31 Scary Movies: ‘The Brood’

“The Brood” (1979) – “I’m in the middle of a strange adventure,” Nola Carveth (Samantha Eggar) says.

That’s exactly how one might feel while watching writer/director David Cronenberg’s twisted film, “The Brood.”  Cronenberg pulls a sick idea from his imagination and gives it life in the form of this film.  So, horror movie fans, line up and give thanks….we think.

Well, Frank Carveth (Art Hindle) does not have much to be thankful for these days.  His wife Nola is under psychiatric care in an unconventional hospital, and Frank finds bruises, scratches and bite marks on his daughter’s back after a visit with her mom.  Horrified – and in order to protect Candice (Cindy Hinds) – Frank tells Dr. Raglan (Oliver Reed) that she will no longer visit.

The “good” doctor objects because he claims that Nola is working through a critical stage of her psychoplasmics treatment.  We are not quite sure what psychoplasmics is, but we know Dr. Raglan does not exactly deliver vibes of warmth and comfort.

Look up “brood” on Google, and it reads, a family of young animals, especially a bird, produced at one hatching or birth.  This critic will not give away how this definition ties to this twisted tale, except that Nola – going through psychoplasmics – is involved.  As one would expect, Cronenberg dives into grotesque body horror, and one particular shot will spawn nightmares for years.

Other moments fall into conventional horror film chase scenes, but the central premise will vomit feelings of dread, and the unrelenting desire to place Nola on a permanent ban-list from future PTA meetings.

Image credits: New World Pictures; Trailer credits: Frightism (YouTube)


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