The Brood - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Brood Reviews

Page 1 of 33
½ September 6, 2017

The Brood is another fascinating expression of anxieties and imagination from the mind of David Cronenberg, even if the execution is not as impressive as its subtext.
September 4, 2017
Simply put, it's a lovingly crafted psychological horror film about a desperate divorced dad that loves his daughter, and is terrified of being separated from her.

It's the scariest of Cronenberg's films that I've seen, and it is, apparently, his most personal. Plus, I could watch another eight hours of Samantha Eggar's amazingly demented performance.
½ July 9, 2017
Very strange, very strange. In fact, it is the ideas that writer-director David Cronenberg came up with that make this worth watching - the execution is lacking. Sure, the effects are creepy/disgusting, as we all came to expect from this auteur, but the acting (even from legend Oliver Reed) is a bit flat and the slow slow build to the final climax is too dreary. Yet, there is something in the idea that our anger might become manifest physically, either as sores or actual projections, that links this to other Cronenberg films and perhaps to the man's deeper metaphysical or psychological concerns. Frank Carveth (Art Hindle)'s wife is isolated in a sanatorium under the watch of psychiatrist Hal Raglan (played by Reed); he brings their 5-year-old daughter Candy to see her on the weekends. However, when Candy returns with scratches and marks on her back, Carveth seeks answers. A few bloody murders later and the truth is finally revealed (in the final 15 minutes) and it is very strange, very strange. Next up for Cronenberg: Scanners (1981) and Videodrome (1983) which expand on these themes with even more panache.
June 9, 2017
Early Cronenberg is always worth re-visiting, so I decided to dig into this one during my recent Halloween marathon.

The bits with the Brood themselves are truly unsettling, as you don't really know what is happening for the first half of the film, and once the reveals happen, the reality of it all kinda makes it worse than not knowing what these creatures really are.

Great unsettling work from a man I'd like to see return to the genre at some point.

