Monday, October 19, 2015

Movie Review: "The Brood" (1979)

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Movie"The Brood"
Director: David Cronenberg
Year: 1979
Rating: PG-13
Running Time: 1 hour, 32 minutes

Nola (Samantha Eggar) is institutionalized and undergoing a radical new psychological therapy under the guidance of Dr. Hal Raglan (Oliver Reed). But when Nola's husband Frank (Art Hindle) finds scratches and bite marks on his daughter after she visited her mom, he starts to investigate Dr. Raglan and his methods. As Frank investigates, members of Nola's family start to get murdered one by one by strange little creatures, adding to the mystery Frank must unravel.  

"The Brood" is a film that combines a psychological mystery with a creature feature. It is the type of film which David Cronenberg is a master. He is known for movies like "The Fly," "Scanners," "Videodrome," and "Shivers," which we reviewed earlier this Halloween season, among many others. This movie centers around Nola, played by Samantha Eggar, and her family. She has been institutionalized at a psychiatric hospital run by Dr. Hal Raglan, played by the mysterious and ominous Oliver Reed, who uses what seems like hypnotherapy to allow his patients to release repressed emotions. Dr. Raglan acts as if whatever has troubled his patients to get them to their emotional breaking point has been a parent or another relative, so he cuts them off from their families in order to achieve successful treatment. The patients are able to unload their problems and gain some kind of understanding as to their repressed feelings. Nola is have marriage problems for obvious reasons as she is going through a separation with her husband Frank, played by Art Hindle. Frank brings their daughter Candice, played by Cindy Hinds, to visit Nola, but when she comes home with bruises and bite marks, Frank is not happy and turns his anger towards Nola's doctor. Frank starts to investigate Dr. Raglan, but a larger mystery starts to unravel when Nola's family members begin to be murdered by what appear to be little child-like creatures with fangs and evil faces. Frank is almost sure this has to do with Raglan's therapy in some way and is determined to find out how the two are connected.

This movie manages to be extremely creepy and has some really good make-up work applied throughout it. The little creatures look like children, only slightly more animalistic, savage in their teeth and angry in their faces. The movie starts almost like a drama but slowly over times becomes more bizarre as it moves along in its run time, ending in the ultimate kind of "what the hell!?" moment. We were really taken aback by the ending, but expected no less from David Cronenberg as he is known for his weird imagery and different directorial style. All of the acting here is solid and we really believe each character in their respective roles. The story is intriguing, and though there is a lot of slow-burning investigation and mystery, the slower, longer, more drawn out points are worth it in the end as the payoff is freaky and unique. "The Brood" is definitely worth watching at least once!

My Rating: 7.5/10
BigJ's Rating: 7/10
IMDB's Rating: 6.9/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 81%
Do we recommend this movie: Sure, why not?
Two years ago, we were watching: "Evil Dead 2"

One year ago, we were watching: "Fido"

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