Monday, July 27, 2009

Horror Movie Review: The Brood

The Brood

Starring: Oliver Reed, Samantha Eggar, Art Hindle, and Cindy Hinds

Directed by: David Cronenberg

Written by: David Cronenberg

Production Companies: Canadian Film Development Corporation (CFDC), Elgin International Films Ltd., Mutual Productions Ltd., and Victor Solnicki Productions

Release Date: May 25, 1979

Awards: Prize of the International Critics' Jury - Special Mention at the 1981 Sitges - Catalonian International Film Festival

Killer children have been in movies since, I think, the 1956 release The Bad Seed. I've always been more disturbed by these killer children, Damien in The Omen, the children in Village of the Damned (even the remake with Christopher Reeve), and Holland from The Other, have all made me shutter. The only Macauley Culkin performance I've liked was his role as Henry Evans in The Good Son. Evil children are just more disturbing. It contradicts what you expect when you see them. "Aww, look at the cute little chi-AHH-AH-AHHH!" So I eagerly awaited The Brood.

Nola Carveth is under the psychiatric care of Dr. Raglan. His use of psychoplasmics is carefully kept hidden from outsiders. It seems to involve physically manifesting our negative feelings so as to better confront them.

But when Nola's husband Frank finds their daughter Candice covered in cuts and bruises after a weekend visit with mom at Raglan's compound, Frank refuses to let his daughter visit mom again.

But Frank gets even more frantic when Nola's mother gets killed and Raglan refuses to let him or Nola's father talk to her to let her know. But while Raglan and Frank get geared up for a legal battle, Nola's father gets killed. Then Candice's teacher while babysitting her.

It's no secret that the killers are hooded children, but where did they come from and what are their reasons for these murders? Nola surely knows.

Cronenberg doesn't capitalize on jumps and scares here, but still presents us with a disturbing, thrilling story. Samantha Eggar shows us how creepy she can be in the final scene. The other performances were passable. The Brood is a good film that really comes through in the final scene, a hallmark of many 70's horrors. But it's definately worth a watch.

Related Trailers


Oliver Reed, who played Dr. Raglan, also starred in 1981's Venom. A plot to abduct a young boy for ransom is foiled when the two kidnappers and their hostages are up trapped by the police in a posh London row house... along with a deadly black mamba snake running loose within and killing them off one by one.

The Astronaut's Wife

Samantha Eggar was still appearing in horror in 1999 appearing in The Astronaut's Wife. A space shuttle in orbit to repair a damaged satellite is forced to return to Earth after NASA loses contact with astronauts Spencer Armacost and Alex Streck for two minutes. Both were outside the spacecraft when the incident occurred. While Armacost seems to be unaffected, Streck has a much harder time recovering from whatever happened to them. Over time, Armacost's wife Jillian begins to note subtle changes in him. Egged on by a former NASA employee, she beings to believe that her husband is something else. She also learns that she is pregnant.

Invasion of the Body Snatchers

Art Hindle, who played Frank, also appeared in the 1978 remake Invasion of the Body Snatchers.

The Dead Zone

Cindy Hinds, who played little Candice, also appeared in The Dead Zone with Christopher Walken. Johnny Smith is a young schoolteacher with his whole life ahead of him. Unfortunately, after leaving his fiancee's home one night, he is involved in a wreck with an 18-wheel tractor-trailer and is in a coma for 5 years. When he wakes up, he discovers he has an ability to see into other people's lives, past, present and future, by coming into physical contact. But the visions he has are often frightening, and even apocalyptic.

Other Killer Child Movies

The Bad Seed

An ideal housewife begins to suspect her loving adolescent daughter may be a heartless killer.

Village of the Damned

In the English village of Midwich, the blond-haired, glowing-eyed children of uncertain paternity prove to have frightening powers.

The Other

Down in the farmcountry of the US two twins are born. One of them turns out to be good, while the other becomes rather evil.

The Omen

An American ambassador learns to his horror that his son is actually the literal Antichrist.

The Good Son

A young boy stays with his aunt and uncle, and befriends his cousin who's the same age. But his cousin begins showing increasing signs of psychotic behavior.

Village of the Damned

A small town's women give birth to unfriendly alien children posing as humans.

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