Saturday, October 15, 2011

31 Nights of Terror #12 - The Brood (1979)



The Brood (1979)
Director: David Cronenberg
Starring: Oliver Reed, Samantha Eggar, Art Hindle
Format: DVD (Universal)

- David Cronenberg. I have to admit there are some gaping holes in my viewing history of this director. I've seen The Fly, Rabid, Videodrome, Scanners, The Dead Zone, Naked Lunch and Eastern Promises and enjoyed them all to varying levels. I have yet to see Shivers, Dead Ringers, Existenz or this one.
- Powerful opening scene. Oliver Reed was, by all accounts, an alcoholic asshole but he was a great actor.
- Great score by Howard Shore, who went on to win an Oscar for his score of Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring.
- Lots of slow build in the first hour, with intermittent moments of quite effective horror.
- Art Hindle reminds me a lot of Dominic West, star of one of my favourite TV shows, The Wire.
- Seeing your teacher get bashed to death in the classroom. Hey kids, you'd better get used to going to therapy.
- Cronenberg sure does love using gooey body fluid effects.
- I can't decide whether Samantha Eggar's acting in this movie is great or over the top. Either way it's memorable.
- Great twist ending. I didn't see that coming.

Overall thoughts: The Brood is psychological horror at its best. Cronenberg takes a simple-but-effective premise and runs with it, using his own unique style to make it work. The first two thirds of the movie build up the characters and storyline, giving hints of the horror ahead, before a simply stunning finale. The "creatures" are simple in design but extremely creepy and the acting performances are quite good. I definitely recommend this one for anyone who hasn't seen it.

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