Brood, The (1979)
The Brood is David Cronenberg’s third horror film, and a deviation from the zombie theme of his first two. An experimental and controversial psychotherapist has an unusual patient, Nola. When Nola’s estranged family begins to be attacked by an unknown creature, later identified by the police as a deformed child, they begin to see a connection. The doctor performing an autopsy of the ‘deformed child’ has a good deal of trouble determining what’s wrong with it, or if it’s even human. Now Nola’s daughter is in danger and her father must stop these creatures before anything happens to her.
By all initial appearances, The Brood separates itself from the body horror that Cronenberg is well known for. Instead, he portrays the story of a group of child-like, monstrous creatures. However, as the story progresses, we begin to see a different form of body horror, so Cronenberg’s strengths certainly come through.
The effects and makeup are excellent. In normal circumstances, the effects would border on cheesy. But Cronenberg’s directing talent creates enough suspense that the film maintains a certain amount of realism (even as conceptually absurd as it is). The story is brilliantly strange and original.
A great deal of brutality exists in this film. For example, a teacher of young students is killed right in front of the whole class. That unforgiving approach to horror shows Cronenberg’s knack for the genre. All in all this is a great film that will be enjoyed by any Cronenberg fan.