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This Angry Brood,
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This review is from: The Brood  [DVD] (DVD)
When Frank Carveth picks up his young daughter Candy from the Raglan Institute he is alarmed to discover that she has welts and bruises on her back. Frank suspects that his estranged wife Nola(Samantha Eggar) who is undergoing a revolutionary psychiactric treatment at the institute, is responsible for abusing her own daughter. The treatment carried out by Dr Hal Raglan(Oliver Reed), involves getting patients to talk through their inner demons, the patients' body physically expressing their emotions. Then one night when Candice is being looked after by her Grandmother, an intruder breaks in and brutally murders the old lady in front of the child. Candice cannot remember any of the terrible events. One thing is for certain, and that something very strange and dangerous is happening at The Raglan Institute.
This is one of the very best horror films from the 70's, directed by auteur director David Cronenberg, whose trademark 'body horror' is very much present and correct here. Whilst not as in your face as say Scanners or Videodrome are, there is something particularily disturbing about this mixture of Freudian nightmare and physical mutation. It's to Cronenberg's credit that he can take what on paper is quite a ridiculous concept, and craft a tense, nasty horror film out of it. Apparently Cronenberg was going through a difficult divorce and child custody battle whilst he was making this film, and his anger shows through in the film, with the impotenence of the central character Frank, and his inability to control events and protect his daughter. The last few minutes of the film, with its horrifying revalations, is pretty disturbing and not for everyone. As for the cast, well Hindle impresses as Frank, Samantha Eggar is sutably deranged as Nola, and Oliver Reed delivers a rather strange, eccentric performance as Dr Raglan. There is also a suitably maudlin music score that fits the downbeat tone of the whole affair very well.
Very impressive and powerful film making, The Brood finds Cronenberg at the height of his creative powers, and is required viewing for all fans of his work, or for 70's horror in general. Nice dvd release too. 5 out of 5