The Brood - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Brood Reviews

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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.
May 10, 2016
The Brood (1979) ??
Mother eats her own afterbirth while midget clones beat grandparents and lovely young schoolteachers to death with mallets. Talk about family fun!
½ April 30, 2016
Incredibly weird movie, but I guess that is Croneberg for you. I enjoyed watching it. Thank God it was 90 minutes because if it took a little bit longer to get to the ending it wouldn't have been worth it. But it does its job in being both fascinating and gruesome at the same time. Solid concept, solid execution.
April 26, 2016
Great early Cronenber. Evil little kids created from rage bent on destruction of those who cause rage. Freakish bodily mutations. All the classic Cronenberg elements are here, but they have quite been brought to the full fruition that they will with Scanners and Videodrome.
½ April 8, 2016
I had to pee for the entire last 30 minutes but couldn't bring myself to pause it because I was so gripped by the story. Incredibly ballsy, smart, layered, angry horror movie. That being said, the accusations of misogyny are certainly not unmerited.
½ April 2, 2016
Disturbing on a surface and subtextual level. Some of the better blood effects I've seen.
½ March 22, 2016
A really solid Canadian horror film, yet with a trademark intelligence that is typical of Cronenberg. The characters feel a bit flat, but that is my only real gripe with it. The pacing is actually pretty brisk and keeps you interested, along with small pepperings of body horror madness to creep you out along the way.

Definitely recommended for those who like horror, but also appreciate a smart story. The Brood is like a serving at a fancy french restaurant if the dish was really fucked up shit: small amounts but very potent.

Booya
December 13, 2015
Probably one of the best sci-fi/horror films I've seen in a while.
Plus, it's from Toronto!
December 6, 2015
The movie catches its stride when it really gets helpless, when he has to kill his wife or have his daughter die, for this is when it feels truly helpless. The movie shows anger in its distractive form, but the opening separates the anger from the Brood, and so it has difficulty being scary or really all that interesting. And for something so uncanny, the beginning was too realistic. Everything needed to share a common theme instead of jumping around. But wow! What an ending!
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