finale.

The story is bizarre, batshit crazy and really takes body horror to a level that is distinctly Cronenberg but in 1979, had to simply shock the living hell out of moviegoers.

The picture also features a really creepy, facially deformed, killer kid. However, you then learn that there’s a few more… and eventually, a lot more.

It’s kind of hard to summarize the plot, but there’s this woo woo “scientist” and his cult-like therapy compound. The methods this guy uses leads to the horrors in the film and the physiological changes to the once normal mother of these mutant demon babies.

The film also features one of my favorite Oliver Reed performances. Admittedly, I think that Reed is always stupendous but he nails this role, is convincing as hell and despite his evils, you kind of want to see him survive the threat of the evil, rage-filled children.

I also thought that Samantha Eggar was so fucking good, especially when the big reveal happens. She was chilling, scary and like Reed, convincing.

David Cronenberg reached new heights, creatively speaking, with this motion picture. For film and especially horror aficionados, this was a great thing, as we’d get Scanners, Videodrome and The Fly remake in the coming years.

Rating: 8.5/10