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Tuesday, December 15, 2015

The Brood (1979)

After visiting her mother (Samantha Eggar) in an institution for psychologically disturbed patients, a father (Art Hindle) finds bruises and scratches on his daughter's (Cindy Hinds) body. But the woman's psychotherapist (Oliver Reed) insists the girl still be allowed to see her mother on weekends. Written and directed by David Cronenberg, this could be called his breakthrough film. It's a horror film to be sure but it isn't Cronenberg's intention to merely frighten. The film is full of ideas: the power of repressed rage, the venom that passes from generation to generation unless the cycle is broken, the danger of unscrupulous psychotherapists who do more harm than good etc. The film is still rather crude in its execution (the killing of a teacher is bungled) and the special effects aren't all they could have been (the film's budget was $1,500,000) but it's an ambitious film full of thrilling concepts and ideas that overcome its demerits. The acting is of a higher caliber than you find in horror films, indeed this is one of Eggar's very best performances. The highly effective score is by Howard Shore. With Henry Beckman and Nicholas Campbell.  

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