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The Brood

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Movie Info & Cast

Synopsis

Canadian director David Cronenberg followed his graphic vampire variation Rabid with this multi-layered, speculative horror film which addresses the way the repressed demons of the psyche can force their way to the surface. Psychologist Dr. Raglan (Oliver Reed), director of the controversial Psychoplasmic Institute and author of the book The Shape of Rage, encourages his patients to outwardly manifest their anger and fear (aided by some experimental drugs), which then takes physical shape as actual sores, cancers, or strange new organs. One of Raglan's more successful patients (from his point-of-view, anyway) is Nola Carveth (Samantha Eggar), who is undergoing therapy following a painful divorce from her husband, Frank (Art Hindle). When Frank discovers evidence that Nola may have injured their daughter, Candice (Cindy Hinds), he begins to suspect Raglan's techniques but is unprepared for the most horrifying by-product of her rage: a progeny of sexless, dwarflike mutants who are born for the sole purpose of acting out her violent fantasies of revenge. Containing only enough energy to carry out their murderous tasks, the brood is dispatched to kill Nola's parents, then a woman she believes is having an affair with Frank. By the time Frank discovers the origins of the tiny offspring, they have already abducted Candice and taken her to the institute, where Frank must confront Nola in person. Although it contains one of the most visceral and nauseating scenes in movie history (during the film's climax), this nevertheless remains the most subtle of Cronenberg's early horror projects, with a strong subtext about the devastating effects of divorce.~ Cavett Binion, All Movie Guide

Cast

  • Oliver Reed
  • Samantha Eggar
  • Art Hindle
  • Henry Beckman
  • Nuala Fitzgerald
  • Cindy Hinds
  • Susan Hogan
  • Gary McKeehan
  • Michael Magee
  • Robert A. Silverman

Did You Know?

Trivia

  • David Cronenberg wrote the film following the tumultuous divorce and child-custody battle he waged against Margaret Hindson. Cronenberg also said that Samantha Eggar's character, Nola Carveth, possessed some of the characteristics of his ex-wife.
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Goofs

  • When Candy is sent away from preschool by "the creatures", she is wearing her pink snowsuit. However, when Frank drops by their home, desperately searching for his daughter, the pink snowsuit is hanging on the cloak hook at the front door. Then again, a few moments later, Candy is wearing it walking down the street with two of "the creatures".
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Quotes

    • Juliana Kelly: Thirty seconds after you're born you have a past and sixty seconds after that you begin to lie to yourself about it.
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Atom User Reviews

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Metacritic

75

Undoubtedly [Cronenberg's] best from this period and also the most troubling.

Metacritic review by Eric Henderson
Eric Henderson
Slant Magazine
25

The Brood is an el sleazo exploitation film, camouflaged by the presence of several well-known stars but guaranteed to nauseate you all the same.

Metacritic review by Roger Ebert
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
80

Genuinely disturbing horror but with Cronenberg producing a slightly deeper edge in his portrait of a troubled family.

Metacritic review by Kim Newman
Kim Newman
Empire