Well worth a rental.
April 28, 2017
Hilarious and weird film about these little dwarf killers.
April 21, 2017
2009 Was 4 Years Old In 2013.
March 14, 2017
Experimental psycho-therapy allows patience to alter their physical self through mind control. One patient creates evil demon kids that cause havoc in the town. Interesting concept but more of a precursor to Cronenbergs better films. A little slow and odd.
February 5, 2017
This is one of the few Cronenberg films that left me perplexed, one that made me think, "Okay, I'm a dumb person because I didn't understand what the hell it was all about." Cronenberg said in many occasions that this is his Kramer vs. Kramer, and I can definitely see the similarities. But just because I'm a big fan of his work, doesn't mean I'll love every single one of his film. It has some intriguing ideas and the performances are solid, but overall I was let down by the execution. Not a terrible film, it just wasn't my cup of tea.
½ December 19, 2016
A lesser Cronenberg, but still some great stuff. Reed and Eggar are the anchors that keep this interesting until all hell breaks loose.
½ December 15, 2016
A Cronenberg joint so expect strange. Actually so odd that it will keep your attention to the end just so you can figure out what's going on.
Super Reviewer
½ November 24, 2016
From the master of body horror David Cronenberg comes this gruesome and thoroughly amusing film that is better to be seen without you knowing anything about (even if it isn't really surprising), and it has an unforgettable ending that could only become an instant classic.
November 21, 2016
David Cronenberg is a different sort of horror maven. In a category all his own, he's better equipped to disconcert than to traditionally scare - his movies more or less dependably bear content that definitively crawl under the skin and refuse to leave. His "Videodrome" (1983), a grotesque media satire, is something of a nightmare never to be easily forgotten; his "Dead Ringers" (1986), a twisted tale of romantic obsession, is so expertly uncomfortable that perhaps watching a snuff film would cause us to have a similar reaction due to its dripping gore and its unrelenting misanthropy.
Because Cronenberg's films lack humor and sometimes human decency, I've continuously been impressed by his technical mastery and his efficiency in generating shock value but have never been able to much enjoy his work - I've habitually sat in disgust when confronted with his features (except when in the presence of his mostly conventional but nevertheless near seamless 2007 mafia thriller "Eastern Promises").
1979's "The Brood" is no different - its bloodshed is still copious and its every frame still, without fail, ensures we feel momentous unsettlement - but in contrast to the vast majority of Cronenberg's most divisive works are the allegories hiding beneath the bloodletting cerebral enough to make our discomfort actually seem worth it. In "The Brood" do we have a thoughtful divorce movie that takes the pains of a breakup and heightens them so melodramatically - to supernatural extents - that the film feels something like (maybe even exactly like) a night terror had by the party losing the custody battle. It's that good.
The film stars Art Hindle as Frank Carveth, a man interlocked in divorce proceedings with his severely disturbed wife, Nola (Samantha Eggar). Locked up in Somafree, a cult imitating institute run by ethic ignoring psychotherapist Hal Raglan (Oliver Reed), Nola is delusional and oftentimes violent, characteristics that exceptionally frighten Frank in the face of the custody battle for their five-year-old daughter, Candice (Cindy Hinds). Unlikely it is that Nola will have the girl all to herself, but after Candice comes back home after a visit with her mother covered with strange bruises and scratches, Frank figures it best if his estranged wife had no part in their daughter's life, which, by many standards, is a difficult decision to make a reality.
The plot thickens when it's revealed that Nola is much more than merely unstable and that her relationship with Raglan is far more perturbing than it at first appears to be. But because "The Brood" is such a bizarre (though masterfully bizarre) slow burn of the body horror subgenre, better to let Cronenberg's careful unveilings of the truth and unthinkable plot twists work their erratic magic than unfairly reveal them prematurely. Part of film's effectiveness has to do with the screenplay's deliberation, and Cronenberg, fortunately, is a puppet master incapable of making a tonal error.
Same goes for his ensemble, who pull off roles equipped for a supernatural soap opera and yet somehow prove themselves to be enormously convincing. Particularly valuable is Eggar, whose faux madness is so wonderfully calculated that the big reveal that overcomes her character at the film's finale practically leaks through the confines of the frame. But that's how "The Brood" snakes about in general - it's so consistently foreboding we find ourselves virtually waiting for an explosion of catharsis at the end of every scene. When that catharsis does come, though, we feel unprepared, caught off guard. That's Cronenberg for you.
½ November 7, 2016
It's Cronenberg's Kramer Vs. Kramer - although Benton's film never featured dwarfish homicidal psychopaths amongst its methods for bridging irreconcilable differences.
½ October 28, 2016
Has all the makings of a fairly average 70's British horror but then... BOOM. One moment at the end of this film makes it all worthwhile and puts this film into the "disturbing" category. Worth a watch.
October 14, 2016
I saw this in a cut-rate theater in 1979 on Granville Street, Vancouver. Children or her rage indeed. I was doing Primal Therapy then for all the good it did me. Early Cronenberg creepy with some scary scenes. Those little hell babies -- oh, man!
October 3, 2016
The Brood is spoilt by a weak central performance from Art Hindle. His bland, apathetic portrayal strips the murders of any power and, worst of all, steals screen time from Oliver Reed's Dr. Hal Raglan, who isn't given the opportunity to shine.

who is a distraction from Oliver Reed's Dr. Hal Raglan, whose character isn't given an opportunity to take off.
June 15, 2016
It suffers as a result of its miniscule budget, seeming to end just as things are getting interesting, but this is still an interesting glimpse into the early workings of a formidable director.
June 9, 2016
When I realized the adult detachment from reality and normal emotion is not a flaw but an artistic device, my appreciation for Cronenberg's film multiplied exponentially. I do not really go for Cronenberg, I appreciate why some do, but his style really does not do much for me. However, this film clicked better than the others.
½ June 8, 2016
Very enjoyable movie from early in David Cronenberg's career. This story explores the after-effects of divorce, and how they can manifest.

The acting overall is quite good, especially that of Samantha Eggar as the troubled ex-wife. The children were menacing, but didn't look very good.
½ May 13, 2016
This is a really creep earlier work from David Cronenberg with star Oliver Reed. It's smart, scary, and affecting. If you like horror or the work of Cronenberg, this one is worth checking out, otherwise skip it.
Page 1 of 33