I wouldn’t consider myself a massive fan of Cronenberg’s work, but I have enjoyed the films of his that I have seen and so with reading the synopsis of this one before viewing I was expecting to have similar feelings.
‘The Brood’ begins with a rather moving psychology demonstration in which a doctor plays the part of the patient’s abusive parent. We learn from this that the doctor’s experimental methods are designed to induce a rage in order to help with their cure (or something!) It’s not before long that we are led to be some what sceptical about the ‘genius’ doctors methods, as one man, whose wife is being treated at the hospital discovers some wounds on his daughters back which appear after visiting her sick mum. When he goes to enquire about the wounds and questions the progress of his wife’s cure he is kept in the dark and refused entry. Determined to prove his suspicions are warranted he takes it upon himself to investigate into the doctors business, as he does so people close to him start to be attacked and killed by mutated children. Is it a coincidence or is the doctor up to something? Watch the film and find out!
This film really does follow Cronenberg’s trusted formula, slow pace but menacing story with each character doing taking a biased stance about situations, no character being good or bad, just simply portraying their role with little deviation in character. Cronenberg’s film are normally categorised as horrors but most people familiar with his films will know that they are not horror in the traditional sense but normally take a more psychological edge, despite being bizarre in their story they seem unnervingly realistic; ‘The Brood’ is no different in this respect.
The story and the pace hold their own for the first 30mins or so, but I was thinking at this point that the film really needed to introduce its ‘horror’ twist. Then it did in the form of a tracksuit bottomed, raincoat wearing mutant child and boy are they creepy. Their faces are horridly mutated and the noise they make is fucking horrible. To be honest the first time you see/hear them its brown trouser time.
The mutants kill in particularly nasty fashion, preferring blunt force trauma as their M.O. The murders aren’t especially gory but they are brutal and bloody which are pretty satisfying to watch. To be honest the addition of these mutants really makes this film quite chilling in parts. The end sequence is particularly satisfying as a mutated woman begins to tear off and bite into parts of her disfigured anatomy; the effects for this part make it particularly disgusting.
Overall ‘The Brood’ has consolidated my opinion of Cronenberg’s films. I did enjoy it, but as with the other of his titles I wouldn’t consider it to be a masterpiece just a well scripted well worked 90 minutes. Recommended.