Cult horror directed by David Cronenberg. Frank Carveth (Art Hindle)'s wife Nola (Samantha Eggar) is being treated at an institute run by the eccentric psychologist Dr Raglan (Oliver Reed), who is known for using bizarre techniques to break down defensive barriers in the psyche of his patients. After Nola's parents are brutally killed and his daughter returns from a visit to her mother covered in bruises, Frank comes to suspect that his wife and Raglan are up to no good. What he discovers is stranger still: a group of cloned midgets, apparently spurred on by Nora's psychopathic rages, are responsible for the attacks. Since no one else will believe him, it is up to Frank to try and put an end to the violence...
Arguably the best and most personal of director David Cronenberg's early films, The Brood
is an extremely unsettling horror film about familial disintegration and emotional trauma taken to a monstrous extreme. Art Hindle stars as a man embroiled in a bitter custody struggle with his estranged wife (Samantha Eggar), who is undergoing therapy at psychiatrist Oliver Reed's controversial institute. Reed's treatment causes his patients to give form to their inner conflicts, and Eggar--whose psyche is at the boiling point from childhood abuse as well as the custody trial--creates a horde of homicidal humanoid children who enact bloody revenge on anyone who has threatened their "mother". Cronenberg's first feature with name actors and composer Howard Shore has its share of gruesome moments, but the film's subtext--how emotional violence impacts a family--is its most chilling aspect. --Paul Gaita
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